France is a country synonymous with style and in the automotive world, there is no brand more ‘French’ than Citroen.
Renowned as being innovators of both design and technology, Citroen has always taken pride in being a little bit different.
Australia has one of the most diverse new car markets in the world, with almost 60 manufacturers to choose from. And because some buyers are more interested in the style and design of a car rather than the simple facts and figures on a spec sheet, we’re going to take a closer look at what’s behind the iconic French brand.
Citroen launched the DS sub-brand in 2011 to showcase their premium models and edgier designs.
The Citroen DS5 was released in Australia earlier this year, and features many elements that draw from Citroen’s 95 year history to make the new car stand out from the pack.
Famous for turning a futuristic show car into an owner’s reality, the DS5 was developed from the stunning C-Sport Lounge concept car and even shares some of the show car’s stranger features.
The chrome ‘sabres’ that extend from the headlights to behind the windscreen pillar are there to make the car seem visually longer to the eye.
On a car like the Nissan GTR, where every ridge, bump and edge is there purely to make the car more efficient at speed, elements on the Citroen are incorporated for symmetry and aesthetics.
While the DS5 isn’t quite as radical as earlier models, the interior has been designed so that each control performs a single function.
The layout of the cabin has been developed like that of a cockpit, even utilising roof-mounted switches on the unique centre console.
But to get a true look at how Citroens have matured into cars like the DS5, lets wind the clock back 50 years and take a look at a car that not only cemented Citroen as a technological innovator, but perfectly captures that unique French style – the Citroen DS.
Best known for it’s futuristic styling and hydropneumatic suspension, the DS wowed audiences when it was released at the Paris motor show in 1955.
Co-designed by an Italian sculptor and a French aeronautical engineer, the DS was destined to be ahead of its time.
Utilising hydraulics for the brakes, steering, suspension, clutch and gearbox, the DS was one of the most advanced cars in the world.
Looking at the original DS next to the new DS5, you can see elements that link the cars together. The large C-pillar for example, now glass on the DS5, is a direct connection to the original car. As is the disappearing roofline – a distinct throwback to the roof-mounted indicators on the DS.
95 years strong, Citroen is still able to innovate and inspire by thinking outside the box and implementing more than a bit of flair into their cars.