Meet the Designers: Peugeot Onyx concept

The Peugeot Onyx concept is a marriage of natural and technical materials, and one of the most innovative concept cars to date. In the video above, we take a tour around the concept with its exterior and interior designers.

Previewing bodyside surfacing that will be applied to all Peugeot vehicles in the near future, the use of copper to accentuate the two different volumes of the concept’s body is one of the most appealing and eye catching elements of the exterior design. This is contrasted by carbon fiber and aluminum, which represent the technical nature of the car.

“The idea was to make a dream car,” says exterior designer Sandeep Bhambra. “I wanted to create something that was alive — more than a piece of metal or plastic.”

Peugeot Onyx concept (2012)

The copper material is far more than purely decorative, as it will change to show the life of the car over time. As Bhambra points out, the communicative natural material was perfect for the design brief and for Peugeot’s mantra: ‘Motion and Emotion’.

The innovation continues to the interior, where designer Julien Cueff drew inspiration from the lightweight concept of an egg box. The whole interior is made of one envelope, in which materials are pulled in the right places to create an ergonomically ideal seating area for occupants.

“We tried first to create an interior that was made only of paper, but after several tries we decided to put something that was more comfortable and durable,” shares Cueff. “This whole project was about finding new, honest materials and craftsmanship.”

Devoid of conventional seats and a center console — and therefore a significant amount of weight — the concept’s cabin is swathed with natural and technical materials, echoing the exterior design. It features felt and newspaper wood on the dash to add to the feeling of comfort and the milling path on the anodized aluminum elements was intentionally retained to form a grip.

As if this incredible concept car wasn’t enough, the design team also created a three-wheeled concept scooter and a bicycle.

Together with the car, these create the “Onyx Universe,” says Bhambra.

In all, the Onyx is one of the strongest concept cars we have seen emerge from Peugeot’s design studio in recent times. And considering the number of amazing and innovative concepts to come from the French automaker’s design studio, that is no easy feat.

We certainly hope that the level of innovation showcased here will make it to the next generation of Peugeot vehicles.


Founded in 2012, Form Trends tirelessly covers the automotive design industry in all corners of the globe to bring you exclusive content about cars, design, and the people behind the products.

More Stories
Volvo Introduces IntelliSafe Auto Pilot Interface for Autonomous Driving