Overview – The Oxia Story
Peugeot earned an exceptional reputation in motorsports during the 1980s. Almost all of their models had one or more sports versions to capitalize on this success. However, the legendary Group B 205 GTI and 405 Mi16 models, the P88 Le Mans Racer that could achieve a top speed of 253 mph. None of these cars though satisfied the French automaker’s thirst for dominance and hence, Peugeot embarked on an unprecedented journey: The creation of their very own ultimate supercar!
Peugeot called named flagship concept car after the topographic zero-point on Mars. The Oxia Palus is a point where both longitude and latitude are both zero. This is in fact remains a preferred landing spot on the red planet for the mars rover, even today.
The Oxia debuted at the 1988 Paris Motor Show. Even at the time, the Oxia was more than just a ’concept car’ or a ’racing car,’ as many brilliant designers and engineers referred to it. It was fully functional and the French went to considerable efforts to make it a drivable package.
They developed two fully functioning examples of the Oxia at a cost of 8 Million French Francs.
The supercar featured an innovative windshield wiper, but the show-stopper feature had to be the onboard computer, which controls all of the car’s functions, including a navigation system. Again, features are well ahead of their time.
Gérard Welter developed the bodywork, which is composed of carbon-kevlar and an aluminum alloy chassis. With these space-age materials, the Oxia was fairly light, tipping the scales at 2998 pounds. Its rims are similar to those that will be fitted to the sporty Mi16. The hood meanwhile is generously hollowed out by photovoltaic cells located at the base of the steeply sloping windshield, while the rear spoiler is a direct extension of the roofline.
On either side of the diffuser, there are four discrete exhaust outlets in the back. To be honest, this Peugeot still manages to look modern and wouldn’t look out of place outside an upscale restaurant in a big city, even today. I have to admit, I am a fan of the way that the Oxia looks, and the designers hit the nail on the head the first time around.
This is where things get really interesting. Step inside the hi-tech cabin and you’ll be surprised by the level of tech that the Oxia offers. Yes, I admit, at first glance, they might seem dated, but for the 80s, they were revolutionary. For instance, the air conditioning system on the Oxia worked even while the car was stopped, thanks to these photovoltaic cells that we mentioned earlier.
That’s not all, though, the ancestor of the GPS system was also integrated into the car, with real-time traffic information. There was also a state-of-the-art Hi-Fi system and an electromagnetic control system at the time. In terms of seating, you had a pair of sporty bucket seats, complete with harnesses, to keep both driver and passenger safety in any situation.
On the technical front, the notion that the Oxia is powered by the iconic 2.8-liter V-6 PRV engine from the P88 may arouse some skepticism. I say this because, in comparison to the V-12’s from Italian rivals at the time, this engine doesn’t seem that impressive! However, this V-6 is renowned for being tough and is capable of withstanding even the most extreme performance demands. It produces a whopping 680 horsepower and revs to 8200 rpm, thanks to two-cylinder heads with a total of 24 valves and two turbos. Underneath, the Oxia features a four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering coupled to a six-speed manual transmission with a twin-disc clutch ad twin differentials, taken from their…