For anyone looking for a luxury hybrid minivan, Peugeot has one waiting in the wings. The French company showcased its HX1 last July at Frankfurt and it certainly looks like something completely different from the average minivan. Luxury is written all over the HX1 on the inside with natural oak trim and a white marble centre console that contains not only a minibar, but a coffee machine too. The dash has a digital display and a touchscreen at the centre.
Seating has been turned around by Peugeot – quite literally. There are two permanent seats in the front and in the rear – all facing forward as you would expect. The twist is that there are another two seats in the rear that are stowed until needed in the back of the front seats. To get into the car all four doors open up with a scissor action, upward and outward, creating one large access area.
The Peugeot HX1 concept also meets the standards required to be counted as one of the latest new eco cars. It’s got the HYbrid4 system which has already been used by Peugeot in the RXH and 3008. While the front wheels are moved by the 2.2l diesel engine, the back wheels are moved by the electric motor. Both the engine and the electric motor operating simultaneously give the HX1 four-wheel drive.
With CO2 emissions of just 83g/km, the HX1 – if it makes it to production – will clearly be in the low emission cars category. It should manage 88.2 mpg thanks to the fact that it can travel up to 18 miles on electric-only power. On the outside, the emphasis is on sleekness. This is no boxy minivan. There’s a clear focus on aerodynamic styling, including fans that extend from the spokes on the alloys when the car is travelling at increased speeds.
Clearly this kind of luxury won’t come cheap; if it gets produced, it’ll be a minivan for those who can afford it, not for every family by any means.