Peugeot sets bold new design course

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Peugeot has given the clearest indications yet of the design direction it will take under its new styling chief, Gilles Vidal, who was appointed last month with the release of a redrawn version of its famous “lion” badge and the first pictures of its lithe new SR1 concept car.

Whether the new emblem is an improvement on the old one is debatable; the lion, which legend has it is based on the Lion of Belfort, appears curiously constrained, as if it is angrily trying to punch its way out of a romper suit that's a couple of sizes too small. The first production car to bear the new badge will be the sporty RCZ, which is perhaps best understood as Peugeot's reply to the Audi TT.

But if the new Peugeot logo is a bit iffy, the SR1 concept car is immensely encouraging, capturing something of the elegance of past Peugeots such as the 504 coupe from the 1960s or the 205 from the 1980s, and shaking off completely the awkward clumpiness of the French manufacturer's current line-up. Apparently it signals a new look for Peugeot but the company hasn't said yet whether it will put a car directly based on the SR1 into production, or whether future cars will simply adopt elements of its design in watered-down form. The SR1 will have its first public showing at this year's Geneva Motor Show in March.

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