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Peugeot unveils rough-cut Quartz concept in Paris

Peugeot may be having a bit of a rough financial time lately, but that isn’t stopping the French carmaker from taking big risks.

At the 2014 Paris Motor Show, the brand unveiled its chiseled, dynamic Quartz crossover, and to say the concept has a unique look would be an understatement.

Named after a silicate mineral that crystalizes from molten magma, the Quartz wears huge 23-inch wheels that look like the innards of a wood chipper. The exterior styling is extremely angular, with more polygons than 1996-era Lara Croft.

The glass roof flows into two separate rear spoilers, and combined with the scissor doors, the Quartz resembles a strange, futuristic beetle attempting to take flight. No, not the Volkswagen kind.

Despite its rough exterior, however, the Quartz is actually quite refined.

The Peugeot is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 270 horsepower, but it also has electric motors on both front and rear axles. This bumps the hybrid’s total output to 500 hp, and the SUV is capable of traveling 31 miles on electric power alone. The 400-volt battery can be slowly recharged via kinetic braking energy.

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Inside the ‘i-Cockpit,’ each of the four passengers has their own bucket seat and four-point retractable harness, which points to the SUV’s impressive power and athletic design. The cabin is bathed in digitally woven textiles and recycled plastic components, and as a kicker, Peugeot lined the interior with basalt.

A car like this simply wouldn’t fit with basic suspension, so the Quartz employs pneumatics to adjust its ground clearance from 300 to 350 mm. The system is controlled by an on-board camera that constantly surveys the road for obstacles, tweaking ride height as necessary. McPherson struts and multi-arm arrangements make up the suspension’s conventional components.

Is the Quartz the SUV of the future? Hard to say, but one thing’s for sure: it looks out of this world.

(Photos via Autoblog)