A day with the crazy Peugeot Onyx

But despite all this, it's still difficult to know what actual conclusions to draw. It's a confusing car. On the one hand, it makes all the right ticking noises as it cools on the tarmac, but, equally, it's obvious that the Onyx will only ever be a concept. But maybe that doesn't matter. Maybe, for once, it's OK for us not to be locked in reality. Because ultimately, the Onyx helps to prove that Peugeot is thinking big and building some confidence. You'll probably already have read elsewhere in this issue how good the 208 GTi is, but a viable carmaker needs to build good cars across the range, halo concepts included. The Onyx might not be overly realistic, but it is exciting. It's the right kind of confident concept: it looks cool, and it goes brilliantly. And that's what Peugeot needs - reality and aspiration. Now all it has to do is translate the Onyx attitude into its road cars.

(Words: Piers Ward, Photos: John Wycherley)