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Concept Car of the Week: Citroën C-Metisse (2006)

Fri, 29 Nov 2013

Citroen was on a roll back in 2006, in terms of its production cars such as the C4 and C6, but most notably in advanced design. The previous 'C-' range of concepts that started in 2002 with the C-Airdream, swiftly followed by the C-Airlounge and C-Sportlounge.

But there's a feeling that the this fourth car in the series was the one that showed the PSA design team at its flamboyant best. Long, low and wide and with a sensational door arrangement that stole the show in Paris 2006.

Here's what Nick Hull said about the car at the time:

This is a flamboyant showcar in the traditional sense, with dramatic proportions, advanced technology (hybrid diesel powertrain) and an interior full of new ideas. The exterior, led by designer Gilles Vidal, takes the typical Citroen stance of long hood, long wheelbase and short tail and pushes it to the extreme.

Some designers we spoke to compared it to the Mazda Senku concept of 2005, which also made a reappearance on Mazda's neighbouring stand. The exterior develops the theme of 'kinked' feature lines that Citroen have been employing since the AirDream concept four years ago and which we're now seeing on production models such as C4, C6 and new C4 Picasso.

The rear end has references to the C6 sedan with an arched rear window and taillamps, while the roof has a prominent dip in the center with high mounted DI lamps in the corners of the roof – like a DS. Meanwhile, the very fast wraparound visor screen keeps the upper body graphics clean, allowing the bright red body color and chrome accents to work to best effect.

The door system reminds one of the lovely Activa concept of 1988. Front gullwing doors are combined with rear butterfly type doors that open on a helical axle to move them outboard of the wide rear wheel. The aircraft style cockpit features four individual white leather bucket seats with visible structural frames.

Neat touches include the drivers headrest suspended from the center spine in the roof and a bespoke luggage bag stored in the front kickplate area, accessed when the doors are opened. There's a real sense of purpose to this car, demonstrating a wealth of experimental ideas that fit well to Citroen as a brand.

First seen Paris 2006
Lead designer Gilles Vidal
Length 4740mm
Width 2000mm
Height 1240mm
Wheelbase 3000mm

By Owen Ready