What can one say that has not been said before about CitroŽn's DS?
such as "revolutionary", "ahead of its time", "quirky", "courageous"
all spring to mind but all have been used by others in the past.
a few months of the launch of the equally revolutionary Traction in
1934, CitroŽn's engineers set to work on its successor. Early design
studies employed the basic underpinnings of the Traction but with a
more "streamlined" body.
At much the same time, work was being undertaken on the TPV (Toute
Petite Voiture) - the car that would become the 2 CV. Since the TPV
would be aimed at the bottom end of the market and the Traction and its
successor were aimed at the top end of the mass production market, it
was decided that a new model, codenamed AX, should also be developed to
cater for the middle market.
In an effort to extend the range of the Traction, a V8 version was developed and shown at the Paris motor show but sadly, the car never made it into production.
Traction replacement was given the codename VGD (Voiture ŗ Grande
Diffusion or "mass produced car") by Pierre Boulanger and Andrť
Lefebvre, the spiritual father of the Traction set about his task with
started with a clean sheet - he proposed a monocoque structure in which
the centre of gravity would be as low as possible, the roof and bonnet
would be of aluminium and the floorpan would support unstressed,
lightweight body panels.