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Citroen Design, French car designs

Citroën Design Over the Years

Andre-Gustave Citroen creator of the citroen car designs

Founded in 1919 by French industrialist André-Gustave Citroën, the company has been a part of the PSA Peugeot Citroën group since 1976. With over 100 years of history in the automotive industry they have bought some truly iconic designs, as well as some rather innovative technology to the public eye.

Traction Avant

Manufactured in 1934 the Traction Avant (French for front wheel drive) was the world’s first mass produced car. With its sturdy and rather clumsy body shape the Traction Avant brought several design ideas to the table, not only was it front wheel drive but it also had a rather unitary body with no separate frame and 4-wheel independent suspension. It was designed with the concept of mass production in mind. It was much lighter, safer and better to drive and more economical than other cars of the time.

2CV iconic Citroen design

Citroen design - 2CV

In 1948 Citroën introduce what is probably their most iconic car, the Citroën 2CV. This was completely different to anything else on the road and was designed with a very specific purpose in mind.  2CV (deux chevaux-vapeur) literally 2 steam horse (power), was designed to provide rural people, farmers with a motorised version of the horse and cart the majority were still using to move around.  It was utilitarian, with a soft roof that could be rolled back to accommodate big loads, easy to maintain, and reliable.  It was incredibly popular and its rather boxy curved shape became a very familiar sight on the roads in France right up to 1990 when production ceased.

Citroën DS

1955 saw the introduction of the DS, this striking looking car featured many of the ideas Citroën had used in their previous models but the overall package was a car with a much sleeker and elegant look. It was one of the most technically advanced cars of its time and it had the looks to go with the technology.

Citroën SM

The SM was a sporty coupe variant of the DS that appeared on the market in 1970. It had all the hallmarks of a typical 1970’s car, long bonnet with a sleek line, ending in a slightly stubby boot. At the time, this car was built Citroën owned Maserati, and the SM is the result of their collaboration. Like many of their previous cars it featured several industry firsts; variable power steering, rain sensitive windscreen wipers and it even had a choice of 2.7 and 3 litre V6 petrol engines.

DS3 is a fine example of Citroen design

Fast forward to 2010 and the Citroën DS3, and with this car they really rediscovered their mojo, no more playing it safe for Citroën. The DS3 was a in some ways a tribute to the original DS whilst sharing very few similarities. This sporty looking, sleek little 3 door car offers a smooth drive and looks fantastic. Furthermore available to lease from us if you have a bad credit rating, see here

Citroën C4 Picasso

2014 saw the launch of the Picasso, a beautiful 5 door car with all the style and elegance you could want from a smaller car, and of course that is combined with the legendary Citroën technologies such as hydro -pneumatic suspension.

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With an ability to keep up with drivers’ changing requirements and a focus on quality design, it’s no wonder Citroën is a popular choice of vehicle. Which is your favourite design?