Peugeot introduced a web-based amateur style competition at the 2002 Paris Motor Show, inviting aspiring designers to create a completely unhinged retro-futurist design that incorporated distinct styling features of a historic Peugeot model.
A total of 2800 proposals from 90 countries were registered, and Stephen Schulze, a 32-year-old German graphic artist, was selected as the winner. At the 2003 Geneva Motor Show, Schulze was awarded a trophy and €5000, and it was announced that Peugeot would create a full-scale version of the design.
The completed design was shown at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show. It featured a body of aluminum and fiberglass, and 21-inch wheels. The 4002 incorporated headlights hidden behind the grille itself, as a stylistic nod to the streamlined Peugeot 402 from 1936. As merely a show car, it was not powered and not road-legal. As a styling experiment, the car was considered dynamic, glamorous, and supremely daring, but probably too extreme to predict any real influence on future Peugeot designs.
Stefan Schulze satisfied each of Peugeot’s three requirements with his Peugeot 4002. Identification with the Marque is immediately apparent. Indeed, the Peugeot 4002 is a Peugeot by hint of the design of its headlamps and its general character, which is resolutely dynamic. In addition, by adopting one of the Marque’s most characteristic stylistic features, namely the large radiator grille behind which are concealed two headlamps, the project by the young German graphic artist immediately reveals the source of its inspiration, the Peugeot 402 dating from 1936. Finally, the symmetry accorded to the front and rear, and its architecture, which assigns a very forward position to the passenger compartment, make the project particularly original. The overall effect is paradoxical: soft, elegant contours and seamless transition produce a highly resilient car, resting solidly on its 21 inch wheels.