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No-noise Peugeot Fractal sounds complicated. Image by Peugeot.

No-noise Peugeot Fractal sounds complicated
Noise-cancelling features on Peugeot's striking Fractal EV concept car make it very quiet.
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What's all this about?

It's the Peugeot Fractal concept car, destined for Frankfurt, which is all about the noise. It features a stunning 9.1.2 surround sound system that can project noises anywhere - including 'outside' the car - and a load of anechoic features outside and in to keep the acoustics comfortable.

Anechoic?

Sound-absorbing. Like those weird chambers you can go in where all noise is eradicated. Perhaps we shouldn't, at this point, tell Peugeot that these chambers often make people feel sick, so unnatural is the total lack of sound.

Right, so it's a quiet car, then?

Yes, as its 19-inch 'Tall&Narrow' wheels have mouldings on them to reduce noise, while the Fractal's interior is full of anechoic designs. Talking of which, the cabin is pretty outlandish, as befits any good concept car: it features the ultimate iteration of the i-Cockpit (small steering wheel, dials in the driver's eye line) seen on the road cars since 2012. Black oak is used on a lot of surfaces and there's copper trim to emulate audio connections. Four-fifths of the cabin is made from 3D-printed materials, the steering wheel features thumb-controlled sensors and 12.3- and 7.7-inch screens are incorporated in the front.

And how about that two-tone exterior?

This continues a theme of striking Peugeot cars with vertical colour slashes up the rear, although the Fractal is actually quite a small car - it's just 3.81 metres long and 1.77 metres wide. It also features a removable roof, allowing the coupť to become a cabriolet. You can even open the doors remotely with a smartwatch, and if you do, a sound signature developed by Brazilian sound designer Amon Tobin will greet you.

You mentioned broadcasting sound outside the car - what did you mean by that?

The 9.1.2 digital surround sound system developed by PSA's StelLab can simulate the human ear by projecting sounds to specific points in the cabin... and in the case of the satnav, can make the synthesised voice sound as if it is coming from some distance in front of the car. Freaky.

Does a stupidly big combustion engine undo all this noise-cancelling goodness?

Nope, as the Fractal is an electric vehicle. Two motors of 102hp each are situated on each axle, giving a total output of 204hp (sorry, we're sure you could do the maths yourselves, but...). These are powered by 30kW/h lithium-ion batteries housed in the central tunnel of the Peugeot and the rear axle is shorter-geared for acceleration, while the front axle has longer ratios so it takes over duties gradually from 62mph onwards. It'll take the 1,000kg Fractal 6.8 seconds to hit that speed from rest, while a standing 1,000 metres takes 28.8 seconds. Total range is claimed to be around 280 miles.

What about the chassis?

Well, the fractal has air suspension, which can be set at 70mm for motorway work, so that the aerodynamics are improved for better range, while it rises to 110mm ground clearance in urban areas to clear speed humps and car park entrances.



Matt Robinson - 1 Sep 2015


2015 Peugeot Fractal concept. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot Fractal concept. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot Fractal concept. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot Fractal concept. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot Fractal concept. Image by Peugeot.

2015 Peugeot Fractal concept. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot Fractal concept. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot Fractal concept. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot Fractal concept. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot Fractal concept. Image by Peugeot.









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