Archive for citroen C3 pluriel

Zonda what?

Posted in Desirable machines, Upcoming cars with tags , , , , , , , , , on 22/02/2010 by Alexander

For some strange coincidence, I like cars with a “C”. My favourite is the Citroen C6, and in the only times I’ve wavered in my conviction for my S60, it’s been considering a Volvo C30, or a Citroen C3 Pluriel or a Citroen C4. And the Passat CC is a definite fave of mine, right along with all the others I’ve just mentioned.

So I was doing my round of car blogs, when this cropped up. As a rule, I’m not one to glance twice at a so-called supercar. Ferrari and Lamborghini can spew out any overpriced death-trap and I couldn’t car less, because it’s all about many-hundred horsepower, and race technology and utter twaddle like that. I’m flying in the face of popular opinion here, but to me nearly all of those exaggeratedly priced exotica look all pretty bland and similar amongst themselves.

So along comes this upstart Italian company, led by a bloke called Pagani, and makes the outrageous Zonda. So it has a big Mercedes V12 in the middle and chucks out some hundred horsepower and bla-bla-bla, but what really catches the attention of the beholder is how crazily different and outstanding it looks amongst its supercar bretheren. Perhaps the only car that springs to mind for its outlandish bold aesthetics is the Lamborghini Reventon, which looks far more like a stealth fighter than it does a car. However, even the Zonda feels the weight of years, and ten of them for a car is by all mean a long career. So a new one is in the works, and it’s pictured here. And talking about outlandish aesthetics, this is a fabulous-looking vehicle, and not just in supercar terms, it’s fabulous-looking in any car terms. That front end is wonderfully curved, and strikes just the right balance. The berlinetta shape has to be a consequence of the cockpit-forward, mid-engined layout, but looks sumptious, not to mention rare, in a day when most cars strive for a coupé-look even if they are mid-engined.

And the whole effect is heightened by the colour and those gill-like things, which make it look like a nippy Batmobile. That’s what makes this car stand out, it’s crazy, quirky, head-turning aspect. It could be powered by a two-stroke engine for all I care, it’s the leap forward in downright beauty that makes it a desirable car for me. The Zonda isn’t bad-looking, but falls into the category of supercars that have a hard-to-swallow shape that comes more from a preoccupation of aerodynamics than the intention of looking great. And what’s the point of it going fast, if it’ll break into bits as soon as it hits 200mph?

Of course, it’s all very nice, but if the Zonda is anything to go by, it’ll cost €1,000,000 and only ten will be made each year. A pity, because I’d live to see one of these live in the flesh (or in the metal, as it were), and I suppose the few super-rich customers will keep it under lock and key and only flahs it around in -monte Carlo or Lake Como.



Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 10/09/2009 by Alexander

The speculation around Citroen’s “new 2CV” is over. It’s not a new 2CV, it’s just a concept car that takes styling cues from Citroen’s old Deux Cheveux. Called the Revolte, it’s a curvy, canvas-topped hatchback, with some similarities to the C-Airplay. I think it would be fairer to say it’s more a C-Airplay pumped up on steroids than a modern 2CV. I seriously doubt it would find a niche in Citroen’s current line-up, if not the space about to be left by the saddening halt in production of the C3 Pluriel.

For something so suddenly hyped, and as mouthwatering as a new 2CV, this was a bit of a disappointment.

Thoughts on the (possible) return of the 2CV

Posted in Desirable machines, News with tags , , , , , , , on 05/09/2009 by Alexander

Autocar makes no mention of the word 2CV, calling it ‘Citroen’s mystery concept car’ and predicting it to be a new C1. Motorspain rejects out of hand that this could be a new C3 Pluriel, because the new C3 has been presented. L’Autojournal makes an interesting point, noticing the grooves on the bonnet, similar to those of that of the original 2CV.

I’ve photoshopped the original picture to see If I could get any sort of other clue:
official citroen photo_psed
Not much can be ascertained, though it looks a lot to me like a revised version of a Citroen C-Airplay.

Now I loved the C-Airplay. It was a beautiful concept car and I was saddened by the fact that it seemed a prodction version wouldn’t be made. The prospect of it being a new C3 Pluriel is also mouth-watering. The Pluriel has reached the end of its life as a production car and Citroen have announced they’ll stop making it later this year. If it is a new 2CV, there’ll be a lot of hype around it, and I just hope it lives up to it.

If you think of current retro-cool cars, the new VW Beetle, the Mini and the Fiat 500 spring to mind. The Fiat is great, a funky little car that might just save Fiat after many years of absolutely abysmal cars. The VW isn’t so cool, having aged and losing most of its shine. The Mini doesn’t really resemble the original that much and doesn’t really convince me.

The thing is, all of the above cars were originally conceived to be mass-market, super-cheap wheels for everyone. Their iconic status is due to their longevity and large sales, and car manufacturers want to cash in on that. That’s fine. But their new versions are nothing more than hideously expensive clothing accessories, driven by rich little weasels between the hippest spots in town.

The original 2CV was just like the original of these new versions: dirt-cheap, put French peasants on wheels, lasted 42 years in production and sold around 4 or 5 million units. Citroen want to cash in on this wave of retro-cool new hip young car thing, and that’s fine. I honestly do hope a new 2CV somehow escapes the fashionista market, but then again, that’s probably what it’s for.

Or is it? Citroen have unveiled the DS3, a competitor in the “premium small car segment” (i.e., the stupid rich kids niche). Will it make another car to compete with itself? Methinks not. Which really pisses me off, since it’ll mean “no, this isn’t a new 2CV”. I just hope it isn’t just another concept car, though if it is a pre-production model, my bet is it’ll be a new DS4 or DS5.