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CitroŽn Evasion/Synergie

1994 - 2002

The Lost Opportunity 

After years of research , on 10 March 1994, CitroŽn displayed its first venture into the MPV (Multi Purpose Vehicle) or `people carrier' market at the Geneva Salon. 

Built as a CitroŽn, a Peugeot, a Fiat and a Lancia with little to distinguish one from the other apart from some minor cosmetics, here was an utterly conventional vehicle; the first big CitroŽn since 1952 not to be fitted with hydropneumatic suspension. Its styling is boxy and van-like - indeed CitroŽn's Jumpy/Dispatch van is based on this MPV. If I were in the market for such a vehicle, I would not be pleased that it is also available as a van.

CitroŽn …vasion
Peugeot 806
Lancia Zeta Fiat Ulysse

Chrysler were the first to build such a vehicle.  Matra had proposed a design to CitroŽn in 1981 - Projet P18 -  who rejected it, saying they could see no market for such a vehicle. Matra took it to Renault and the rest is history.

So why, given that MPVs are likely to experience widely varying loads, didn't PSA condone the use of hydropneumatics ? It can't have been the cost. An hydropneumatically sprung MPV would have offered incomparable advantages in terms of ride comfort, handling and ease of loading compared to all of the competition.

CitroŽn call the vehicle Evasion except for Anglophone markets where it is badged Synergie. Evasion in French means getting away from it all while in English it means getting away with it all.


(CitroŽn were the first to invent the people carrier)

The sketch on the left (one of mine) appeared appeared in the CitroŽnian several years ago in response to the launch of the Evasion. It draws heavily on the DS for styling inspiration.

This is one of my later sketches for a combined MPV and 4 x 4 off-roader:-

2 models -

Safari 4 x 4 off roader fitted with hydractive suspension allowing two ride heights - normal for on road use and high for off road

Familiale FWD without off road suspension.
Styling draws on great CitroŽns of the past

Evasion dashboard showing unusual gearchange location.

© 1996 & 1997 Julian Marsh