Peugeot switches to square steering wheels as of 2026

Peugeot has announced a groundbreaking shift in its vehicle design, set to debut in 2026 with the introduction of a rectangular steering wheel. The French car maker unveiled the decision to start marketing its innovative feature, ‘Hypersquare’, at the Parisian technology show Vivatech. It will be gradually implemented across Peugeot’s entire range as of 2026.

Peugeot’s Hypersquare steering wheel represents a significant departure from traditional circular designs. Unlike conventional systems, which use a mechanical steering column to connect the wheel to the tires, Hypersquare employs “steer by wire” technology. This system relies on electronic connections, eliminating the need for a mechanical linkage and allowing for more compact and versatile design possibilities.

Defying norms (again)

It is not the first time Peugeot has distinguished itself with a different steering wheel solution. Since the launch of the 206, the automaker has fitted its models with shrunk steering wheels to evoke the sportiness and direct response of karting. Though the press and customers received this solution with mixed reactions – it blocks the view of the gauges for many people – Peugeot has persisted in its norm-defying approach.

The Hypersquare also aims to redefine driver interaction with the vehicle. According to Jérôme Micheron, Peugeot’s Product Director, the new steering wheel further enhances agility and requires less effort from the driver. “With this steering wheel, you control the car with movements of only 150 degrees, maintaining a sense of nimbleness,” Micheron explained. I

t’s a minimal movement, but during city driving, it still causes a nuisance to drivers. That’s why Toyota, for example, has upgraded its version from 150 to 200 degrees to better suit all driving situations.

Fast learning curve

However, according to Peugeot, the Hypersquare steering wheel, first presented at the Inception Concept in 2023, is designed to ensure drivers quickly adapt to the new system.

It features four holes that house buttons for essential functions such as cruise control, while traditional controls like the indicators remain in their usual positions behind the wheel. Peugeot says it has rigorously tested the Hypersquare in customer clinics to ensure ease of use and swift adoption.

To secure the functionality of the by-wire system, the Hypersquare’s electronics are equipped with a redundancy backup. This ensures that in the unlikely event of a failure – or maybe a hack – the steering remains operational, similar to airplane controls.

Although Peugeot has not disclosed its technology partners for the Hypersquare, industry giants such as ZF and Schaeffler are among those advancing similar technologies.

Steer-by-wire technology and rectangular format are entirely new to the automotive industry, with several manufacturers employing them. The Yoke solution from Tesla is the best known, though the EV maker made the round option available again after criticizing customer feedback.

Toyota, on the bZ4x and its luxury subsidiary Lexus, also introduced the One Motion Grip, which has a similar layout. However, it won’t be available in Europe before 2025 or even later.


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