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Stop Press Citroën Pluriel

Derived from the C3-Air concept, Citroën will be showing the PLURIEL modular car at the Frankfurt Motor Show.  Citroën have taken pains to avoid the use of the word “Concept” but instead employ the language used to describe both C3 and C6 Lignage - “this could form the basis of a future model”.  The Pluriel employs a removable superstructure and is apparently “ C3 ish” in appearance.  There will be a choice of three separate “modules” or body styles which are interchangeable - a découvrable saloon (ie with a full length soft top), a décapotable and a spyder pick up which is apparently not widely dissimilar to the Berlingo Coupé de Plage concept vehicle.

The Pluriel is a new concept unveiled by Citroën at the 1999 Frankfurt Motor Show. This research prototype, which follows the C3 and C6 Lignage concept cars, illustrates the broad styling principles of a modular car that will take its place in the Citroën range at some point in the future. The multi-faceted Pluriel is the result of Citroën's research studies and innovation in new automotive concepts. It does not fit into any of the traditional vehicle categories. A vehicle of significant interior and - more particularly - exterior modularity, Pluriel changes its body style to adapt to a wide variety of uses. 

A vehicle with two removable arches running the length of the body, a retractable material top, a double floor at the rear, and no centre pillar, Pluriel can turn itself at will into a saloon convertible, an open-top leisure vehicle or a Spider pick-up.  On each variant, the retractable rear seat enlarges the load area according to requirements. 

Each side of the Pluriel reflects a different style. The two options highlight the personality of this new product concept, which expresses freedom, enthusiasm and joy of living. 

The Pluriel illustrates the many possibilities offered by a multi-purpose, practical and adaptable vehicle. With its modular interior and exterior, it adapts to a wide variety of uses, switching quickly and easily from one role to another to suit the circumstances and the requirements of the user. 

When the large material sunroof is in the closed position, the Pluriel looks like a compact 3-door saloon convertible. To turn it into an open-top leisure vehicle, the driver simply presses the buttons controlling the roof and windows. The roof folds down onto the rear window and disappears into the false floor of the boot by means of an ingenious mechanism. The two arches remain in place on the car body, giving it a distinct personality, while ensuring excellent visibility and maintaining direct contact with the exterior.

But the multi-faceted Pluriel goes one step further: the two arches are fitted with an easy-to-use coupling system for easy removal. In this way, the vehicle becomes a Spider pick-up. 

The rear seat of the Pluriel is designed to retract into the floor. The load area of each variant can thus be extended and the vehicle turned from a 4-seater into a 2-seater. The boot hatch opens downwards, extending the load floor and making it easy to transport long objects. Moreover, the boot does not have to be emptied to reach the false floor. A sliding plate is provided for this purpose. 

The Pluriel is a research prototype exploring the concept of several vehicles in one. Designed to bring users the comfort of a saloon, the laid-back style of a convertible, and the practical versatility of a pick-up - all at the same time - it demonstrates Citroën's ability to move beyond the contradictions inherent to existing vehicles and to respond to changes in the needs, requirements and tastes of the public.
 

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© 1999 Julian Marsh