Archive for citroen c6

Citroen C6 2005-2012

Posted in Desirable machines with tags on 02/10/2012 by Alexander

This was my favourite production car. Safe, beautiful, clever, non-compromising and very rare, the C6 was far from the German norm in its market segment. Since last week, the Citroen factory in Rennes, France, stopped production of this wonderful beast. I kept dreaming that one day, I’d win the lottery and walk into a Citroen dealership to buy one. Now I’ll have to settle for a second-hand model. One day.

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Citroen DS9: China only

Posted in Car conception, Upcoming cars with tags , , , , on 20/03/2012 by Alexander

The past 24 hours on good car blogs have been awash with news of a new Citroen. Citroen’s Facebook page published two teaser pictures some hours apart, and Autoblog Espanol were the first to advance that it as a China exclusive DS9 (apart from usually being the first, they’re also usually correct). Not long before, News2zest had published two pictures, one of a veiled Citroen concept car in Paris, and another photoshopped rendering of the aforementioned car mish-mashed with one of the teaser pictures. I’m not too sure about this last one though, since it looks very similar to Citroen’s previous concept, the Hypnos.

It’s interesting either way, since this will mean a probable successor to the Citroen C6, though it remains to be seen if this new car will maintain the high standards of Citroen’s current flagship model. On the downside, if the Metropolis concept is anything to go by, cars tailored for Chinese sensibilities might not actually work that well in the rest of the world. Perhaps the upcoming Beijing Motorshow will see the DS9’s unveiling, and we’ll see if this is true or not.

Citroen DS5

Posted in Upcoming cars with tags , , , on 19/04/2011 by Alexander


Citroen has unveiled the last(?) member of its DS line-up, the DS5. It was no surprise that it was unveiled in Shanghai, since Citroen is a brand heavily betting on expanding its Eastern market, and that it’s an MPV. Pity. I would’ve preferred a saloon car, at least to confirm that Citroen is thinking of making cars along the line of the C6 instead of that stupid Metropolis concept. Anyway, I read in the Portuguese Citroen forum that some people find it similar to a VW Scirocco (?!) and others to a BMW 5GT (???!!!). Very weird. Had people said it reminded them of a Ford S-Max I would’ve have conceded them a point.

Moving on, it’s powered by PSA’s Hybrid4 system that’s starting to pop up in both Citroen’s and Peugeot’s ranges, giving it a combined total of 200hp and emissions of 99g/km. Absolutely great stuff for sure, but what I like most about this thing is the interior. Current new Citroens may have very drab and bland exteriors that plagiarise Audi and VW, but they’ve definitely got very cool interiors, albeit not as quirky and sui generis as the preceding generation of C4’s and C5’s.

Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see how this will fare when it comes to market. So far the only car available in the DS range, the DS3, seems to be doing ok, but will this translate to the more up-scale models in a world in recession?

Why the C6 failed and what’s next

Posted in Car conception, Desirable machines with tags , , , on 19/04/2010 by Alexander


Citroen has given a preview of the Metropolis, possibly the replacement for the now aging C6. It’s designed in China, where Citroen is focussing efforts after a hefty sales climb in recent times. The powertrain of the concept car is interesting:

The Metropolis’ hybrid drivetrain incorporates 2.0-litre V6 petrol power mated to an electric motor to deliver 460bhp, while emitting 70g/km of CO2.

The bottom line is that it looks like an Audi A8 with a double-chevron glued onto the front. It’s bloody well disappointing when taking into account the car that it’s supposed to be replacing.

The C6’s main appeal is that it looks so different from the German norm for big executive cars. It could be argued that the fact by consciously setting itself apart from the big BMW-Merc-Audi offerings, is also reason it failed. This is true to a point, since most people think “it’s French so it’ll break down all the time”, and “it’s a Citroen so it’s not as flashy at parties as an E-Class or 5-series”. But Citroen also cocked it up with their whole marketing strategy from the very start, in my opinion. Now it’s easy to snipe when you have the benefit of hindsight, but since the C6’s run is winding down, it would be silly not to try to analyse what went wrong. If anyone from Citroen were to read this, let it be clear that it’s not me saying “you got it wrong, you stupid bastards”, since I’d muff it up even worse.

First and foremost: the choice of engines and transmissions. When the C6 came out, you could either get a 205bhp 2.7l V6 twin-turbo diesel, or a 215bhp 3.0l V6 petrol, both with only automatic gearboxes. Performance-wise, there was little to distinguish between the two. Money-wise, there was a world of difference regarding running costs, which meant that buying a petrol version was completely insane. As a consequence, the petrol’s pathetic sales led it being quietly dropped from the range. Had they strapped on a turbo or a supercharger, and offered a proper gasoline-powered multi-centennial horsepower model, that would have given the C6 a whole lot more pizzazz and credibility as a high-end car.

On the other hand, the entry model engine, the 173bhp 2.2l diesel, was introduced long after the car’s launch. I’m not one to know the complicated ins and outs of market dynamics and target-sectors of the population, but I do know that not having an entry model when the car’s still a novelty at launch can mean missing out on a considerable customer-base. Recently, Citroen replaced the 2.7-litre powerplant for an excellent 3-litre V6 with lower emissions and consumption, but with 240 horsies making the wheels go round. Good move. But now the entry model is only available with an automatic gearbox. Bad move. Very bad move. Automatics are for Americans and old people who have grown too lazy to shift gears with their hands. I’ve dreamt of having a C6 since it came out but the absence of a manually-shifting version has caused my passion to wane.

In a nutshell, Citroen have been staggeringly short-sighted in terms of customers could choose to make the car move. To have little or no choice worsened by having to choose between ok an ok-ish is halfway down the path of failure.

Then it was Citroen’s approach on how to market it. There was no disguising the frenchness of the car. Yes, they did an ad where the German national anthem plays and then gives way to the French anthem in an allusion to the quality of German cars as opposed to the French history of unreliability, but Citroen weren’t attempting to fool anyone. To me, one thing that seems to have gone wrong was a sort of lack of ambition. “Wait a minute,” you might say. “Citroen had high ambitions! They were hoping to sell 80,000 units a year! (and ended up selling a mere 15,000)” Yes, but from the start they started warbling about ‘exclusivity’ and ‘depreciation’, and how they planned to not let the former happen. By saying the car will be “exclusive” is a diplomatic way of saying “this car won’t sell”. Not heartening stuff that’ll make you want to spend money on one. A clever strategy would have been similar to how Citroen launched the DS3: a limited run to start off. “Exclusivity” would’ve been perceived completely differently, as if it were one of those supercars that only have a few hundred models built. What happens with in the case of the supercars is that the brand that makes it finish their initial run, then make another limited amount of the exact same car but say it’s 20 grams lighter and call it a poofy name, and then that sells out and they make another few hundred of the same car, this time with a stripe and that sells and so on. Had Citroen thought along these lines, people would have been tripping over each other to get one, since nothing becomes more desirable than someone saying “you can’t have one”. And such a strategy would also have taken care of the depreciation problem.

But if you do have a C6, I suggest you hang on to it. It’s a definite future classic, with all the requirements of becoming a legend. It’s rare, because it’s been selling poorly, it’s beautiful and it’s interesting, because among other things, no other car of its class went so against the norm (apart perhaps from the Lancia Thetis). And people like me, who unjustly can’t afford one now, will be eager to buy one once we can.

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.

Citroen: back in the s**t

Posted in Crap cars, Upcoming cars with tags , , , , , , , , , on 06/02/2010 by Alexander

This can be a slanted blog. I freely admit I like Citroens, and it shows. Saab nearly hit the shitter, Toyota went from super-reliable to utterly liable overnight, and I didn’t breathe a word on the subject. But Citroen announces some pathetic plan for the future and I start tapping away at my keyboard. No other carmaker (perhaps apart from Volvo) can prompt me more to write than the Marque, though if the following piece of news is true, this could change.

It would seem Citroen is returning to its dingy days of corporate, accountant-run projects. After the renaissance of its characteristic quirkiness, embodied by cars like the C3 Pluriel, the C4 and C6, Citroen’s decided it’s time to cash in. After announcing the Essentialle line, which was supposed to be dedicated to making cheap, simple cars and be a counterpoint to the luxury DS-badged line-up and represented by the C-Cactus concept, Citroen have chickened out of the basic concept:

Research has uncovered aspects of the car that potential buyers were not happy with. The lack of dashboard and the way its instruments are clustered around the steering column were said to be particularly off-putting.

Citroen is also considering fitting electric windows instead of the concept’s wind-up units, which reduce complexity.

At least the comments on the article were far more lucid than Citroen’s judgement on this issue, expressing that what Citroen is doing is basically alienating their regular customers while failing to garner new ones. And it’s a pretty clear most people who take part in the aforementioned research are idiots.

And the utmost worst was reserved for last. Of all production cars in existence, the only one I would want, given the choice, is the Citroen C6. It’s the Citroen flagship, and the defining model of the Citroen’s line-up and the standard by which the quirky-factor can be measured. And make no mistake, if Citroen cock up the C6, all is lost.

Citroen is also working on a successor to the C6, although the replacement will, according to Banzet, be “something different”. It will still be a flagship car, but of an as-yet-undisclosed format, though some kind of crossover seems possible.

A crossover. The most pointless, stupid, pathetic brainfart of the car industry of the last two decades. Big Citroens are the epitome of innovation and style, and they’re a beacon of good taste for those who can’t stand the nouveau-riche vulgarity of BMW’s, Audis and Mercedes. To give it a format that’s only driven by morons is to defeat its point. To drive a big Citroen you have to have intelligence and taste. To drive a crossover you have to have no passion for cars, only for flashiness and feeling taller than other people. And these people who will go for SUV’s and such utter crap aren’t going to buy a Citroen. They’re going to buy stuff like a BMW X6 or a Q7, because they’re only made to sport badges. If anything, a big Citroen driver shows that he/she doesn’t care about the fricking badge, because he/she knows that people who are impressed by badges can only be shallow, slimy weasels.

So Citroen, show some sense. Don’t let a brand that probably has more legendary cars to its name than any other fall into the muck and lunacy of the rest of the herd.

Citroen C6 3.0l V6 Hdi

Posted in Desirable machines with tags , , , on 23/10/2009 by Alexander

A review of Citroen’s flagship, the unbelievably beautiful C6, with the new 3-litre, 240-horsepower diesel engine.