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CitroŽn S9 

AX prototypes 

Many of the lessons learned in the ECO 2000 project were put to use in the new design such as low weight and careful attention to aerodynamics. 

With the acquisition of Talbot (formerly Chrysler UK), Art Blakeslee, Talbot's Design Director offered Peugeot some design alternatives to the Bertone and Trevor Fiore offerings.

Talbot were given the same package information and quickly produced three or four full-sized clay models which were quickly whittled down to two from which fibreglass models were built.

The big programme 'want' was to save on tooling, materials and servicing costs so there were restrictions on the amount of glass and steel used.

There was also the requirement to use 'carry over' components like the headlamps which were 'off the shelf'.

At the time of the Design Review at Garenne (1982 or 1983), the project was given the codenames ZO-A and ZO-B (although the latter was dropped since it is rude in French).

Further evidence of cost cutting was the single rear view mirror and the single wiper.

The project also included provision for a stripped down base model above with rectangular lights and two wipers.

Also proposed was a Talbot version destined to succeed the Samba above and below. In the event, the Talbot marque ceased making cars.


In January 1981, the management at CitroŽn gave the go ahead for Projet S9 - a new small car which would slot into the bottom of CitroŽn's range.

Xavier Karcher promised at the AX 's launch in August 1986 that it would not supercede the 2CV while the latter continued to sell.

CitroŽn worked on the project in-house under the direction of Trevor Fiore and later Carl Olsen and outside consultants were also used.

The new model was heavily cliniced as a result of which, the concept of a single volume vehicle was abandoned (this was two years before the launch of the Renault Espace). Some 50% of those asked disliked the concept - which just goes to show that the use of clinics does not advance the art of automobile design one jot. 

Bertone experienced great difficulty in establishing a suitable aesthetic - the car above was one of his attempts.

This is the design that Fergus Pollock did. A single volume design and far more radical than the final production model.

CitroŽn's in-house design  team at Vťlizy came up with this prototype above, but this was considered too quirky in the light of the newer proposals and was changed to reflect the styling of the Talbot design. This was the basis from which the design was productionised.

A number of different frontal treatments were considered including that of the prototype above and its clay model below which also features twin wipers.

Left and above - proposals for the dashboard

Fergus Pollock

In 1975 he joined Rootes in Coventry and later worked at Chrysler in Highland Park 1976 in the USA; followed by a spell at Simca at CarriŤres-sous-Poissy in 1979, and then at CitroŽn at Vťlizy in 1981.

In 1983 he moved to Jaguar and under Geoff Lawson became Senior Design Manager in 1995. During his 30 year career he has been actively involved in the design of over 30 cars including rally and race cars as well as trucks and aeroplanes. He pioneered the European MPV and two of his designs have won the award for "The Most Beautiful Car In The World".

Among his other designs are Renault Espace, Jaguar XJS, Jaguar XJ6, Jaguar XK8 and Jaguar XJ8.


Left Heuliez proposed this break version in 1988

© 1998 Julian Marsh and © 2008 Fergus Pollock Many thanks to Fergus Pollock for additional information and pictures