Could the Peugeot Inception Concept Mark France’s Return to U.S. Car Market?

French cars haven’t been sold in the U.S. since the Peugeot 505 sedan left the country in 1991. Once consumers normalized to the numerous offerings from Japan, sales of the typically quirky offerings dwindled quickly. Unfortunately, French vehicles never did well in America or even in Canada. At this year’s Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, however, it seemed as if Peugeot was looking to take another shot and bring the Tricolore back to the North American market.

Peugeot Inception unveiled at CES Las Vegas 

Peugeot Inception
Peugeot Inception concept front rendering | Peugeot/Stellantis

At CES 2023 in early January, Peugeot showed the world their dramatic design of future sedans. With sharp edges all around, onlookers may have missed that although the Inception looks like a sleek coupe, it has four doors. In the front, the angular fascia features an illuminated Peugeot lion logo in the center. Three thin daytime running light strips extend from the logo into the main headlights, where Peugeot drew inspiration from the older 505. In the back, the bumper features an aggressive notchback design but may be reined in for production’s sake. Nevertheless, the Matthias Hossann-led Peugeot “Design Manifesto” is decidedly audacious for the electric future.

One of the most striking details about the Inception is its nearly 80 square-foot windshield, which “contributes to the bold design of this manifesto,” parent company Stellantis says. Such is possible because the Peugeot Inception doesn’t have an engine or battery pack in the front. Since the windshield extends far down into the front of the vehicle, it provides a revolutionary amount of visibility for drivers.

What powers the electric sedan? 

Peugeot Inception
Peugeot Inception concept rear rendering | Peugeot/Stellantis

The Inception is based on the Stellantis STLA Large platform, an all-electric powertrain. A Stellantis press release states the platform supports a range of 500 miles and may have a total output of 680 horsepower. Although the sedan’s weight remains unknown, Peugeot asserts the Inception will have a 0-62 mph time of only three seconds.

Potential customers may be impressed with the Inception’s performance figures, but the EV may even have the ability to drive itself. It showcases Peugeot’s next-generation i-Cockpit and STLA Auto Drive. When engaged, the system hides the cockpit, transforming the interior into a comfort-centered lounge.

Will the Peugeot Inception be available in the U.S.?

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Report: Peugeot Is Returning To US By 2023

Even though the Inception is only a concept now, Peugeot says the first models inspired by the Inception will be on the market as early as 2025. They claim the vehicles will include “most of the innovation shown,” MSN reports. However, there is one issue, at least for Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. Stellantis adamantly refuses to say Peugeot is returning to the North American market.

Stellantis and its dozen or so brands, which includes Dodge, have big plans for EVs in America. Currently, factories across North America are being retooled as the company seeks an all-electric lineup by 2030. Presumably, the Inception could clash with the anticipated release of an EV version of the discontinued Charger. While the news is regrettable for French car enthusiasts, Peugeot’s appearance at CES is no coincidence.