Citroën has unveiled its new concept - the Lacoste - at the Paris motor show and claims it could be in production in three years.

The company is aiming to bring fashion flair to its models as part of a tie-up with the French fashion house - whose badging appeared on special-edition Peugeot 205s during the 1980s.

See the official pics of the striking Citroen Lacoste concept - plus see Paris motor show pics

The new concept is a small buggy that is “stylishly minimalist and elegantly laid back”, according to the French company.

Citroen’s claims that the concept will become a reality "within the next three years" and that many elements of the concept will make it on to the final model - although it won’t be an open-top.

The Lacoste concept has no proper roof or doors. Instead, the car has a central bar running from the top of the windscreen to the top of the boot. It supports handles that aid access to the rear seats, and one of the front headrests, but it also contains a bright yellow soft-top that automatically inflates in the rain.

The car’s windscreen can also slide down out of sight, opening up the cabin entirely. There’s no boot space as such; instead, the rear bench seat slides rearwards when required, freeing up room for luggage behind the front seats.

The Lacoste is just under 3.5 metres long, around the same length as today’s C1. It’s wider and taller, at 1.8 metres and 1.52 metres respectively, but it does share a similar wheelbase and is also powered by a three-cylinder petrol engine.

Read all the latest news on the stars of the Paris motor show

It’s likely that elements of the front-end styling - including the integration of the lights into the bumper instead of the sheet metal - could make it onto the next version of Citroën’s smallest model, due at the end of next year.

The cabin is wide open to the elements, but the Lacoste has covered stowage in its dashboard and under the two bench seats. Its single-strip fascia displays information in oversized icons; Citroën says this is designed to reference early video games such as Pong.

The Lacoste cues include “square relief designs” on the bonnet, which Citroën says resemble sections of a tennis court, and the choice of seat material, which is similar to the weave used on polo shirts.

John McIlroy

See all the latest Citroen C1 reviews, news and video