Concept Debrief – 2010 Citroen SURVOLT – Design Analysis in 110 Electrifying Photos

What makes the 2010 Citroen Survolt such an achievement in sports-car design?

Consider that its proportions almost perfectly mirror those of the Lotus Exige — but the curb appeal of the vehicle tells the brain to expect pricing in the $200,000 ballpark versus the Lotus at $75,000.

In terms of the Survolt’s mission as a concept car, we can think of the car in the same league as the Ranult DeZir. Part tech showcase and EV R&D tool, part brand roadmap and design superstar. The Survolt found a joyous receptionin 2010 – and four years have done nothing to dull the shocking appeal of the concept.

An especially tasty interpretation of the car is the Survolt Art Car, which appears faithfully painted by the wind in neon brushstrokes.

Onto the design analysis.

What makes this hyper-complex shape so intoxicating?

It is the blend of inside-out curves and extreme flow and rounding that really does it for me. Look at the almost perfectly-round rear profile and glasshouse to kick things off. This is a lovely nod to the 2CV in Citroen’s back catalog, but brings a futuristic appeal unheard-of in vintage city cars.

That ultra-flowing C-pillar is actually a floating rear wing with a good half-foot of air between its exterior and the inside of the rear backlight.

These beach-ball rounded corners and details are all flipped inside-out for the scoops of the front and rear splitters, accented by an inner color to illutraste the 3D twist in the panel. A pinched and ultra-bright grille is deep and luxurious with Citroen branding, while the chopped lamps have a heavy brow to indicate speed and menace. As another nod to the 2CV, the Survolt has simple semi-circles of white LED light forming an old-school round lamp from some angles.

Floating A-pillars are also in the mix – with vents and airspace to form a more racy shape than the steep windshield actually offers. The air-intact roof snorkel is a nice touch and splits the rear glass with functional-appearing cooling air channels.

In back, the huge wing and squared-off LED lighting are a blend of fantasy track racer and real-world applications on future Citroen machines.

In whole, the Survolt is surrel. It is hard to believe that such a wonderful machine was first sketched in pencil, modeled in CAD-CAM, and brought to life with purity and flow that most flat renderings could never dream of. We absolutely love it — and the design makes it one of the all-time best concepts from Citroen in decades.

2010 Citroen SURVOLT

Art Car

2010 Citroen SURVOLT

First Concept – Blue/Matte then Blue/Gloss Black




2010 Citroen SURVOLT

Second Concept – Pink/Matte





Citroën has revealed an electrifying new model at the Geneva Motor Show – the sensational SURVOLT concept.

A blend of high-fashion, extravagance and more than a hint of motor racing punch, SURVOLT takes the essence of Citroën’s REVOLTE concept – performance, cutting-edge technology and luxury – and adds an assertive sporting dimension into the mix.

A new breed of stylish, sporty and elegant supermini, SURVOLT bucks current trends and points towards the future of sleek coupés – combining elegance, sophisticated style and sporting passion.  Clearly ahead of its time, SURVOLT also captivates the imagination with its innovative, environmentally-conscious all-electric drivetrain, which delivers driving pleasure, thrills and performance – all in virtual silence.

With a sleek, compact and low-slung frame – 3.85m long, 1.87m wide & 1.2m high – SURVOLT takes inspiration from sports car styling, then casts convention aside to form an entirely new and revolutionary concept design.  SURVOLT’s aerodynamic, flowing lines convey agility, precision and vitality – with a powerful, muscular character contained in its refined and luxurious frame.

Both charming and profound, SURVOLT’s distinctive profile features a voluptuous bonnet and generous, sculpted flanks highlighted by emphatic wheel arches.  The front end is characterised by slim, horizontal headlights, a large oval-shaped grille with Citroën’s integrated double chevrons and an eye-catching vehicle badge design.  The striking LED clusters also add a contemporary, high-tech flourish.  At the rear, SURVOLT inherits the elegant light signature of the REVOLTE concept and gains a new spoiler – an essential reference to motor sport.

An evolution of REVOLTE’s distinctive colour palette, SURVOLT’s two-tone paintwork features shades of fuchsia and charcoal grey.  The concept’s elegant curves, shifting from satin-smooth to shiny, are a clear departure from the classically masculine design codes of the sports car world and the use of chrome and aluminium throughout simultaneously references the worlds of luxury and motor racing.

Resembling a piece of fashionable jewellery, SURVOLT’s two-occupant cockpit is designed like a glass setting between the chrome-finished roll bars.  The generous glazed area brings a sensation of light and space, which sets SURVOLT apart from many contemporary sports cars with their confined and gloomy cabin environments.

Citroën’s new and radical vision with SURVOLT is entirely consistent with the Company’s 90-years of history as an innovative brand, focused on creativity and technology.

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.

He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.

Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)

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