The Peugeot Fractal is a concept electric urban car, but perhaps the most interesting feature of the vehicle is what the company is calling the Peugeot i-Cockpit, a 3D printed exploration of what a vehicle’s interior might be in the future.
Peugeot’s Citroen research unit, StelLab, and Focal, a French electro-acoustic sound system firm, have created a 13-speaker sound design that features “tactile bass systems” which are built into the back of each seat to create what the companies says is the ‘spatialization’ and ‘dynamization’ of the acoustic environment inside the car.
Designed and developed in partnership with sound designer Amon Tobin, the Peugeot Fractal also includes a heads-up display with an HD holographic screen and a polycarbonate strip that delivers additional information and creates an impression of depth.
They call the car an “ideas incubator,” and 3D printed parts represent just over 80% of the interior trim surfaces in the vehicle. The design uses anechoic materials formed via generative design. These anechoic chambers, while they reduce the intensity of sound waves and noise levels, also tune the sound environment by causing those waves to bounce from one surface to another, and Peugeot says the design would have been impossible to create with conventional methods.
Covering more than 15 square meters of the car’s interior, the design process used algorithms to correctly configure the materials to ensure acoustic efficiency, and 3D printing allowed the team to create the highly complex parts and surfaces required.
The Fractal is driven by a pair of 40 kW/h lithium-ion batteries, housed in the vehicle’s floor tunnel to lower the center of gravity and improve weight distribution, and the juice flows to a pair of electric motors located on the front and rear axles.
But it’s the i-Cockpit concept with its ergonomics, ambiance, choice of materials inspired by auditoriums and recording studios and 3D textile mesh which covers the seats that make the car a groundbreaking piece of conceptual art.
An American start-up company, SubPac,developed the tactile bass system which offers “a new physical sensory experience” where the bass travels through a solid medium. It means that the driver and passengers experience the sound waves through their body rather than through the airwaves to avoid unwanted interference in the interior’s environment.
Brazilian sound designer Tobin also tuned the Peugeot Fractal’s external sound production as well, and pedestrians and cyclists experience different sounds to mark the car’s acceleration and deceleration.
“Peugeot Fractal is the fruit of collaboration between artists exploring new horizons. We worked with the designers to pool our resources of inspiration. The style is inspired by the sound, and my design draws on the Peugeot Fractal’s looks and materials,” Tobin says.
While it’s not blazing fast – the 1,000 kg Fractal goes from 0 to 62mph in 6.8 seconds – four-wheel-drive electric steering does allow for outstanding efficiency in the city and stability at high speed.
Peugeot plans to roll out the Fractal for the public at the The Frankfurt International Motor Show on September 15.
What do you think about this concept car from French manufacturer Peugeot, the Fractal? Let us know in the 3D Printed Peugeot Fractal forum thread on 3DPB.com.