Citroen 19_19 concept: mad concept design done properly | CAR Magazine
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Citroen 19_19 concept: mad concept design done properly

Published: 13 May 2019

► Citroen’s 19_19 concept
► Autonomous, comfy and wild
► Part of 100-year celebratioons

How much vin rouge were the Citroen designers drinking when they created this? As part of its 100th anniversary celebrations, the French brand has unveiled an all-new concept: the 19_19.

It’s the second of two concepts that Citroen has had in the birthday celebration pipeline, and is meant to be a polar opposite to the boxy city mover concept, the Ami One.

The 19_19 concept – its name seemingly a subtle nod to the 1919 to 2019 lifespan of the Double Chevron – is meant as an exercise in fresh concept design. Citroen call it a ‘suspended transparent capsule’ like ‘the transparent bubble of a helicopter’ with rear suicide doors and a stretched, glowing logo. Nods to cars of old are everywhere; the rear window is concave like the C5 and C6 of the Noughties, it’s painted in a very similar blue to the Petite Rosalie from the inter-war years.

Citroen 19_19 overhead rear

Concept tyres by Goodyear are big and skinny, wrapped around 30-inch wheels. The tyres themselves have sensors in them to help the car’s self-driving computers get a better feel for the roads, allowing it to better decide what autonomous mode to be in. The tread itself is designed to be spongey to soak up road noise.

Citroen’s Progressive Hydraulic Cushions make an appearance, paired with an active road scanning system to prepare the suspension systems for what lays ahead. Citroen says this itself is a pointer to the Xantia Activa and its active body roll elimination tech.

Inside, each seat is designed to be a different expression of comfort. The driver’s seat is shaped to be supportive when the driver is helming it themselves, while the front passenger is treated to their own chaise longue with a fat, cylindrical headrest. The driver has an augmented reality windscreen to use and an animated personal assistant housed in a sliding cylindrical device in the dashboard, almost as if Citroen was staring at an Alexa pod for a bit too long. The steering wheel, meanwhile, is a single-spoke affair – again, another hark back to many Citroens of old.

Citroen 19_19 interior

Those in the rear might be put off by the lacy, harp-like construct fashioned through the rear window but Citroen says it’s designed to be like the sundeck of a Riva yacht. The rear half of the cabin has significant tinting so those in the back can’t be seen by those outside.

Of course, all of this crazy design is underpinned by the trad concept traits; it’s autonomous and all-electric. Battery capacity is 100kWh, it’s all-wheel drive and power is rated at 456bhp and 590lb ft. Citroen claims 497 miles of range on the WLTP cycle.

Check out our Citroen reviews

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, gamer, serial Lego-ist, lover of hot hatches