Citroën is celebrating its 100th birthday in 2019. To mark the occasion, we’ve compiled a selection of the French marque’s most striking models, ranging from classics built in the early 20th century to contemporary cutting-edge concept cars.
Throughout its storied history, Citroën has forged a reputation for eye-catching design – in fact, some of its cars have arguably been a little too eye-catching. But as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we’ve simply included these vehicles without passing judgement on whether or not they’re ‘conventionally attractive’. You can make up your own mind!
There’s more to the Traction Avant than its bold curves. The car was a technological marvel at the time of its launch, being the first ever front-wheel-drive production car to have a steel monocoque body.
Inspired by the Bauhaus school of design, the 2CV is perhaps the most iconic French car ever built. Launched in the mid-20th century and originally targeted at convincing French farmers to swap their horses and carts for petrol power, the 2CV remained in production until 1990 – by which time almost four million had been built.
Whether you think it looks sleek or quirky, the CX was a real hit at the time of its launch, winning European Car of the Year in 1975. Who needs a rear wheel arch, anyway? It is considered by some to be the last “real Citroën” ever built, as the manufacturer was acquired by rival Peugeot in 1976.
Its name may not be particularly innovative, but the BX’s design still looks pretty avant-garde to this day. Those iconic angular lines were the brainchild of Marcello Gandini, the legendary Italian designer whose other masterpieces include the Lamborghini Countach.
If you think the infuriatingly named GTbyCitroën looks more like something from a computer game than real life, you’re kind of right. It was created through a partnership between Citroën and Polyphony Digital, the developer behind the hit Gran Turismo games franchise. Perhaps signifying that it was never intended to be much more than a teenage fantasy, it had an eye-watering price tag of about £1.6 million.
Unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show to much critical acclaim, this sleek all-electric concept car boasts a top speed of 160 mph, with a 0-60 mph time of less than five seconds. Pretty impressive figures, but unfortunately it’s unlikely that the car will ever be produced. However, much like the GTbyCitroën, you can at least pretend to own one thanks to its appearances in numerous video games, including Driveclub and Asphalt 8: Airborne.