Cars mass-produced by a manufacturer are the product of
much research, many tests, some of them completely unrestrained. As a
general rule, the public does not get wind of these “styling exercices”
most of which never get off the drawing board.
For the 1980 Paris Motor Show, CitroŽn decided to make
an exception to this rule by holding a public presentation of Karin, a
styling exercise and a proposition for a vehicle of the future.
Karin, as hypothetically specified, was to be in the
"middle range”. It is a two-door ‚”butterfly” coupť (the doors opening
upwards), with a very streamlined profile and a very low centre of
gravity. Length 12’ 1 Ĺ”, height 3’6 ľ” width 6’ 2 ĺ”. 4-cylinder
engine, front-wheel drive, hydropneumatic suspension.
The inside is roomy and non-conformist in design. It has
three offset seats, with the driving seat central. It still has a
steering wheel, but you feel that it might evolve into a joystick any
moment. Steering is assisted, with servo return, and only slightly
geared down. The highly functional facia has everycontrol at the
driver’s fingertips, in accordance with the principle that came into
being with the CX. It includes an inboard computer whose screen at all
times shows the state of the road and that of the vehicle.
It is occasionally said that the shape of motor cars
runs some risk of becoming monotonous, under the effect of ever-tighter
controls and regulations. Proving the contrary motivated CitroŽn’s
Styling Department to undertake this “styling exercise”, with as
starting point, for instance, aerodynamic research in order to
determine how some silhouette might be created which would be new.
Text © 1980 le Double Chevron