the giant French automaker, has been doing extensive research
into the power source of future vehicles. Namely the fuel cell.
Itís generally accepted that this device, which uses hydrogen
and oxygen to create energy, much in the way a conventional
battery does, will be the ultimate replacement for the internal
combustion engine, as it provides pollution-free power.
The Quark is named after one of the sub-atomic building blocks
of the universe. And aptly so, as this is Peugeotís showcase
for the miniaturization of fuel-cell technology.
Many people will note that the Quark takes much of its
inspiration from the quad cycles so popular now for off-road
work. But the Quark is different in many ways.
Firstly it has an electric
motor for each wheel. The miniaturized fuel cell provides the
electrical power for these engines.
Peugeot styling cues are obvious on the Quark, such as the
famous Lion badge and LED head lamps that could have come
straight off the rear end of a 307 cc, albeit "quarked"
into a smaller format.
The front bodywork or fairing, offers a measure of wind
protection, and there are a couple of storage pockets on this
Suspension is by race-oriented wishbones and dampers, and
Peugeot says itís possible to incorporate all sorts of driver
aids, such as traction control, corner assist and ABS simply by
regulating the current to the individual motors on each wheel.
At the rear, the Hydrogen tank is painted red to symbolize its
futuristic contents, much like a Star Wars fighter ship.
The ingenuity of the system used by the Quark is that itís
portable. The idea is to simply remove the spent tank and
freshen up with a new one, the installation taking but seconds.
Something all secret agents would appreciate.
This simplifies the refueling process which until now has been a
major drawback in hydrogen-fuel-cell projects conducted by
manufacturers all over the globe.
Peugeot have gone for high style with many components on this
It has a "personal interface" ignition and
owner-recognition system, for instance, instead of a simple key.
The chassis and bodywork use many exotic materials including
carbon-fibre, magnesium and aluminium alloys.
It has to look the part to showcase all that future-morph stuff.
How does it go? Well, few people have driven it, or should that
be "ridden it".
But according to Peugeot itíll accelerate to fifty
kilometres-per-hour in six and a half seconds, it has a top
speed of a hundred-and-ten kilometres-per-hour and a range of
about a hundred kilometres.
Not exactly warp speed, but enough to get you to the office and
back with a clear, emissions-free conscience.