If there are two cars that will forever define Citroen over the 20th century, they are the DS and the 2CV. One an advanced luxury car with front-drive and a hydraulic suspension for eerie smoothness over cobblestone Parisian streets. The other a basic post-war mobility solution whose 2CV name translates as “Two Steam Horses.”
Redesigning those icons for today is an immediate and instant testbed for future Citroen design ideas. Many, many designers have tried this “New Beetle” styling exercise on the 2CV — with largely hideous results.
So for the REVOLTe to be instantly attractive and appealing is fairly revolutionary. In general, it is very difficult to make any front-engine, front-drive hatchback fresh enough to stand proud on a major auto show stand.
The REVOLTe certainly delivers a fantastic style statement — one of futuristic technology making life better via affordable, efficient transport. There is also a strong sense of 2CV in the overall profile and design forms, if not their flat-stamped surfaces.
The pert clamshell nose is instantly visible as a shared element, as is the rounded passenger compartment and non-existent rear overhang.
To update and sex-ify the look for modern luxury customers, the REVOLTe squashes the proportions and makes the machine far wider and lower than the original model, made from 1948-1990.
The REVOLTe takes its name from its PHEV drivetrain, plus a loose etymological meaning of “to bring back.”
But the thing most English-speakers will hate most about it is right in the name too: revolt. We know this as a nauseating feeling. Not exactly a fun brand name…. =]
2009 Citroen REVOLTe
REVOLTe CONCEPT TAKES SMALL CAR LUXURY TO NEW LEVELS WITH YET ANOTHER CITROEN WORLD PREMIERE AT THE FRANKFURT MOTORSHOW
REVOLTe CONCEPT TAKES SMALL CAR LUXURY TO NEW LEVELS WITH YET ANOTHER CITROËN WORLD PREMIERE AT THE FRANKFURT MOTORSHOW
Citroën has unveiled its ultra-chic REVOLTe concept at the Frankfurt Motorshow.
A vibrant and sophisticated re-chargeable hybrid, REVOLTe represents a bold vision of the luxury, compact city car of tomorrow, combining confident styling with environmentally responsible technology to create a unique concept for the future of urban transportation.
REVOLTe reflects the changing role of small cars with style and elegance becoming as important as economy and practicality. True to Citroën’s credentials as a bold and forward-thinking brand, REVOLTe snubs the traditions of the conventional small urban vehicle, bringing a highly contemporary approach to the segment.
Inspired by the 2CV, REVOLTe takes the key attributes of Citroën’s timeless and iconic classic and turns them on their head – a clear example of Citroën looking to the future by taking inspiration from its cool past. Where the 2CV was plain and neutral, REVOLTe is luxurious and colourful; where the 2CV was basic and simple, REVOLTe is intelligent and technologically advanced and where the 2CV was slow and bouncy, REVOLTe is lively and spirited.
Compact, with a visually-stunning low stance, REVOLTe measures just 3.68m long, 1.73m wide and 1.35m tall. The well defined wheel arches, curving bonnet, forceful lines and sculpted sides that match the roof line, all combine to present a sleek and elegant profile.
Rear-hinged doors provide easy access to the multi-coloured cabin, with woven black leather, thick crimson velvet and gleaming aluminium. REVOLTe’s bright colours and luxury styling reflects Citroën’s bold creativity and the desire to modernise notions of conventional car design. Thanks to iridescent, glossy colours, silky smooth textiles and sophisticated materials, REVOLTe has a vibrant, dare-to-be-different interior that throws tradition aside. The result is a small urban vehicle much more like a fashionable, glamorous and clearly feminine accessory to the driver’s modern lifestyle.
The original and distinctive three-seater layout – driver’s seat to one side with two passenger seats behind it – is designed to resemble a lounge, with the rear seats taking the form of a contemporary sofa. The passenger on the opposite side to the driver can stretch out their legs fully into the space where the front passenger seat would have traditionally been. Alternatively, Citroën have made it possible to fit a rear-facing child-seat in the space available. Notably, the rear seats also serve to conceal the concept’s battery pack, maximising useable cabin and luggage space.
REVOLTe also introduces luxury from the application of technology. The touch-sensitive screen that projects forward from the dashboard is encased in a deep-red beam of crystals – that also recycles the air on-board like a respiratory system. On the outside, REVOLTe’s folding roof is covered with solar cells, which feed power to systems controlling on-board comfort – and reducing the load on the batteries. At the very front of REVOLTe, a backlit glass element is incorporated into the grille – this original feature highlights the chevrons above, subtly asserting the concept’s identity as true Citroën.
With a design philosophy of sophistication and the use of environmentally responsible technology, REVOLTe’s re-chargeable hybrid power-train features a small-capacity conventional combustion engine combined with an electric motor and a battery re-charging function. Agile and responsive, REVOLTe’s advanced drive-train delivers lively performance suited to the urban environment. REVOLTe also provides the option of CO2-free driving with the ability to run in all-electric ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) mode.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, 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.
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