Revolution Numéro 9 – Turn me on, French man.
Citroën, long known for their forward thinking design, has recently gone public with the latest design study for their growing DS line. The Numéro 9 (French for “dressed to the nines”) is a shooting brake style executive concept that blends low-slung sexiness with modern eco-technology to create a car that looks into the future possibilities of the Citroën’s DS family of cars.
The Numéro 9 starts off with a front end that incorporates a 3D-effect grille, full-LED headlights and a flowing sequential turn signal/daytime running light, it’s quite elegant. Complexly sculpted 21-inch wheels look enormous when contrasted with the vehicle’s height of a mere 50-inches, roughly as low as a Mazda Miata. The entirety of the 9 is decorated in a deep black with violet finish and long swooping chrome accents around the front grille, roof and side sills. The roof is adorned with three “light shafts”, basically glass panels, which are outlined by a very cool wraparound roof spoiler finished in a honeycomb pattern. You might think that pattern denotes some sort of solar roof feature, but it does not. A missed opportunity as I predict solar looking finishes may become a common as faux carbon fiber.
Power on this plug-in hybrid concept comes from a 70-hp electric motor affixed to the rear axle and a 1.6-liter petrol engine that develops 225 hp and powers the front wheels. The vehicle can be operated on electric-only power for up to 50 km (31 miles) and recharging it’s lithium ion batteries takes 3 ½ hours from a standard (European) outlet. Most interestingly, there is a “boost” mode that dumps a 100-hp shot of nitrous…just kidding…it forces the electric motor and gas engine to work at the same time for a combined output of 295 horsepower. The Numéro 9 can reach numéro 60 mph in around five and a half seconds.
Citroën showed this new concept in person at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, hoping to draw attention to their launch of the DS line in China later this year. This concept could be a jumping off point for future C-segment sedans, possible crossovers and large D-segment sedans.
The Numéro 9 design seems provocative and purposeful, without being too futuristic. Hopefully, some of the design elements will see the light of day on an upcoming DS models. While the proportions are obviously stretched and exaggerated for dramatic effect, the floating roofline, innovative headlights and less-gaping grille point to good things ahead at Citroën.