French automaker Peugeot on Friday announced plans to launch a new range of high-performance plug-in hybrid vehicles starting from 2020.
The cars form a key part of Peugeot's overall strategy to transition to an electrified lineup, and will be developed with the Peugeot Sport motorsport department.
Unfortunately, the required resources will mean Peugeot will pull out of the World Rallycross Championship, in which the automaker currently competes with a rally car based on the 208 subcompact hatch.
Peugeot said the uncertainty surrounding World RX's switch to electric power in future seasons was another reason to quit, as the automaker wants to be seen as an electrified brand only from 2020.
“Driving sensations will be amplified by the performance provided by electrification,” Peugeot CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato said. “New territories to be explored, new challenges to be met, the adventure of the Peugeot brand continues for an exciting future.”
Peugeot didn't provide any specific details on what's coming but has hinted at the possibilities with concepts like the 308 R and Quartz unveiled in 2015 and 2014, respectively. Both vehicles generated 500 horsepower from a plug-in hybrid system combining a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 with a pair of electric motors. The engine delivered 270 horsepower while each of the electric motors added 115 hp.
While Peugeots aren't sold in the United States anymore, the automaker's parent company PSA Group is committed to bringing one or more of its brands to our shores in the coming decade, and it's likely the high-performance plug-in hybrid technology Peugeot is developing will be offered in whatever brand or brands PSA decides on.