The Citroen SpaceTourer Concept Ë might, on first look, appear very similar to the flower delivery vans that clog up the bicycle lanes of London, but scratch below the snowy surface, and you will find an altogether different beast.
There is an argument of course, that fitting in and having the latest slope style fashion dictates your snow cred when you’re away for a winter break in the Alps, but then on the other hand, snowboarding has always trod a less sheep-like path. Maybe this is where the SpaceTourer comes in; breaking the mould and allowing you to stand out as much as you arrive as you do on the slopes in your camo and orange ski gear (or was that last year’s thing?).
Citroen wouldn’t want you to go too off-piste though, and the SpaceTourer allows you to colour coordinate your look with your new 4×4 with matching beanies, parkas and iPad covers. Fortunately, the colour scheme is subtle with an overall white finish adorned with Technical Grey camouflage and hints of red. If that seems all a little bit too Howard and Hilda for you (google it), then you can slalom the matching kit.
It’s not the first time a car manufacturer has set its sights on appealing to the active lifestyle brigade of course, in my recent memory I recall being involved in the launch of Nissan’s Juke, with some very dubious clothing thrown in for good measure (I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to land on my back wearing one of the branded solid plastic silver backpacks, however deep the soft powder was).
What’s the point?
So what makes Citroen think they might be onto a winner with the Concept Ë then? Well, the van has full 4-wheel drive plus snow chains and a raised up ride height for tricky conditions. Despite the ride height, Citroen have rather smartly made sure that the vehicle still sits at under 2 metres high, hopefully removing any potentially embarrassing car park barrier height restriction problems.
The SpaceTourer is based on the existing and successful Citroen SpaceTourer, so the ability to transport up to 8 people with all their required active lifestyle paraphernalia makes this a far better option than many others out there.
The Citroen SpaceTourer is available in many sizes of course, and the Concept Ë offers XS, M and L body sizes with sliding side doors and sliding rear removable seats to allow plenty of personalisation options. An opening rear window allows for quick boot access.
Power comes from the BlueHDi 150 S&S diesel engine and a 6-speed manual gearbox with disengageable 4×4.
The SpaceTourer Concept Ë will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March though remains strictly a concept vehicle for now.
Is there a place for such vehicles in the real world? Hard to say, maybe for the once or twice a year ski families and hotels, bars and chalets, but I suspect the hardcore will always stick with Land Rover and other tried and tested traditional modes of transport. After all, the actual skiing and boarding only takes up around 20% of your time (if that) – the rest is spent hanging out and looking good, right?