There is always something to celebrate in the car world. For example in 2018 Porsche turned 70. In 2019, Citroën celebrates a century of car making. So this year there will be a lot of Traction Avant, hydraulic suspensions and flair.
Retromobile kicked the celebrations off and was great occasion to admire some cars that made Citroën.
Neither the oldest nor the biggest French car manufacturer, Citroën is a brand famous for its innovations and panache. So why not focus on the race cars, concepts and even special Citroëns from yesterday and tomorrow.
On both the track and the road
Although Citroën cars raced on the track the brand is more link to rallying.
Thus both the desirable DS and humble 2CV travelled every corner of the global. Even the SMs raced but the real push form Citroën into racing was with the failed Group B BX 4TC.Then came the ZX Rallye-Raid.
In the 90s , the mid engine prototype battled its cousin, The Mighty Peugeot 405 Turbo 16 and the rugged Mitsubishi Pajero in the toughest conditions. With 5 world titles over 7 years and 5 Paris-Dakar rallye it puts Citroën Compétition on track. The next chapter for Citroën Sport was in WRC.
If the first victories may be contested because of the use of the cheat code “Kit Car”. The tarmac only FWD Xsara was superseded by a full blooded WRC race car. Unfortunately for the competition Citroën secured its domination with the help of Sébastien Loeb and a team lead by Guy Fréquelin.
And if you want to dig a little deeper into Citroën rally history and weirdness check out the already mentioned Group B BX and the little Visa that ingested a Lotus.
A certain vision of the Future
But the hard won victories are only a fraction of what make Citroën special. Indeed before the involvement in racing Citroën was a brand with Flair.
Take a look at the Camargue. Sure this concept is a typical Gandini’s design but the BX that follows was A Citroën.
Then there is the GT by Citroën. Who could have thought that Citroen would be the first to create a car for the PlayStation. And look at it, it is hard to believe that this car is 10 years old!
La haute couture
In addition, if Andre Citroën objective was to democratize the automobile, his brand did more than carts for commoners. But if the DS was still too much working-class for your taste, you could ask someone like Henri Chapron to build you something more unique.
Like in the 30s you could make yourself special by driving a DS coupé Le Dandy or a cabriolet on the Croisette.
Today, there are still some “Artisans” that push the limit and improve on already great cars. I can’t wait to see more of this SM2a and dick it the little improvements that made the Concorde of the road still relevant today.