Sam Philip15 September 2009

Frankfurt show: Peugeot BB1

Peugeot unveils squashy all-electric Toyota iQ rival. It will seat four, so long as they are very close friends

Frankfurt show: Peugeot BB1 concept

The first big surprise of the Frankfurt show comes in the shape of this, the Peugeot BB1 concept.

It's a four-seater city-thing apparently created by driving a Toyota iQ head-first into something flat and solid.

Attempting to prove its essential four-seater-ness, Peugeot convinced a quartet of attractive model-types to wedge themselves into the BB1 on the Frankfurt stand. Suffice to say it was a tight squeeze. If you wish to do the same, your rear passengers will have to be happy to have their legs used as armrests by the front passengers.

The BB1 is powered by a pair of electric motors - one in each rear wheel - putting out the whopping combined output of 20bhp. Which means it won't be quick exactly: Peugeot says the BB1 will take 6.8 seconds to hit 37mph, with no 0-60mph time given. What do you mean it won't get there? Don't be so unkind.

The motors are driven by a brace of lithium ion batteries, which give a maximum range of 75 miles, plenty respectable for city driving.

It measures just 2.5 metres from squashy nose to tail, and weighs in at just under 600kg - including batteries - thanks to a tubular chassis with carbon fibre panels.

There's more clever stuff on board: the air conditioning system is powered by solar panels mounted on the BB1's bubblish roof - a styling carry-over, says Peugeot, from the RCZ.

Peugeot hasn't confirmed whether the BB1 concept will lead to a production car, but slice off the show-car frippery - the console steering wheel, the solar panels and the rear view cameras - and there's plenty here that points to a future Toyota iQ rival.

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