Two names, Citroen and Lacoste, have come together with a shared vision - to cultivate boldness, creativity and optimism. The result of these common values is the new Citroen Lacoste concept. To be unveiled at the forthcoming Paris Auto Show, the car is an emblem for a state-of-mind and lifestyle.
Clearly alluding to leisure and pleasure, it takes a simplified, no-nonsense approach to motoring - without forgetting refinement - and transports passengers to a lighter, fresher world.
The Citroen Lacoste has an off-beat sports aesthetic. It features a high waistline; bulging and textured fenders; minimum overhangs; and golf ball-style wheels, placed in the furthest corners of the body. After a longer inspection, it is this car's "open" physique that appeals - promising a fulfilling drive, while expressing a wealth of inventiveness and elegance.
Passengers enjoy an open-air experience thanks to the broad cut-outs that replace the front doors and the lack of a hard-top roof. The windshield can also be lowered out of sight, providing a harmonious waistline around the entire cabin.
The elegance of the Citroen Lacoste is underpinned by the choice of drivetrain. Rather than seeking enhanced driving sensations through flat-out speed, this new concept opts for a 3-cylinder gasoline engine with plenty of performance for a vehicle of this size and weight. Along with its bright and breezy approach, the convertible Citroen Lacoste features taut, muscular and reassuring lines.
The laid-back personality stems from its purity, as evidenced in the pearlescent white paint, which is set off by dark blue design motifs and strips underlining the forms of the vehicle.
Cabin access couldn't be easier, since the doors have been replaced by broad cut-outs. Access to the rear seats is just as easy, with passengers simply jumping onto the rear bench. For transporting luggage or sports equipment, the rear bench slides into the trunk. The car can also be fitted with specially designed sports equipment, including tennis racquets, golf clubs, skis, a surfboard or a bike, with owners deciding on the theme of their weekends.
At the crossroads of motoring, fashion and sport, the Citroen Lacoste makes a number of references to all three worlds. The cabin contains countless storage areas for enhanced convenience. The compartments are discreetly located under the dashboard and within the two bench seats - with sliding covers that echo the color of the upholstery. The seats themselves are overstitched in white cotton, with a weave closely resembling that of a polo shirt - an iconic Lacoste design. Building on this theme, the seatbelt anchorage points have "necklines" like a polo shirt, while the seats are covered in robust, rope-like cotton.
The Citroen Lacoste plays with a range of colors and materials. For fun, simplicity and elegance, the emphasis is on bold, traditional colors like white and deep blue. The cabin is then dotted with bright - almost fluorescent - yellow splashes in the storage compartments and the grab handles, which are finished in soft and tactile rubber, with a tennis ball-like effect.
The fun-loving Citroen Lacoste brings familiar objects to mind. Some details make reference to the sporting world of the Lacoste brand. It boasts square relief designs that resemble sections of a tennis net on several parts of its body. The fairing that rises up from the underbody, at both the front and the rear, recalls the print left by a tennis shoe on a clay court.
Strictly speaking this car has no fixed roof. In its place is a T-shaped structure that extends to the trunk like a "backbone". With several functions, this structure helps when accessing the vehicle and features an ingenious system that provides shelter for passengers. An auto-inflatable hood deploys all the way along the backbone to form a soft-top roof. In the same yellow as the grab handles, the inflatable roof ensures a light-filled cabin, come rain or shine. Invisible at first glance, the deployment of the system makes for quite a spectacle.
In much the same spirit, the fascia strip on the dashboard serves as the car's display screen, showing driving information such as speed and the directional indicators. Messages take the form of icons with oversized pixels. This is a clear nod to the first video games. The Citroen Lacoste's two-spoke steering wheel impresses with its minimalist simplicity. When passengers board, the wheel can be moved from its normal position and located against the upper dashboard - an ingenious way of optimizing access to the front bench.
Even the front and rear lights are discreet to the point of being almost invisible. Concealed under the car's dark blue bodywork, they can be seen only when illuminated. As well as providing visual purity, this design choice delivers a unique and almost magical sight.