Thursday, August 13, 2015

Peugeot Quartz Concept

So there I was back in July, innocently strolling down Paris' Champs-Élysées with my wife, when I came across the Peugeot showroom.  Inside the showroom, prominently displayed, was Peugeot's Quartz concept car, first shown the previous fall at the Paris auto show.  Of course I went in and took some photos, some of which are presented below.

Peugeot's web site has this blurb dealing with the Quartz. One short paragraph that caught my attention stated: "The strong, powerful, sporty style of the PEUGEOT Quartz is clear from the outset. Its shapely design combines the body of an SUV with the cabin of a sedan."

They can't be serious.

The Quartz's body clearly is that of a sedan -- there is essentially nothing about it that is SUV.  If the Quartz had a rear opening of some kind, it might be classed as a hatchback.  But I have yet to locate an internet image showing any kind of opening at the rear; how stuff gets placed behind the rear seats is a mystery to me.

Besides, there is hardly any storage space at all behind the rear seat, further proof that the car is not any kind of SUV.  To me, a salient characteristic of a SUV is that its body and interior spaces are variations of the station wagon (or break) theme.  The Quartz is no station wagon.

An independent take on the Quartz is here.  Images are below.


Publicity image
The Quartz's overall shape is that of a blunt object.  Some of this is due to the high hoodline mandated in Europe.  Peugeot stylists added a few curved or soft elements rear the top of what might be considered the fenderline.  But they combined all this with sharp, faceted surfaces and straight-edged openings to contrast the curves, generally a wise move.

Auto show image showing open doors
The doors are dramatic, but don't seem very practical: call this auto show eyewash.  The rear door seems poised to cause injury to back-seat passengers entering or leaving.

Dramatic, aggressive.  The three or four (It's hard to tell) kinds of grille decor on the various openings makes the front a bit busier than perhaps it should be.  This photo and those that follow were taken by me in the Paris showroom.

Side views, different lighting
Too-large wheels, and note that the Quartz has high clearance -- perhaps the one thing SUV about it.  The faceted area along the lower body is an exaggeration of a current styling fashion.  Interesting that the car has minimal front and rear overhang; it's really stubby.  Maybe that's why all the jazzy details were added, to disguise the basic shape.  The slit-like windows keep the weight from glass down, but otherwise are yet another dysfunctional detail.

Rear 3/4 view
Rear door cut lines doubling as color separators continue over the top to define the upper edge of the backlight.  Intersecting this line are upper and lower side window edge extensions, creating a busy zone that's made even busier by the protrusions above the backlight.  The angular openings at the car's lower corners echo the theme of similar openings at the front.  They also seem to interfere with the effectiveness of the rear strike (bumper) zone.  Otherwise, the composition of rear elements is interesting, especially considering the lack of overhang.

There are some interesting ideas crammed into the potato-like body of the Quartz, but they are on motor show steroids.  What I see is detail-drama that will surely be tamed if anything like this car (not a SUV, remember) ever reaches production.

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