Under the skin of the 2CV-inspired luxury urban car
21 January 2010

This is the Citroen Revolte concept car - unveiled at last year's Frankfurt motor show - in hitherto unseen detail.

Following an exclusive tour of the Citroen Revolt by Citroen's concept design boss Carlo Bonzanigo, autocar.co.uk's Hilton Holloway explains: "The Mini-sized Revolte concept is the first sign that Citroen might be ready to exploit retro design as well as re-exploring the essence of 'Frenchness' in a way that might appeal right across Europe."

See the exclusive Citroen Revolte pictures

Hilton Holloway blog - Citroen Revolte - as confusing as it is stunning

The Revolte is 3.8m long and is based on the same platform as the C3 and DS3, but it has non-existent overhangs and a wide track. What is most obvious are the clear references to the 2CV, through the curving shutline of the rear door, the hooped front wings and the wide, flat elevation of the rear end.

Faced with entering a new decade as the producer of an odd mix of perfectly practical superminis and people-carriers and dull hatches, Citroen clearly needs to nail a convincing new product philosophy. True, there's the DS3, but its ads make a point of it not lapsing into retro design. So what's the point of the ultra-retro Revolt concept?

"The Revolte is a small urban luxury car. The main idea, perhaps, was to express luxury in a different way," says Bonzanigo. "I see Citroen as the most Parisian of the three French automotive brands. Paris is the centre of the fashion world, so colour and trim were particularly important on this project. We didn't want to just use leather, chrome and wood, so we've used crystal."

Does this mean it's a feminine car, aimed at women? Bonzanigo only says "women like men's cars but probably not the other way round. If we went to mass production, the final car could not just be for women or just for men. But making this a very feminine car is okay for a concept."

Bonzanigo also highlights the cabin's two zones. "In the front there are hard carbonfibre race-style seats, which are combined with a cocoon-like rear cabin. The cockpit is more cold and the driver's seat like a foreign object in the context of the rest of the interior."

So is the Revolte the new 2CV or not?

"Of course it has 2CV influence," says Bozanigo. "We can now shamelessly speak about the future and our history in one breath. Citroen is ready for the next step. But this is not retro design. It contains quotations from the past. The 2CV was spartan and essential; the Revolte is rich."

Holloway concludes by admitting his confusion with the concept. "Whether it will go into production, and how it fits in with the DS3, Bozanigo won't reveal. But Citroen needs to follow in the steps of Peugeot and really get a grip on a product philosophy that successfully ties these frustrating loose ends together"

For the full Citroen Revolte concept feature buy this week's Autocar magazine, on sale now.

Twitter - follow autocar.co.ukSee all the latest Citroen reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
13

21 January 2010

I think it needs more rear overhang , but apart from that I love it. The 2CV references detract from it. That was a utilitarian car - this is not.

21 January 2010

Really interesting looking.Probably more deserving of the DS tag than anything else. It would be great if they manage to have one highline version of perhaps 1000 cars identical in every way to the concept- or at least giving a perceived notion thats what they are, too many cars look amazing in concept and turn into very bland everyday cars come production.

21 January 2010

I had very high hopes when I first learned about the Revolte and the whole "2CV revival" idea.

This only made the disappointment greater. In flesh the Revolte looks absolutely pointless. It is nothing more than a design exercise without any chance of production (not without very substantial changes anyway), and it just looks bad and unfinished.

Is it a retro product? if so, it fails to bring back enough of the 2CV's charm. If not, then the whole 2CV referance is pointless and isn't adding any style to the design.

Either way, the biggest disappointment I had in the IAA show last year.

4 April 2014
Love the exhausts, and the watch. The rest is, well, interesting.

________________________

ts converter

21 January 2010

What on earth are Citroen playing at, this is utterly pointless and deeply unattractive, it has a whiff of a 50`s Ford Pop that has been given a make over. Nasty. There is no possible link between this and the 2CV other than a few curves.

I was fortunate enough to park near an early GS recently at the supermarket, a car of such elegance, balance and purity of line that it still looks good today (even in orange!).

Citroen is in a mess.

21 January 2010

If the french carmakers would understand their frenchness, they wouldn´t bother with retro or richness in a car. French cars should be usefull, practical, easy to live with and have this weird french touch, that doesn´t let them win a test in a car magazine. And french cars in the 60´s or 70´s really pushed the game, heck, even in the 90´s Renault pushed the game with a Twingo or Scenic, even the really bland R21 Estate was a good people mover with its seven seat capacity, in tradition with the Citreon estates. But now they really lost their way, too German, all of them, they have no orientation, even Citreon doesn´t really have a clue, look at the C5, a car that is totally lost in its class, the only thing that stands out is the mess they call a steering wheel. Citreon DS 3, looks ok, but who cares, premium price tag for a nicer looking car, nothing special here, only marketing is innovative nowadays, telling people they need to pay more for less, weird.

21 January 2010

"Whether it will go into production, and how it fits in with the DS3, Bozanigo won't reveal. But Citroen needs to follow in the steps of Peugeot and really get a grip on a product philosophy that successfully ties these frustrating loose ends together"

Seriously? Follow Peugeot? Seriously?

21 January 2010

[quote fuzzybear]Probably more deserving of the DS tag than anything else.[/quote]

I agree with that Fuzzy. Much more interesting than that cynical DS3 garbage.

21 January 2010

Fabulous, Citroen should get this into production straight away. I know alot of the interior detail will more than likely change but on the whole this should sell in droves.

21 January 2010

[quote jonfortwo]I was fortunate enough to park near an early GS recently at the supermarket, a car of such elegance, balance and purity of line that it still looks good today [/quote]

Agreed.

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