Without a doubt, the most popular vehicle at the ride and drive portion of the Challenge Bibendum in Rio de Janiero this week was Peugeot's BB1 concept. We're not sure what aspect of the car caused the most interest, but the line to get into the undeniably quirky urban car was always long. Maybe it was just because people can't easily imagine why anyone would actually go out and build a car this bizarre. Maybe they wanted to see what happens when a scooter marries a car and has a child. Maybe it's just that when you come face-to-face with a car this unusual, you just have to try and get inside the blister top. Whatever the reasons, we had to join the throng. Read on to find out what it's like when you manage to get into the BB1 and take a spin around the parking lot.
To achieve all this, the Peugeot teams faced a real challenge – never before seen in the history of the automobile: accommodating four people in a car 2.5m long. This record use of interior space could potentially lead to a larger load capacity, even though its “compact” size gives it the ability to park in extremely tight spots – even perpendicular to the pavement.
To meet this challenge, the structure of the passenger compartment has drawn inspiration from two-wheeled vehicles in terms of ergonomics: the driver controls the vehicle by adopting a new driving position – more vertical than is usual. This is mainly made possible through the absence of floor pedals. The rear passenger is seated in tandem behind the driver. On the right-hand side, front and
rear passengers adopt the same position.
It is thanks to this original configuration for a four-wheel vehicle that the BB1 has such a totally original design. Access to the vehicle is through the inverted door opening mechanism, while boot access is through a tail board and a tailgate. The interior can be transformed as required to offer a load volume of 160 litres (with four occupants), rising to 855 litres (with just one person in the car).
outside, sitting in the car it actually kind of works to counter the claustrophobic feeling the close seats create (see this photo for an example). It certainly feels big enough for four people in the city – something the current Smart Fortwo and Think City cannot claim – and we're interested to see what Peugeot does with the production version (yes, there will be a production BB1; see below). Right now, riding in the BB1 provides the occupants with you a loud and rickety experience, something to be expected from an early prototype. In fact, there are only two BB1s in existence today. The version in Rio is the second model, and is nearly identical to the first, which is in France at the Peugeot luxury showroom in Paris. These models us scooter handlebars for steering, an iPhone to help the vehicle communicate with the outside but is not part of any internal services and a rear camera.
As well as the openness and brightness brought by the large windows, the BB1 presents an extensive
set of interactive technologies. The colour display and the vehicle’s audio system provide an ideal setting for your “smartphone” functionalities: telephone, navigation, Internet access, radio, MP3… Just connect your device to the USB jack, or the 12V socket if necessary.
Universal and user-friendly, this system enables the BB1 to concentrate on essential services without multiple pieces of equipment, bringing extra safety to driving and saving considerable weight.
Similarly, the rear-view cameras remove the need for mirrors, optimising the width of the vehicle and improving its aerodynamics, while adding to the high-tech aspect of the interior.
Two original creative images have been produced for the BB1 concept by the artist Michel Serviteur. Portrayed around the driving position, they offer a new link with time and speed. A clock brings the interior to life by linking a colour to each period of the day; time goes by to the rhythm of the light to enhance the feeling of wellbeing.
In addition, there is a graphic animation which could replace the speedometer, finding its equilibrium at a steady speed but which moves again when that speed is interrupted.
Thanks to its electric propulsion, the BB1 is an environmentally friendly vehicle par excellence and emits no loud noise outside the vehicle, and above all no pollutant emissions owing to the fact that it consumes no fossil fuels.
But this eco-responsibility isn’t limited to just driving.
At a standstill, the passenger compartment ventilation keeps operating in daylight thanks to the solar panels placed on the roof of the vehicle. This enables two functions: pre-ventilation of the interior and the trapping of pollutants and ultra-fine dust particles (μm), due to the use of high-performance filters and activated carbon. source:green.autoblog.com,www.zulva.com