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Frankfurt show: Citroen’s 2CV-inspired compact

Dare to be different: The Citroen REVOLTe draws inspiration from attributes of the iconic 2CV, but "turns them on their head".

Citroen REVOLTe concept shown in Frankfurt points to all-new C1

16 Sep 2009

AFTER issuing a darkened image of what looked to be a reborn 2CV, Citroen has now thrown the covers off its vibrant and self-acknowledged “feminine” compact concept car – dubbed the REVOLTe – at the Frankfurt motor show.

Previewing the next-generation C1, which is due on sale in Europe in 12-18 months, the REVOLTe was the star attraction on Citroen’s stand, which carried the theme ’90 Years of Creative Technologie’ and included world premieres of the production C3 five-door hatchback and the DS3 three-door.

It also showed its C-Crosser SUV with a dual-clutch transmission, and the C5 and C6 with a 180kW 3.0HDi V6.

But the talking point, of course, was the REVOLTe.

Featuring an unspecified plug-in hybrid powertrain, the REVOLTe, according to Citroen, takes the main attributes of the iconic 2CV “and turns them on their head” with a luxurious and colourful concept that is said to be intelligent, hi-tech and spirited to drive.

In contrast, Citroen describes the 2CV – which it produced for more than four decades until 1990 – as “plain and neutral”, “basic and simple” and “slow and bouncy”.

33 center imageThe three-seater convertible, which includes a folding fabric roof covered with solar cells (to power onboard comfort systems), measures 3680mm long, 1730mm wide and 1350mm tall, which makes it a little longer and wider, but with a lower stance, than the European-market C1.

The designers point to the REVOLTe’s well-defined wheel-arches, curvaceous bonnet, “forceful” lines and sculpted sides that match the roofline, all combining to present a “sleek and elegant” profile.

It has rear-hinged door for convenient access to the multi-coloured cabin, which mixes woven black leather with thick crimson velvet and aluminium trim. Citroen claims the bright colours and luxurious detailing reflects its creative streak and a desire to “modernise the notions of conventional car design”.

The seating configuration has twin-passenger ‘sofa’ positioned behind the driver’s seat, aiming to resemble a lounge. The idea is to allow the passenger on the opposite side to the driver stretch out his or her legs into the area where the front passenger seat would otherwise be – or to position a rearward-facing child seat in the available space.

The rear seats also serve to conceal the concept’s battery pack, maximising usable cabin and luggage space.

“Thanks to iridescent, glossy colours, silky smooth textiles and sophisticated materials, REVOLTe has a vibrant, dare-to-be-different interior that throws tradition aside,” Citroen said. “The result is a small urban vehicle much more like a fashionable, glamorous and clearly feminine accessory to the driver’s modern lifestyle.” Other novel items onboard include a touch-sensitive screen on the dashboard encased in a “deep-red beam of crystals” that recycles the air inside the cabin “like a respiratory system”.

All Citroen will say on the powertrain front is that it combines a small-capacity conventional combustion engine with an electric motor and a battery recharging function.

As GoAuto has reported, the all-new C1 (and sister brand Peugeot’s equivalent) should feature a variation of the diesel-electric hybrid drive system that will debut first in Peugeot’s 3008 crossover, before finding its way into Citroen’s next DS models, the small DS4 and mid-sized DS5.

The C1 is built in a joint venture between PSA Peugeot Citroen (which also includes the Peugeot 107) and Toyota Motor Corporation (Aygo). Peugeot has already revealed that its 107 successor will be known as the 108 when it is launched globally late next year ahead of an expected Australian release in 2011.

Citroen importer Ateco Automotive is still to confirm whether the C1 successor will be sold in Australia.

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