Leave it to Peugeot to design an enviably gorgeous hybrid crossover, albeit not as a production vehicle. This is the new HX1 concept, which will likely turn quite a few heads in September once it debuts at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Beneath the skin, the HX1 Concept is rather rooted in reality. Peugeot’s diesel-electric hybrid system, which is found in several other models, including the new 3008 and 508RXH, provides power for the conceptual crossover. A 2.2-liter turbo-diesel I-4 provides 204 hp, and propels the front wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox. Meanwhile, a 95-hp electric motor drives the rear axle. The system — sometimes known as a through-the-road hybrid — has a combined output of 299 hp, and can function as an all-wheel-drive vehicle, or a rear-wheel-drive EV. As the latter, the HX1 has a range of 18.6 miles running on electricity alone.
Impressive, but the HX1 won’t win friends on tech specs and fuel economy alone. The skin itself is incredibly attractive, especially for a six-seat crossover. The front fascia evokes that of the sultry SR1 concept of 2010, and from some angles, the HX1 can almost be mistaken for a typical sedan. Perhaps most intriguing, however, is the HX1’s ability to “adapt” and change shape to accommodate its environment. The seven-spoke alloy wheels sport fins that shut at highway speeds, reducing drag in order to increase fuel economy. Likewise, a rear spoiler and side skirts protrude from the vehicle once it reaches 62 mph. These tricks reportedly help the HX1 earn a drag coefficient of 0.28, which is roughly equal to a Porsche 911.
Peugeot hasn’t announced any plans to turn the concept into a production car, suggesting instead that some of the HX1’s features will trickle down to other models. In the meantime, Peugeot worked with shoemaker Pierre Hardy to design a set of shoes — which convert from driving slides to high-heels — in honor of the HX1’s changing aerodynamics. Incroyable.