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The 1980 Citroën Karin (citroenet.org.uk)
290 points by dayve on Aug 10, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 186 comments

It is difficult to look more late 70s/early 80s than this car :)

But interestingly, the blue car behind it in this picture looks almost like the design of a modern city car from today to me. So that's where the real vision was?


EDIT: I might be wrong, I assumed the photo was from the 1980 Paris Salon show due to the article text above it, but it's probably from later. Oops.

>t is difficult to look more late 70s/early 80s than this car :)

Anyone old enough to remember the UFO TV series?


Just in case:



Indeed. It's also reminiscent of Death's "Pale Horse" in car mode, from Piers Anthony's novel On A Pale Horse.

That looks exactly like the Xsara Picasso of early 2000s.

Impressive. We live in 80s secret concepts ...

You could try the Aston Martin Bulldog, http://astonmartins.com/car/bulldog/

maybe that's a more recent photo from a Citroen museum...?

I think you're probably right. The headlamp shape leads me to believe that the blue car is a Citroen Xanae prototype (http://www.citroenet.org.uk/prototypes/xanae/xanae.html), an MPV prototype/predecessor for the Picasso.

Thanks for pointing out, I edited my comment to show the mistake. The article text above it and graininess of the photos really seemed to make them from 1980 :/

One dead giveaway are the A-pillars. Manufacturers back in the day didn't imagine we would have side curtains and double reinforcements in pillars today.

It's the Xanae concept car from 1994, that later inspired the Picasso.


What's interesting about these concept cars, is that they sometimes get built if they generate enough interest. I believe this is how the new VW Beetle came about, and I suspect what nudged BMW to bring out the new mini.

One that is in the process of making that leap right now: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/volkswagen/98136/volkswagen-bos...

I do wonder if the reason concept 'updated' models are more likely to be made is there is a huge amount of nostalgia at play in the market.

As an aside, having owned a new Mini convertible, I can confirm it was probably the most fun I've had in a car. Felt like driving a go-kart. The suspension is ridiculously hard. Completely horrible car to be a passenger in but so so so much fun to drive. Apparently very close to the original.

I borrowed my mother's (edit 1968) Mini for a week, after my Land Rover series 3 fell to bits. This was mid-1990s. The suspension was unpleasant and painful to anyone in the vehicle. It was hard as nails. Definitely fun, until you accidentally lose it going around a roundabout at which point your sense of mortality re-appears and you wish you were driving anything else.

The original minis are such death traps I am surprised when ever I see one on the road - firstly how is anyone foolhardy enough to drive one and secondly how did it manage to survive to 2017.

In the mid 90s I answered an ad to tech some guy Autocad. He lived outside Seattle - and had a very large, rather eccentric house in the woods.

I'd go over a couple times a month to teach him autocad so he could design the various add-on projects he wanted to do to his house.

In a side garage, he had two brand new, mint condition minis that had never been driven. They were beautiful.

I tried to convince him that I'd teach him autocad full time in exchange for one of the minis.

That didn't work; what he told me was that in the 60s he'd been over in the U.K., and that he had two shipping containers loaded with minis and shipped them back to the US - he sold them off over time, but he kept the two.

One he was about to start driving - and the other he said will never be driven "it's going to be my coffin, I am going to be buried in it"

There are still plenty of people riding motorcycles, which are statistically far more dangerous. At least around here, not everyone thinks safety is the most important (and IMHO that's a good thing.)

>> At least around here, not everyone thinks safety is the most important (and IMHO that's a good thing.)

Could you clarify why you think safety is not the most important characteristic of driving on the road?

If safety was the most important thing, everyone would be driving the same car, no one would be driving motorcycles, and no one would get on the freeway with an SUV.

Other factors like available seating, looks, price, and creature comforts often take precedence over safety in the minds of many consumers.

If safety was the most important thing, nobody would be driving a car at all. There are lots of ways to get from point A to point B, just about all of which are safer than driving.

We drive cars because they hit a sweet spot of speed, personal autonomy, and comparative expense, with a cost to personal safety that we've collectively decided we're willing to live with.

> with a cost to personal safety that we've collectively decided we're willing to live with.

It's funny that, as a collective, we're willing to also ignore the safety risk to others.

I think I disagree a bit. Maybe safety is not the most important thing but it is pretty high up on the list of anyone with a certain awareness (victim of car accident, lost someone dear in a car accident, has a family, etc.) One reason SUVs have sucked the air out of automotive variety is their perceived safety, even over minivans (I am talking perception here, not reality).

Another reason is that cars have gotten increasingly safer and safe designs don't scream safety so it has gotten easy to ignore how important safety is and how bad things used to be in older cars. A minor crash in a 50s and earlier car would likely result in death or severe injury due to the lack of seat belts, lack of crumple zones, metal bayonets knobs on the dashboard, metal dashboards, etc.

A minor crash in a 50s and earlier car would likely result in death or severe injury due to the lack of seat belts, lack of crumple zones, metal bayonets knobs on the dashboard, metal dashboards, etc.

Pre-50s is definitely going to be quite fragile, but it really depends what you mean by "minor". In a major crash, a modern car is going to be far safer, but in a minor one both the passenger and an older car are likely to survive with nearly no damage, whereas a modern car, although with the same outcome for the passenger, may be damaged extensively. Late 70s/early 80s bumpers were probably the best designed for this.

I am not sure about that. Seat belts were not mandated in the 50s so a crash resulted in significant passenger movement. Metal dashboards with bayonet knobs tended to cause significant damage based on my reading. I noticed that you put the link to the Lifeguard package in another reply but that was just a package available to some cars and was not bought in a prevalent manner by the public.

I was riding in the middle on the front bench seat of an old 70's car with no seatbelt on the highway a while ago (only other option was walking 50 km back home).

I have no idea how people used to think that it was at all safe, I was very aware that if the car crashed I was going to be ejected out the window, even in a low speed crash.

What type of car was it? The 70s is well within the era of required seatbelts for US cars, which had been offering seatbelts since the 50s:


Holden HQ Kingswood, an Australian car. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holden_HQ)

It had 2 seatbelts in the front, and none in the back. It was a bench seat in the front though, so we had 3 in the front and 4 in the back.

Remember that offering is not quite the same as available. From your link, it seems that Ford offered this as a package starting in 1956 for some models and it did not sell well [1]; some accuse it of making a half-hearted effort. However, I have to say that kudos to Ford and Robert McNamara for trying to sell safety and offering safer options well before others.

1968 was apparently the first year that seat belts were mandated in cars.

[1]: http://www.autonews.com/article/19960626/ANA/606260836/ford-...

Aren't a number of SUVs less safe than cars? Particularly, I seem to recall that cheap, top-heavy SUVs built on a car base (instead of a truck base) are way more likely to tip or roll over in an accident.

It is my understanding from anecdotal evidence that perception reins over reality in this case. SUVs do have a mass advantage so they were expected to win in a collision with a compact car. They also project ruggedness, which is equated with safety.

ldev1 replied to the wrong person, but he's right. I mentioned SUVs would stay off the freeway because they're less safe, especially at high speeds.

Hence the

> and no one would get on the freeway with an SUV.

Well, in the case of motorcycles, they are unsafe primarily for the driver, and not really for anyone else, so as long as the driver is aware of the danger they pose to themselves, there is no issue.

You can say the same about seat belts, but they are compulsory almost everywhere now.

You can indeed, and I have done so, ever since the things became mandatory many years ago. I wouldn't ever drive ten meters without my belt on, but I'm all for the freedom of anyone to be an idiot, as long as the idiocy isn't directed at anyone else.

The idiocy of not wearing a seatbelt is directed at everyone else. An unbelted driver is more likely to completely lose control of the vehicle after an initial collision and end up causing addition damage to others. Plus now that we effectively have socialized medicine we all end up paying for the idiots.

You can't safely redirect your car after a minor accident if you were decapitated by the windshield.

We have very different views as to what makes a minor accident. ;-)

Although decapitation by windshield is unlikely (due to their design), you don't have to be going very fast to seriously damage yourself on the windshield if you're not wearing a seat belt.

I crashed a truck once, going maybe 30-40 km/h, wearing a seat belt. I ended up with some minor bruising from the seat belt, and no other damage, but everything else in the car went flying, including the glasses off my head. If I wasn't belted up, my head would've hit the windshield or steering wheel quite hard, and I likely would've needed to go to the hospital.

In my opinion, If people REALLY cared about safety, we'd all have roll cages, harnesses, helmets and driver's suits. Convenience generally trumps real safety. Safety only becomes popular when there's no user intervention required and people don't notice the costs.

Say hello to Fiat 126, still a semi-common sight on Polish roads. When I was a kid my parents had one and I remember it fitting 5 people


A friend had a 126, each morning he would load the four schoolchildren by the door and then roll-back the canvas top and pass-in their schoolbags.

It was also quicker to reverse by putting a foot out the door than flapping the stick around the mushy gearbox trying to find reverse gear.

Standard accessory with those was a stick to poke the starter relay under the car :)

My parents met because my father wanted to do sort of a Grand Tour(well, not so grand given the vehicle) and my mother wanted to get to France, because she landed a job as an au pair, but she wanted to save on transport.

How they managed to get there(through Hungary) in this little two-stroke boggles the mind.

>in this little two-stroke boggles the mind.

Actually four-stroke (but two cyinders and air cooled, later a different water cooled version with a bigger and different engine was made in Poland).

The FIAT 126 is the "evolution" of the more famous (and older) FIAT 500 and uses almost exactly the same engine, with capacity increased from 500 cm3 to 600 or 650 cm3.



<spoiler>A similar thing happened to a Mini on a Top Gear episode filmed in India.</spoiler>

I concur completely. It's a ridiculous thing to drive in this day and age.

Then again my Land Rover series 3 wasn't much safer. If you rolled it, you would lose everything above your stomach :)

Trying not to crash it was the only safety feature.

It's worth noting that the last one came off the production line in October 2000; the later ones surviving isn't that much an accomplishment. (And yes, it may well be the case the majority of Minis produced had been scrapped before the last was one produced!)

Project Binky will likely give you a heart attack then:


It's hard to be worse than a VW van but the British gave it their best shot.

Go back another 100 years, and think about the vehicles and their suspension (probably leather bands?), and then realize that there were no asphalt roads, only dirt roads with holes and rocks. Then go back several hundred years, when carriages had no suspension at all.

How did people handle that? Speed was probably the big difference. Plus what else was there? The only alternative was walking or maybe travel by horse or mule.

So that 1968 Mini was probably very OK for that time, with careful driving, and a tougher ass.

Still used in my old MGB

And basically every truck and van.

Speed was the big difference. It's interesting that speed limits in the U.K. haven't increased since the first motorway was opened in 1958, yet cars have got a lot safer. I wonder if autonomous vehicles will change that...

When the first UK motorway, the M1, opened it had no speed limit.

When the speed limit was introduced, in 1965, it was originally a temporary measure to reduce excessive fuel consumption.

The non-motorway speed limit was again reduced in 1974 for the same reason [1].

(Sorry I can't find a citation for the introduction of the first motorway speed limits off hand).


> a citation for the introduction of the first motorway speed limits

in the UK, 25 November 1965 [1]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road_speed_limits_in_the_Unite...

Fascinating. I wonder if it's possible to control for improved car safety when looking at the decreasing risk of driving over time; did speed limits make highways/motorways safer or more dangerous? I recall reading that (counter-intuitively), removing stop signs from a residential area made it safer, and I wonder if the same is true for speed limits. Maybe if people weren't given a suggestion of how fast to drive, they would be more likely to drive within their personal safety limit (whether that be faster or slower).

> Maybe if people weren't given a suggestion of how fast to drive, they would be more likely to drive within their personal safety limit (whether that be faster or slower).

I have the impression that this is very different in most of Europe compared with most of the places in the US I've driven: in the US, most roads have a speed limit ultimately set to the lower of what's politically acceptable and what an engineering is willing to sign off on as safe, AFAIK; in most parts of Europe, there are two or three standard speed limits (urban, rural, highway) that apply everywhere and speed limits are only altered downwards if there's a stretch that's a particular crash hotspot.

For example, I've been down plenty of narrow roads around the UK where the speed limit was the standard 60mph, but good luck going more than 20mph even if you know the road well. As such, you're already expected to use personal judgement. By comparison, all of the rural roads in the US I've driven down that were at all tight had speed limits like 20 or 30mph, and if anything they were set lower than I would've driven down them had they been higher.

Human reaction times haven't increased, that's probably the main issue with speed. It's also not generally very eco-friendly to drive faster, so I doubt limits are going to increase regardless of safety.

Just like the original.

This was the original :)

Was a 1968 one. I should have clarified that!

> What's interesting about these concept cars, is that they sometimes get built if they generate enough interest. I believe this is how the new VW Beetle came about, and I suspect what nudged BMW to bring out the new mini.

Audi TT, Peugeot 206 CC, Chevy Volt, Ford's new GT40, the New Beetle (Concept One), BMW's i8 (EfficientDynamics), the Boxster, the Model S was originally a concept/show car.

These are usually the tamer concept cars though.

>Chevy Volt

Oh man I was so disappointed when I saw the production Chevy Volt. It looked nothing like the concept. The concept was a cool Camaro-inspired design and had the Volt looking like a small hybrid muscle car. It was such a good looking car... and then they released a knock-off of the Prius design.

Citroen C3 Pluriel: http://www.convertiblecarmagazine.com/buyers_guide/citroen-c...

Similar to the concept, but if anything with an even more refined design. I had one (long-time Citroen fan) and absolutely loved it. It was essentially a 2CV for the modern age: a small family hatchback which did double service as pickup, convertible and coupe.

It lasted a few years in Citroen's lineup but was never a big seller, thanks partly to worries about water ingress and various other mechanical eccentricities. But I still think it's one of the purest designs this design-led car company has ever produced: a profile that reduced to two simple curves, concealing a design that was all about utility and never about performance.

The Isuzu VehiCROSS was a concept car, too - what actually sold was almost identical to the concept (IIRC, there were a couple of side fender vents eliminated, and not much else).

If you've never driven one, you don't know the fun you're missing. I describe it as a vehicle that either "is an off-road beast that thinks it's a sports car" or "a sports car that knows it's an off-road beast".

I say it like that because I'm one of the "lucky owners". It has pretty great handling for a vehicle of its nature. Even with a small lift and 32" MTs, it takes corners like on rails. While it isn't really a "sports car", for an off-road vehicle it doesn't do too bad in the "get-up-n-go" area. Much better than my I6 jeep.

It's a very unique vehicle, and I can't imagine not driving or owning it...

/between it and my jeep, my wallet screams for mercy...

I loved the VehiCROSS-I especially loved the fact that to save money on a very low volume vehicle, Isuzu created ceramic-faced concrete stamping dies for the sheet metal. I wish I could remember where I read about the tech, but this was 20 years ago....

There was an original Mini parked outside my house for the last few days, it really strikes you how small it is compared to modern cars.

My sister had a Mini, it was really bare-metal. The modern Mini I drove last year felt like an armchair, a very very different experience for me.

The new Mini project was originally Rover. BMW effectively bought it and finished it off with bits of the 3 series.

If I had to speculate, I'd say the Mini project was a hail-mary for a company in a deep hole. It might have worked, too, if the timing had been better.

Peugeot was in a similar situation a while before that and they 206 saved the company, it really could have worked. But I don't know if their quality control was up to it, BMW seems to have made a big difference there.

Which 3-Series bits?

The body electronics was mostly the same. Many shared parts, and the same buses. That's the bit I worked on, so my knowledge of how much of the rest of the car was carried across is a bit more limited.

You see more explicit sharing these days than then. The Mini Countryman and BMW X1 both share the same platform. (And it's front wheel drive, at that, which is a big shift for BMW.)

The new Mini owes nothing but a vaguely similar shape to Alec Issigonis' original. I had two Minis, a van (1965 model) and a Traveller (1970-ish). They were both great cars to drive and the ride was not especially hard. I never felt particularly unsafe or uncomfortable driving either of them and none of my passengers exhibited any signs of worry either. They were also astonishingly roomy when you consider how much smaller they are than the BMW version.

it was how the Alfa Montreal came to be, it was originally meant as a prototype to generate interest but there was so much demand they went into a production run, albeit they had to change so many things to get it on the road.

Cadillac Evoq from 1999 not only went into production as XLR, but it is also defined Cadillac's design for the next ~20 years.

"Capacitive touch steering wheel"

So what features are out of reach when one dons their driving gloves

The last image on that page has text in Dutch, I took a few moment to have a quick translate. (P.S.: I have no idea what they meant with that last sentence)...

In the last 20 years, every stylist has met the forcing limits of designing a car, set by the cost, production methods and the ever growing regulation.

But this situation has had little consequences for the standardisation of cars, it's more due to market probes that there's a danger of all cars looking the same.

There's that many investments involved that the stakeholders don't dare create a car that deviates too much from the normal.

Currently in Europe cars increasingly look very similar and the public is taking notice.

This is an opportunity Citroën should take: its image has always been about creating cars that are different than the rest and that's undoubtedly what's the buyer is seeking these days.

At the Automobile Salon in Paris 1980, Citroën presented 'a dream car', designed by it's 'Design Bureau': the Karin.

This prototype is the first stage of research into the mid-range: 2 'wing'-doors coupé with 3 separate seats with the driver's seat in the center. The car is 3.70 meter long (145.7 inch), 1.075 meter high (42.3 inch) and 1.90 meter wide (74.8 inch). It has front wheel drive. The interior is also avant-gardistic. An electronic screen continually provides information about the condition and performance of several elements of the car. Though the esthetic design of massively produced cars has improved all these years, their style risks turning somewhat monotonous, since the designers get less playing room due to inceasing external demands.

With this in mind the 'Bureau de Style Citroën' has undertaken this 'design exercise' to reasearch the impact of a body with really clear lines on the car buying public. With designing this car an attempt is made to describe an offer for the future.

Can someone explain to me why these incredible concept cars never really get built, even in small batches as a limited edition?

So many reasons, but the two big ones are:

1. Cost vs Reward.

2. Regulations.

1) Many concept cars are non-functional or only partially functional. Making them fully functional and production ready, even at prototype levels would be extremely costly.

2) Many features in concept cars are not evaluated against FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) and other standards, they are not crash tested, they may not meet EPA regulations.

There are a lot of other reasons, but they all basically boil down to cost vs reward.


There is also the backwards case, where many modern "concept cars" are actually just pre-production teasers with fancy cosmetics.

Disclaimer: I work for GM, but not on concept cars, sadly =(

Are Ferrari models crash tested?



Yes, usually at least once. Part of the reason supercars are so expensive is that the engineering costs are only amortized over a small number of vehicles. The crash test can be considered part of that cost.

The actual incremental cost to produce a supercar is a fraction of the price tag.

In addition to official government crash tests, non-governmental groups such as IIHS also crash test mass market vehicles, but they actually have to purchase the vehicles they test - hoping to make money by selling back the information they collect. It's pretty much never cost effective for IIHS to buy supercars for crash testing.


Interesting. The other thing I was curious about: aren't there regulations in term of maximum noise emitted by new cars? If that's the case I wonder how these supercars are roadworthy.

I really wish that governments and authorities (UK/EU) would do more to tackle excessively noisy vehicles.

It's a significant problem here in London: Supercars (and regular cars and motorbikes that have been modified to have noisy exhausts) make up a tiny minority of vehicles on the road, but it only takes one to produce incredible noise levels that carry for many blocks and penetrate almost any soundproofing/double glazing.

It's completely unfair to subject so many people in such a dense city to these noises just for the thrills of one driver/rider. Stick to the track if you must drive such a noisy vehicle!

Politicians probably think of it as an annoyance to be shrugged off, but it does genuine economic harm. It damages property values near busy roads, and it makes our public spaces and parks unpleasant. Even in the middle of huge green areas like Hyde Park, you can still hear them roaring down park lane etc.

Agreed, and it's become common on many more cars than supercars to add valves to make exhausts noisier. I suspect these valves are not triggered in regulatory exhaust noise tests.

From Jaguar's website:

  Every F‑TYPE is fitted with an Active Sports Exhaust 
  that creates a race‑car inspired crescendo. 
  The exhaust system reacts to throttle position, speed 
  and engine revs by opening active valves. When open, 
  these valves allow exhaust gases to take a more direct,
  less restrictive route through the rear silencer
  producing a much richer, more exhilarating sound. Where
  fitted, the Switchable Active Exhaust, allows you to
  manually open the exhaust valves so you can enjoy
  F‑TYPE’s stirring soundtrack at all engine speeds. This 
  feature is optional on F‑TYPE and standard on all other 

basically, above a certain price point cars are designed for stupid wankers

There are plenty of high perf/luxury cars which are very quiet. I think there are customers at every price point who want ridiculously loud exhausts.

> above a certain price point

Maybe lower than you think... several Ford products over the last few years have done things like run sound tubes to the cabin or use the radio to simulate engine noise. I think it's kind of silly myself, but whatever.

> cars are designed for stupid wankers

Or at least people with different interests. Just because you think your own interests make sense doesn't mean other people have to agree or share the same interests that you do.

So, it turns out there are people who enjoy different things than you do. No need to insult them because of that.

The whole intentionally loud thing is a bit different than just differing tastes, as it is inflicted upon unrelated bystanders.

A few years ago some Ford cars had been found to amplify their engine noise through the speakers. At least they kept it to the driver.

lots of cars have this today

There's a similar story about the Audi S4 V8's exhaust note. The engineers wanted it to be louder than they thought their management would approve. So, what they did is demo a version that was louder than what they wanted, and when management complained they reduced it to what they wanted to begin with.

Mobile friendly:

> Every F‑TYPE is fitted with an Active Sports Exhaust that creates a race‑car inspired crescendo.

> The exhaust system reacts to throttle position, speed and engine revs by opening active valves. When open, these valves allow exhaust gases to take a more direct, less restrictive route through the rear silencer producing a much richer, more exhilarating sound. Where fitted, the Switchable Active Exhaust, allows you to manually open the exhaust valves so you can enjoy F‑TYPE’s stirring soundtrack at all engine speeds. This feature is optional on F‑TYPE and standard on all other models.

So essentially a muffler bypass valve? You can buy aftermarket valves like this from Summit Racing and JEGS - they aren't expensive, they come in a variety of styles (full manual where you have to unbolt them underneath the car, manual-actuated by a cable, electric actuated by a motor, and one company makes a "stealth" version).

Legality of use on public roads varies...

A bit off topic, but I've especially wondered this about large motorcycles (both superbikes and choppers). Many of those models are so incredibly loud in everyday traffic, I can't believe they passed those tests.

I mean, supercars are rare enough and usually not that loud unless you push them (I guess this could be a way to stay within regulations), but some of those bikes can drown out other noise even when accelerating normally from a stop.

New motorcycles are subject to noise regulations, but there's very little to stop the owner from fitting a noisier aftermarket exhaust system. Many dealers will happily fit a non-road-legal exhaust system, under the pretence that it's for track use only. Changing a motorcycle exhaust or muffler is quick and simple, so it's easy to switch back to the factory exhaust for a mandatory annual inspection.

We need some kind of camera technology with acoustic localisation/triangulation that can be installed on main roads to detect vehicles that are operating at excessive/illegal noise levels.

I guess it would be difficult, legally speaking, to issue fines directly from such cameras. But the registration plates could be flagged for inspection, and fines issued if they are found to have a non-road-legal exhaust fitted.

The big reason to have a loud exhaust is to keep people in cars from changing lanes into the space you're occupying.

Loud exhausts on bikes basically a natural reaction to the improved sound deadening and deeper seating position over time. Vehicle changes have caused a reduction in situational awareness for what's going on beside you and bikers toss on loud exhausts because they notice a correlation between a window thumping exhaust not and not getting merged on top of. While I prefer a quiet exhaust (because stupid people think loud = driving too fast) I wholly understand why motorcyclists want people to know if they are in their blind spots.

Your big brother camera idea sounds like a great way to screw over everyone who's muffler rusts off and has to drive it like that for a week (who vastly outnumber people with loud exhausts in terms of vehicle miles). They like the noise even less than you do (they have to spend more time with it) and piling on doesn't help that. Vehicle noise isn't really a big enough problem to warrant more government involvement than already exists.

The best way to avoid listening to loud exhausts in residential neighborhoods is to not have unnecessary stops/speed bumps to "control traffic speed" (or whatever other justification the HOA cooks up). They just make people accelerate between them.

>The big reason to have a loud exhaust is to keep people in cars from changing lanes into the space you're occupying.

That's what bikers tell people so that those people stop calling them names. Doesn't mean it's true. The real reason bikes or cars or trucks are modified to have loud exhausts is because the driver wants to draw more attention to themselves for purely cosmetic reasons. If safety was a priority, they would leave the exhaust stock and just not ride in blind spots, not weave in and out of traffic, keep to the speed limit, and generally drive in a predictable fashion.

>has to drive it like that for a week (who vastly outnumber people with loud exhausts)

This is also not true. How would the amount of rusted cars without a muffler for one week outnumber the people who drive like that permanently? The people who either drive without a muffler or who have a modified muffler? For the entire life of the car?

The best way to avoid listening to loud exhausts is for insecure assholes to stop modifying their muffler.

Excessive vehicle noise may not be a big problem everywhere, but it's huge issue in a densely populated city like London. Constant exposure to such noise prevents restful sleep, affects people's health and well-being, and harms property values.

Don't get me wrong: the majority of motorcycle riders are responsible, respectful road users who ride quiet machines.

But a small minority seem to want to create as much noise and distress to others as possible. It's not about safety ("loud pipes save lives" has been thoroughly dis-proven by statistics), it's about appearing aggressive and macho, and perhaps compensating for the rider's own personal problems.

As for a car who's "muffler rusted off"? Should not be driven until it's fixed, period.

They may be rare but I live close to a place with many owners of these supercars, and it's a big nuisance. My flat has a very good sound insulation and I can't hear a large truck going through the street, but I hear these supercars (and large bikes) very well.

To be honest, that sounds awesome! I'd love to be able to see and hear supercars without even having to leave my house...

Tests apply in "default" configuration. So I drive a Mercedes AMG which has a button to open the exhaust which makes it way louder. But the test is conducted in the state in which the car starts in by default - so with the exhaust closed and quiet. Same with emissions - if the car starts by default with Start/Stop system on, it's tested with it on. But obviously you can switch the system off which increases the emissions.

Yes there are and that's why e.g. Ferrari have been going towards turbo charged cars with conservative exhaust pipes recently.

At least where I'm from, most regulations don't apply retroactively. You can still drive around in an old V12 with short tailpipes but a new one wouldn't be allowed.

I love the sound of a Ferrari. I wish in France there were more Ferraris and less of those obnoxiously loud motor scooters. Scooters are louder than most cars.

Amen. Where I live, the biggest traffic noise is mopeds with tuned exhausts driven by obnoxious 15-year olds late at night. They're louder than most racing cars I've heard. Certainly much much louder than the V8 cars at the muscle car garage not far from where I live.

You can drive a moped at 15 yo, limited to 50cc engine and 45 km/h. The latter is often circumvented by boring the exhaust and it makes them super loud (and illegal). Lots of parents in rural areas and faraway suburbs buy their kids mopeds at 15 so they don't have to be driven around.

There are. Look for "Pass-by Noise". There are standards on how to conduct these tests, and in Europe there are active regulations on maximum emissions already in place. It's coming to the US soon too. In the case of the supercars, IIRC the maximum noise is somehow tied to HP or engine displacement so that these guys can get away with more noise.

Disclaimer: I work with acoustics simulation software and am currently involved with simulating these kind of tests.

Yes. Even super rare koenigseggs, and paganis are crash tested. If I recall right, koenigsegg uses one or two monocoque carbon frames to pass the tests.

With electrical drivetrains making custom cars more feasible (easier to obtain for small car makers, simpler to integrate into a custom setup), we can hope for more of such design becoming reality in small numbers. This concept car probably really was just designed to be maximal crazy :), but I think it is a great concept. It would only require a few small changes to become a really cool and modern car.

Small shops in the US regularly turn out custom made vehicles with modern engines.

Lots of them use parts out of junked cars, but also "crate engines" are a thing, you can just buy a powertrain from any number of suppliers (for instance, GM: http://www.chevrolet.com/performance/crate-engines ).

And then there are specialist machine shops that build linkages and such to go between whatever components, at whatever length.

I imagine safety regulations and cost are the big blocker for small scale manufacturing.

People have been doing EV conversions since forever.

If electric becomes a viable alternative to remans and crate engines the OEMs will just offer a "crate engine" electric drive-train that bolts where an LS or SBC would go and the stuff needed to make it plug and play.

You don't need a custom vehicle, just an S10 with a blown motor.

I was responding to the other poster's assertion that electric drivetrains will be easier to obtain. I don't see how there can be anything that is really meaningfully easier than ordering something out of a catalog.

Egypt didn't give them the rights to adapt Pyramids on Citroen local market ?

I'm pretty sure the answer is "it's complicated". They'd probably cost as much as a supercar, wouldn't be homologated to be used on roads, etc. Maybe there's a business plan here, see all the "pimp my car" TV shows where specialists "enhance" existing vehicules. Actually, some of those cars get built, but only in Hollywood ;-)

With this car you can tell in a rollover it would likely kill everyone inside nearly every time.

The designer, Trevor Fiore, also created another great concept car, the Citroën Xenia, info and pictures here: http://www.citroenet.org.uk/prototypes/xenia/xenia.html

Why does anybody need two calculators on the driving wheel?[0]

0. http://www.citroenet.org.uk/prototypes/xenia/images/xenia12....

My parents had a late 80s 5 series that had something similar looking to a calculator/phone. It was used to control the computer in the car.

Mercedes used to have a "calculator" in the center console on all their models up until a few years ago.

2014 E-class: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/97/23/d7/9723...

Which seems to be a precursor to the Espace? ( Renault )

The Espace was conceived of a bit earlier, in the mid-70s.

PSA (Peugeot Citroën) could actually have owned it: the project was a partnership between Matra and Simca (originally concepted by Chrysler UK), PSA acquired Simca in '78 but found the Espace project too risky and expensive so they left it to Matra, which brought it up with Renault.

The steering wheel looks like Squidward.

Citroen always has built different and innovative cars. And they brought them to market.



A lot of their cars had pneumatic suspension and other interesting tech.

Their last great car is the C6 imho. Got to drive one for a number of long distance trips. So incredibly luxurious. Looks terrific too.

Technically, hydropneumatic suspension[1]. Very expensive when it breaks (speaking from personal experience...)

1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydropneumatic_suspension

The DS is arguably the most innovative automobile of the century.

Like Gibson's story "The Gernsback Continuum", I see cars like this and, I see that, for a moment, the future we dreamed of is finally coming true... then it fades back to reality, where instead we have... http://www.caranddriver.com/bentley/bentayga

Yeah, there's a retro-future optimism in that car that's very attractive and playful but ultimately sad. It represents a future that "could have been".

Reminds me a little of the work by the designer Luigi Colani (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luigi_Colani).

Reminds me of the good old Matra Murena! http://petrolblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Matra-Muren... A french three seater although mid-engined and regular lefthand drive instead of center the look quite alike. They were built in the early 80ies as well, looks like sharing of concepts :)

Awesome car, I saw one still driving around in the south of France last year.

I owned one for almost 7 years. Great fun to drive although not as sporty as it looks, especially lack of power. The handling/cornering is just impeccable though and makes it a real good fun car which does _not_ cost a fortune

They're getting pretty rare now. I remember being glued to the window of one as a kid, mind blown about how this spaceship had landed in the city.

looks very similar to a Delorean

Both from 1981, roughly same build numbers and quite unreliable cars underperforming for what they were built for.. but they look amazing nonetheless and turns most heads around :p

It's so amazing how design trends evolve. What drew people to think about car shapes this way, why did they thing it would be "better".

A little bit later, this time by Peugeot http://www.carstyling.ru/en/car/1988_peugeot_oxia/images/634...

Perhaps they were doing computer analysis of aerodynamics on machines that were only capable of modelling a few flat surfaces? A lot of '80s cars have that flat/angular/boxy styling, and I see some continuity between that and the F-117 where I know computer analysis is the reason.

I don't buy it. 60s car had rocket like shapes for the sake of aerodynamics. The flat/angled look comes from somewhere else. .. Maybe even a counter reaction to the rounded everything of the 60s / 70s.

Kinda like flat design not long ago.

In the 60's manufacturers didn't care about aerodynamics, and they made big cars with big engines and terrible mileage. After the oil crisis, car and engine sizes shrunk and aerodynamics mattered.

I do find it always very odd how ugly the late 70's until early 90's period is. Fashion, architecture, product design, even hair styles. Almost everything looks awful. It's not just fashion, because you can pick designs from any earlier period and they look ok if dated, but that 20 year period from the mid-70's onwards is just so ugly. (Although undoubtably someone will be by in a bit to tell me how wrong I am and how beautiful that period is...)

I think it's a side effect of the baby boomers. In the 50s and 60s they were young and learning the ropes, so style tended to be fairly similar to the old. By the time the 70s roll around the old guard is retiring and these designers are now free to experiment wildly. Stuffy and boring is out, flashy and exciting are in. There is a whole generation of young adults driving the market.

Then the 90s roll around and those designers are getting older and realizing that most of the experiments didn't pan out and that there is some value in the old and boring.

I do think this is one big reason. Waves of people getting to act on the world. Also I'd add another factor, society feeds on drive, and younger people are hungry by default, so new projects will benefit from having them. I can see that in all new real estate work in Paris; it's all very very weird design (too sophisticated, too shiney, discontinuous, unintegrated) that I'm pretty won't age well at all. But that's how new buildings were done.. people needed the "escape valve" of youth to let the energy flow somehow.

As everything in taste, I do like some old things very much. Even when stupidly non efficient (detailed frontend, engraved chrome, etc).

in a time without detailed airflow simulation that shape helped reducing the lifting body characteristic of arcing sportscar as top speed rise (and then entered into the collective imagination of kids growing up as the sportscar shape)

There's a nice Tumblr blog about cars like this:


I would be surprised if this wasn't inspiration for the car Homer Simpson built in the episode Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

The central steering wheel is ... different. It's the worst of both worlds. I saw another 80s concept car which had a steering wheel that could be moved from left to right hand side, presumably for people who very frequently cross the Channel.

Cantral steering is a reality in the Maclaren F1:


granted this is not a mass-produced car either!

Ha I remember that, and i remember that tomorrows world (or whatever show it was) was mind blown by it. 2/3 of the piece was about how the steering wheel moves. I recall the car looked pretty nice at the time though.


I think this was it! OK, it looks terrible, but at the time it looked amazing!

You know what, with todays increasingly drive by wire cars, that could be pretty cheap to pull off in a modern car.

Todays cars still have a very physical steering column and mechanics, not so easy to switch.

My main trouble with right-hand-drive vehicles is that with some models, I put the windscreen wipers on in every intersection. (The turn signal and wiper switches may be either the same way as in left-hand-drive cars, or mirrored.)

I once had rented a (automatic) Nissan for 3 weeks that was left-hand drive, but the controls were mirrored - including the pedals! Weirdest experience ever. I wasn't able to properly operate my own (manual) car for a week.

Even the pedals? I never heard about that before, sounds like an insane experience.

Seems like it was formerly right-hand drive and the guys who moved it to the left switched the pedals for some reason. I don't believe it came from the factory like this.

Fully drive-by-wire cars have been kicking about on various drawing-boards for decades at this point, but they never seem to make the jump.

There might be some regulatory hurdles in addition to technical and commercial ones?

Undoubtedly there are safety concerns in the form of "what happens when the power steering breaks?" With a conventional car the steering gets super heavy, but it's still manageable by most people, especially if the car is moving. In a fly by wire vehicle it's literally a "Jesus take the wheel" moment.

My problem used to be that my right hand would smash into the door whenever I wanted to change gears just after switching LHD to RHD. Highly annoying how ingrained such movements are.

Unimog does that. You hit a lever and the controls slide to either side.

Somewhat reminiscent of the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeLorean_DMC-12 which actually made it into (limited) production.

Surprised to find Dutch text at the bottom of an English site about a French car.

It's all Indo-European. What's a few vowel shifts between friends.

That's a Lotus Espirit, not an Elise.

Ah, apologies; confirmation by Google SERP was my ruination!

More reminiscent of the Marzal, I think.

Not beautiful, but very stylish. And an actual production car.


Being from Brazil where Citroen has decent market presence, it saddens me that I can't buy them here in the US. They have such nice-looking, modern vehicles, and I would love to be able to buy them in the US. Same goes for other french manufacturers like Peugeot. I used to drive a 207 during grad school. Loved that little car.

Both are slated to return to the US market, with limited models and over the nex few years. Time will tell, but both have announced plans to do so.

There is an individual in the NYC area who has managed to acquire and register (get NY plates for) a late-model Citroen C6, which was to my great disappointment never officially imported to the US. Very, very jealous.

The thing I can't stand is that, since Mazda stopped selling the Mazda5, compact MPVs don't exist in the US.

Good find. Looks like a good amount of the interior ergonomics did make it to production cars: it reminds me a lot of the early 90s Citroen BX. Very similar steering wheel, wrap around buttons on the driver's binnacle. And the hydropneumatoc suspension of course - a Citroen signature and a brilliant piece of engineering.

Meanwhile, I'm STILL waiting for someone to build Gordon Murray's T.25 / T.27 3-seater cars. Last I checked, Shell bought the idea & rebranded it to "Project M" http://shell.com/projectm

"alfa can I copy your work?"

"yes but don't make it obvious"


Let's hope it's a long time before that comes back in style again.

100% disagree, I think those houses look amazing. The brutalism ones aren't always my thing, but that second house (labeled 70's prefab) looks great.

Why cant i buy this? You can buy a i8 today- but you cant, why?

The exterior makes no sense, it's like a kid building a lego car. The interior is pretty rad though.

Engine before the front axis, making the engine weight work against the rear-axis, ouch! That's a recipe for poor driving dynamics.

This could have legs as an EV though.

Just like most Audis? One has the feeling that Audi would mount the engine in front of the headlights if they could get away with it.

shared by many contemporary cars and apparently not a big problem

Straight from a sci-fi movie.

That instrument cluster!

When people talk about electric cars.. this is what I picture.. ..Where's my hover-board dude?

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