This is Citroen’s gift to itself on its 100th birthday and it has none of the grace of its past legends

The Citroen 19_19 Concept is not a Tonka toy. Instead, it’s Citroen’s idea of how a fully autonomous car meant for cross-country trips will look in the future. Said to be inspired by the aviation world, it features a cabin brimming with tech that’s accessible via suicide doors. View it as the big brother of Citroen’s Ami One concept that’s built for the inner cities with licenseless drivers in mind.

Did you expect a nicer looking concept on Citroen’s 100th anniversary? After all, the endless streams of CXs, BXs or SMs should’ve been carried into the present day and into the future by something, right? Well, look at Citroen’s current lineup of cars. Do you see anything even remotely pretty or classy looking? I don’t and this autonomous EV sitting on 30-inch wheels is a sign that things won’t change. But underneath that GM AUTOnomy-esque body, there’s a revised version of Citroen’s Progressive Hydraulic Cushion suspension, a 100kWh battery pack that translates to a near-500-mile range, and a pair of electric motors that combine for a total output of 456 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of twist. We reckon that’s enough for the driverless means of transportation of the future but what’s more important is what the 19_19 Concept hides behind those four large doors.

Exterior

  • Rides on 30-inch wheels
  • The headlights are shaped like Citroen’s logo
  • Inspired by the company’s helicopter
  • Inspired by a ’30s endurance record car
  • Wheels and fenders independent of the body
  • Roof-mounted LIDAR sensors
  • Semi-transparent doors and other body panels
  • LED screens in rear doors
  • Upper light bar extends to form mirrors
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Look at this car. What do you see? "I like to think about an egg because there’s nothing so simple," said Citroen’s Head of Exterior Design Frédéric Duvernier before adding that "this project cannot be presented without thinking of AMI One [since] they are very complimentary. On the one hand, you have a small economy car; on the other hand, comfort." So this is an egg on wheels with the fenders and wheels actually separated from the body that’s supposed to be the long-distance cruiser to the AMI One’s city-bound versatility.

But besides an egg, Citroen's designers also had other sources of inspiration when coming up with the strange shape and proportions of the 19_19 Concept.

For starters, they took a good strong look at Citroen’s Wankel-powered chopper produced some four decades ago. What? You didn’t know there once was a Citroen-branded helicopter with a rotary in it? Well, Citroen built it to challenge the American Bell 47 two-seater helicopter, but the project barely got off the ground (pun intended). The RE-2 only flew in test flights under a special permit from the French government and no proud Frenchman was ever able to purchase 1,543-pound helicopter since Citroen abandoned rotary engine development around 1976, three years after the RE-2 was first discussed about.

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But the bubble-shaped aircraft wasn’t the only source of inspiration.

The other, as mentioned, was a pre-War race car, namely 'La Petite Rosalie,' an open-cockpit, open-wheel endurance record car that ran at the Linas-Monthlery circuit near Paris in 1933 to prove the reliability of Citroen's brand-new, 1932 8CV Rosalie.

The 8CV Rosalie was powered by a 1.4-liter four-pot that sent all of its power to the back wheels through a semi-synchromesh gearbox. The racing car shared the mechanicals of the 8CV for marketing purposes, but the body was streamlined with an elongated, teardrop-shaped tail and seating for just two people.

The car, also known as the ’Rosalie IV,’ or ’Rosalie des Records’ drove without stopping (other than for fuel and tires, and driver changes) for 133 days and nights until Andre Citroen waved the checkered flag to stop the Petite Rosalie on July 27th, 1933. According to DieselPunks, La Petite Rosalie covered no less than 196,000 or the equivalent of 122,000 laps of the Linas-Monthlery track with its daunting banked corners. With an average speed of 58 mph, the lithe machine broke or established 300 other records besides the distance and resilience record. You have to remember that the team of drivers drove this car come rain or shine for over four months and they did it at a higher average speed than you’re allowed to drive today on most urban highways in the U.S.

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Now, I've said previously that you won't find any whiff of a DS in the design of the 19_19 Concept, but Citroen's Head of Exterior Design is of a different opinion.

"When the original DS was displayed in 1955, all the other cars were bricks,” said Duvernier. “The Traction Avant, it just killed the competition, it was 0.78 inches lower than other cars by being a [semi] monocoque design. It was a revolution at the time. When we embrace this change to autonomy, we can really repackage everything and us designers can be super creative." I still don’t see it though.

In the front, you’ve got the protruding and very rounded blue wheel wells that are partially covered by the LED bar on top which extends outwards. There’s a second LED bar just below it, the two forming a clever chevron shape in the middle of the front fascia while in the corners they form an acute angle pointed towards the inside. These two light bards poke forwards and, below them, there’s a recessed black surface adorned with yet another Citroen chevron in a circle. Below the bonus logo, there is what looks like a bumper (since it extends outwards, obviously with the much-needed sensors at either end).

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The windshield of the 19_19 Concept is, in fact, just one part of the big greenhouse comprising the side windows, the rear window, the windshield, and the glass roof.

Basically, while riding in this car, you can get a proper tan if you aren’t careful. From the side, you’ll notice the protruding bar-like element that crosses the front doors and extends midway past the rear doors, where the color changes in tone with the rest of the rear bodywork and there’s also a giant Citroen logo positioned in that area for good measure. The car itself has a very low roofline and an angled windshield, but due to the huge wheels, it still looks big and chunky with a ride height that suggests some degree of off-road friendliness from the 19_19 Concept - although that’s not the case.

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You’ll notice on the roof the pair of LIDAR sensors. What is LIDAR? It’s "a surveying method that measures the distance to a target by illuminating the target with pulsed laser light and measuring the reflected pulses with a sensor." In other words, it’s the 19_19’s eyes that tell it what goes on in its immediate vicinity so it can travel in safety. The two sensors look like air vents and are placed on the blue strip that covers the rear doors and the top of the car in that area.

The wheels are special because both the tires and the fenders above them are, seemingly, blended into one element.

Citroen made the wheels so big so that the concept will grip better and, also, because it says the bigger tires are better at decreasing the level of road noise you hear inside.

The back of the car is black with some blue inserts and, again, two LED bars that mimic the design seen in the front. Above the top bar, you can see the 19_19 model name spelled out while below the lower one you can read the Citroen name spelled out. The Citroen name is placed on a rounded bar that gives way to a hallowed area pierced only by a vertical bar with a rain light incorporated.

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The covers of the rear axle - that don't cover everything as part of the inner workings are almost fully exposed - are crossed by this vertical element too.

You can definitely say, just by glancing at this concept for a few seconds, that Citroen’s designers are certain that, in the future, accidents will be few and far between since this car lacks the crumple zones present (because they’re mandatory) on current vehicles. Also, size-wise, the 19_19 concept is about as long as a Mercedes-Benz C Class sedan but about 16.5 inches wider (mirrors folded). It’s also 8.6 inches wider than a modern-day Formula 1 car but also a lot taller.

Citroen 19_19 Concept exterior dimensions
Length: 183.2 inches
Width: 88.2 inches
Height: 63 inches
Wheelbase: 122 inches

Interior

  • Floating dashboard
  • Different seats in the front and back
  • Made to mimic your living room
  • Semi-transparent Floor
  • Blue surfaces on the outside offer privacy
  • Multiple types of materials used inside
  • Marble-like resin covers the center console
  • Voice-operated ’Hello Citroen’ system is your partner
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“The 19_19 Concept is our technological and innovative vision of the automotive future," said Linda Jackson, the CEO of Citroen, about the concept that will be unveiled at the VivaTech Show in Paris on the 16th of May, 2019. As an autonomous EV, it’s no wonder Citroen spent a great deal of time designing the interior of this forward-thinking concept. After all, the day when you’ll no longer have to worry about driving (although the 19_19 Concept does feature a retractable steering wheel), the world in the cabin will open to a whole heap of a lot of possibilities. As such, Citroen came up with some rather interesting interior premises with three types of seats: one for the driver, a different, lounge chair-like, one for the passenger, and a bench in the back. Oh, and there’s quite a bit of fake marble in there too.

Citroen says that what you've got inside the 19_19 Concept is a living room on wheels.

I don’t know whose living room the interior designers Raphael Le Masson and Jeremy Lebonnois were thinking about because I’m yet to see one looking like that. If you will, it could be a living room from a modern-day adaptation of The Jetsons if you like stretching it.

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The interior is organized following Citroen’s own Advanced Comfort program. You’ll find all sorts of geometric shapes there, some cool fabrics, polished metals, hard plastics, and that resin that looks like marble which acts both as a center console and an armrest in the back and magazine rack on the pillarless, rear-hinged autoclave doors. The French manufacturer says that the cabin is spacious enough to allow passengers to switch their places mid-way through the journey if they so desire.

The driver's seat resembles somewhat that of a racing car but with an oversized headrest and an exposed structure that holds the cushioned pads together.

Once behind the wheel, which is also covered by that marble-like material, the driver gets all of his information from the windshield via a heads-up display split in two: on the driver’s side, you get driving-related information while on the passenger’s side you can watch a movie, for instance, or enjoy other augmented reality functions. The recessed dashboard with its crosswise-patterned upholstery is essentially devoided of knobs, buttons, screens, or any kind of dials although there is a vertical pillar - which can slide up and down through the dash - in the middle but it doesn’t connect to the center console between the seats. Also, the "borderless glazed area under the dashboard can be transformed into a film projection screen for the pleasure and entertainment of the passengers." That pillar is the device that "hears" you when you talk to the personal assistant that’s activated via a simple and familiar "Hello, Citroen."

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The passenger’s seat is semi-reclined like a deck chair (the French call it a "Chaise Longue" which refers to the way you seat in such a chair).

The seat is equipped with a power footrest, something that's been seen in production form (to a lesser extent) in the Citroen C4 SpaceTourer.

The passenger’s chair is unique in that it’s upholstered in the same material as the rest of the cabin, but the upholstery is of a greyish-white color and not purple-blue. What’s clear is that Citroen, again, doesn’t think you’ll be involved in a head-on collision in the future.

In the back, there’s a bench seat inspired by a sundeck. In a way, this makes sense with so much glassed area above you that’s great for sunbathing. There’s also no traditional headrests; instead, you get a hammock-style trellis of red elastic fabrics laid out in a chevron shape (of course). You also get some intricate reading lights that come down from the ceiling. That’s something you’ll need if you actually stuff those magazine racks with magazines or books and you read them on the go.

Drivetrain

  • Each tire uses embedded sensors
  • Tires made out of sponge-like material
  • 100 kWh battery pack
  • 456 horsepower and 590 pound-feet output
  • 497 miles on one charge
  • 0-62 mph in five seconds, top speed of 124 mph
  • 380 miles in 20 minutes via fast-charging
  • All-wheel drive
  • Suspension uses cameras to ready itself up
2019 Citroen 19 19 Concept
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"Futuristic and forward-looking yet realistic," is how Citroen describes the drivetrain of the 19_19 Concept. It runs using a pair of electric motors, one on the front axle and one on the back axle for a genuine AWD experience. The two engines combine for an output of 456 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. To put it into perspective, a Tesla Model S P100D puts out 603 horsepower and 713 pound-feet of twist via a three-phase AC induction motor. Granted, that’s the most powerful version out there and, with the ’Ludicrous+’ mode enabled, it can reach 60 mph from a standstill in 2.5 seconds, impressive for a car that weighs over 5,500 pounds.

The Citroen 19_19, though, isn't about out-and-out performance as it's been designed with comfortable long journeys in mind.

This is why the skateboard-like platform rides on the company’s updated suspension with progressive hydraulic cushions. This system is already available on some Citroen production models such as the C4 Cactus and C5 Aircross SUV but, in this application, it’s been extensively fiddled with to offer a magic carpet-like driving experience. The "system has been designed so that the wheels move relative to the cabin, which remains completely stable and movement-free." Both the suspension and the Goodyear tires scan the road ahead and adapt beforehand to the conditions, be it bumps in the road or certain levels of moisture on the driving surface.

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When the car drives itself, the personal assistant is your de facto "driver," but you can always take over, at which moment the steering comes back from its recessed position as do the pedals and your chair also moves forth so you can pilot this high-riding thing.

Citroen says it fitted the assistant with something called “Deep meaning understanding,” a "technology provides the fastest voice recognition in the world and perfectly understands natural language, in some 40 languages." I guess it may still need to coax its skills of recognizing accents which always seem to give personal assistants a hard time, but this is to be expected.

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Talking about that skateboard platform, it hides a 100 kWh battery pack - again something ’realistic’ since you can option a Tesla Model X with such a battery package. But, where a Tesla can go about 372 miles on a charge, the 19_19 Concept can traverse up to 500 miles without needing to stop for sips of electricity. However, once you do stop, it’s worth keeping in mind that, via the fast-charging socket you can replenish 380 miles-worth of range in just 20 minutes.

Due to the usage of lightweight materials, the 19_19 Concept accelerates from naught to 60 mph in just five seconds flat en route to a top speed of 124 mph - a speed I'm almost certain you won't feel while onboard thanks to that clever suspension and gigantic wheels and tires that absorb everything (or just about anything).
Citroen 19_19 Concept drivetrain specifications
Engine Dual electric motors
Horsepower 456 horsepower
Torque 590 LB-FT
Range 497 miles
Battery 100 kWh
0-60 mph 5 seconds
Top speed 124 mph
Charging 380 miles of range in 20 minutes through fast-charging

Final Thoughts

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I’m a fan of the ’60s and ’70s Citroens. Not only am I fascinated by the DS’s fluid lines penned by Flaminio Bertoni or the edgy cues of Robert Opron’s SM and CX, but I’m also a longstanding fan of all the quirkiness those cars hide. From the apparently useless stuff like the single spoke steering wheel to the hydropneumatic suspension, the moveable headlights, and all the other stuff, it’s what made Citroen great. Of course, the company’s first big hit was Andre Citroen’s Traction Avant that almost pushed the company off the cliff as a whole before Michelin saved it from an inevitable financial meltdown.

Citroen still rides high to this day thanks to those very cars, but its most recent products are, to me, lackluster. They don’t stand out to the eye, nor to the touch, and nor to the mind (through some genuinely break-through innovations like back in the day). Modern Citroens are, as far as I’m concerned, downright ugly and what this concept does is not make me confident of a brighter future as far as looks are concerned.

This car is, in effect, a bubble on big wheels that tries to remind you at every corner that it is, indeed, a Citroen.

Why is that? 50 years ago you didn’t need 50 badges to tell you a DS is a Citroen and not a Ford or a BMW or a Peugeot. Is it, maybe, because you could mistake it for a concept from a different manufacturer had it come out lacking all the chevrons?

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What I’m trying to say is that I hope this is not how Citroens of the future will look like because that’s just a plain ugly car. Of course, they might’ve sacrificed some freedom in the stylistic department to offer a cool interior and that they did with the different types of seats, the heads-up display on the "limitless" windscreen and other things but, as much as the interior is cool, you still feel they could’ve pushed the envelope further with something that they use as a marketing tool on the company’s 100th anniversary. Frankly, I’d just bring back the Citroen Vision GT from the land of the dead and celebrate the centenary of Andre Citroen’s company with that instead of this. Blame me for liking something exciting!

  • Leave it
    • Just plain ugly
    • Big wheels aid comfort but not appearance
    • Not as innovative as one would expect
    • The allure of Citroens of old has disappeared

Further reading

2019 Citroen Ami Concept Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Citroen Ami Concept.

2019 Citroen C5 Aircross Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Citroen C5 Aircross

2018 Citroen C3 Aircross Exterior High Resolution Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2018 Citroen C3 Aircross

Following Ami One Concept revealed last February and embodying the urban electric mobility, Citroën is presenting 19_19 Concept, expressing Citroën’s vision of ultra-comfort and extended mobility to escape from the cities. Two electric concept cars responding to all the needs of the customers willing to be free to move, in a world asking for “always more”.
A true Brand manifesto, 19_19 Concept is an unconventional expression lying outside traditional automotive cues; a technological aerodynamic object with exceptional proportions and a spectacular, suspended and transparent capsule design inspired by the world of aviation.
The new concept car illustrates ultra-comfort at the service of tomorrow’s mobility,
Through its design: a cabin designed as a true living room in its architecture and materials, plunging each occupant into a cocoon in which each seat is a unique experience of absolute comfort;
Through its technologies: a full-electric concept car with a range of 800 km, a true magic carpet ride with a suspended cabin equipped with suspension with Progressive Hydraulic Cushions® combined with smart active control, and featuring autonomous driving technologies and a proactive personal assistant that interacts unprompted with the passengers, bringing each one a whole new experience of car travel.
19_19 Concept will be revealed as a World Premiere at VivaTech in Paris the 16 May 2019.

“19_19 Concept is our technological and innovative vision of the automotive future. It conserves the fundamentals that have made Citroën what it is over the last 100 years, a Brand that listens to its customers and systematically focuses on human aspects, consistent with its ‘Inspired by You’ Brand signature. Design, creativity, comfort and innovation are and will remain central to Citroën’s DNA, as demonstrated by 19_19 Concept.”

Linda Jackson, CEO of Citroën

SYNTHESIS

To celebrate 100 years of boldness and creativity at the service of freedom of movement, Citroën was duty bound to present a spectacular object, a true UFO in the automotive sector. 19_19 Concept is a disruptive Citroën manifesto that rewrites the rulebook and illustrates a vision of mobility that is deliberately unconventional, future looking and constraint-free. Boasting exceptional proportions for the automotive segment, and inspired by the worlds of aviation and interior design, 19_19 Concept is immediately recognisable through its pure and streamlined shapes and its consummately worked technological details, and through the various ways in which it can be interpreted.

Taking comfort to a new level with a cabin constituting a true living room on wheels, 19_19 Concept pushes back the limits of the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme. The cabin is suspended on a new suspension system with Progressive Hydraulic Cushions® combined with smart active control and features a unique layout informed by the world of furniture with individualised seats, each one expressing a vision of comfort. 19_19 Concept is also innovative and futuristic through its autonomous driving technology, drivers being able to entirely delegate driving. Strong on artificial intelligence, the concept car is equipped with a personal assistant built in to the dashboard that takes over control of the vehicle during autonomous driving phases and interacts with passengers via a predictive and proactive system that anticipates the needs of each occupant.

19_19 Concept reduces the carbon footprint, heightens in-car comfort through the absence of noise and vibration, and proves that electric drive trains are eminently compatible with long journeys with a range of up to 800 km, thanks to its 100% electric drive train. Created to offer a relaxed driving, the concept car charges via induction either at a halt or in motion where the infrastructure so permits.

19_19 Concept reinvents long car journeys by sketching out an approach to ultra-comfort bringing occupants regenerative and restorative travel. The vehicle stands as a modern approach to design and technology that fosters a new automotive experience. Occupants enjoy a true “mental detox” experience for maximum travelling pleasure, enjoying total relaxation, calm and well-being.

19_19 Concept is the ultimate Citroën take on tomorrow’s car travel, inspired by a desire for liberated and restorative mobility.

01. EXCEPTIONAL DESIGN

19_19 Concept is largely inspired by aviation, a field in which aerodynamics and attention to detail are of prime importance. On the first gaze, 19_19 Concept stands out through its utterly original body styling – powerful and magnetic – that can be interpreted in several different ways. The design language is new and hyper-expressive, rewriting the traditional codes of autonomous electric cars. The exterior design of 19_19 Concept can be broken down into several layers: a fully-glazed suspended cabin; oversized wheels; and a subframe showcasing the electric drive train and suspension.

A. EXTRAORDINARY BODY STYLING

A SUSPENDED TRANSPARENT CAPSULE

AN EXTRAORDINARILY DESIGNED CAPSULE, AERONAUTIC AND AERODYNAMIC

The exceptional body design of 19_19 Concept resembles the fuselage of an aircraft and the transparent bubble of a helicopter. The capsule levitates above four “Super Tall and Narrow” wheels, promising the comfort of a magic carpet ride, with the passengers borne along by a car that appears to fly over the road. Boasting a powerful and authoritative road stance with the four wheels set squarely on the far corners of the body, 19_19 Concept impresses with its lengthy, 3.10 m wheelbase that makes room for an oversized battery. The cabin appears to float above the four wheels, the suspension forming the interface and link between the cabin and the wheels. The concept car features an innovative suspension with Progressive Hydraulic Cushions® and a smart active control system, Citroën having always sought to make its cars “magic carpets”. The suspension system is visible and signified, showcased within the cabin.

WELCOME SCREEN ON THE DOORS

The curvaceous cabin boasts original proportions, broadening in the elbow and shoulder area to accommodate passengers in the best possible conditions. The design of the extremely wide glazed bubble, inspired by the world of aviation, initiates the base of an “aeroplane wing” on each side, underscoring the sense of robustness, breadth and aerodynamics. The side includes a black panel that blends into the front door, which serves as a welcome interface for motorists approaching the vehicle. The car acts as a true personal assistant, recognising the driver, welcoming them and interacting with them through the black panel displaying animated graphic messages, for example illustrating the locking and unlocking of the doors.

TRANSPARENCY AND COLOUR CONTRASTS

The glazed area at the front is grey-tinted so that passengers can see and be seen at mid-height. At the rear, blue micro-perforated trim safeguards the privacy of passengers, who can see while not being seen. The experiences in rows one and two are different, highlighted by two emphatically different colours, black at the front and blue at the rear. 19_19 Concept draws on the Brand’s heritage with its vivid and deep “Rosalie Blue” colour, a nod to the Petite Rosalie. The luminous and almost electric hue is anodised, unvarnished, technological and futuristic.

“SUPER TALL & NARROW” WHEELS DEVELOPED BY GOODYEAR

ILLUSION OF CONTINUITY BETWEEN WHEEL AND TYRE

The wheels were designed and developed in partnership with Goodyear, whose badge graces each tyre. The oversized 30-inch wheels, with a diameter of 930 mm and shod with 255/30 R 30 tyres, have an exceptional, revolutionary design. The wheels are extraordinary through their dimensions and through their design with innovative technologies and a design inspired by gear cogs, features at the root of the Citroën logo. A wheel generally comprises a rim and a tyre, but the wheels on 19_19 Concept are hybrid. The Goodyear teams were set the challenge of creating seamless continuity between the rim and the tyre, plunging 19_19 Concept into a futuristic world beyond traditional automotive bounds and giving the impression of a vehicle moving forward on independent spheres.

ACOUSTIC COMFORT AND FILTRATION COMFORT

The tyre and wheel rim appear to constitute a single whole. The rubber extends over the rims to create a perfectly integrated and entirely unique whole, while also enhancing acoustic comfort. Sitting above the wheels and forming a seamless whole with them, the wings, both separate from the body and integrated in the wheels, give the impression that the wheels are independent from the body. The cabin appears to be set on four spheres, completely isolating it from the road. Developed specifically by Goodyear for 19_19 Concept, the wheels significantly contribute to the ride comfort delivered by the concept car.

FIXED-HUB CENTENARY LOGO

In a further hypnotic wheel design feature, the fixed-hub centenary logo remains horizontal even when the wheels are turning, displaying the Citroën Origins logo even when the car is in motion. This is another nod to the Brand’s history, namely the famous swan symbolising the floating engine integrated since the Rosalie. The fixed-hub centenary logo strengthens the imperturbable appearance of the vehicle, which appears to fly above the road.

B. AERODYNAMIC DESIGN AND CONSUMMATELY WORKED TECHNOLOGICAL DETAILS

Considerable work went into the aerodynamics of 19_19 Concept. Citroën’s legendary models, including the DS, CX and XM, were known for their impressive aerodynamic qualities. This quest for optimal aerodynamics is a powerful source of inspiration in the styling language of 19_19 Concept. The objective was to achieve maximum grip and minimum drag through optimised air flow around the body, which is set high above the ground.

TECHNOLOGICAL, DESTRUCTURED AND FUTURISTIC FRONT END

TRANSPARENCY AND TECHNOLOGY

The extraordinary new concept car 19_19 Concept features a transparent double bonnet that channels a current of air towards the windscreen, further enhancing aerodynamics. The short upper bonnet serves as a spoiler and as a medium for the light signature, in the form of two lines of light in a “Y shape”, consistent with the Brand’s most recent concept cars, CXperience and Ami One Concept. 19_19 Concept sports a new full LED light signature partition featuring the chevrons, in the shape of a geometric double notch. The upper light line constitutes the entire extremity of the upper bonnet, forming its frontal rib, while the lower light line constitutes the extremity of the lower bonnet. The new staging of the chevrons and the technological and floating light signature replaces the conventional chrome strips.

An all-new styling approach fostering greater functionality, the glazed bubble of the interior is visible under the double bonnet, revealing the cabin. From the cabin, passengers will be able to watch the road go by beneath their feet. The upper bonnet is fitted with reversing cameras on its rear extremities.

STRUCTURAL COMPONENTS SHOWCASED

19_19 Concept rewrites the automotive rulebook by deliberately revealing its technical workings, traditionally concealed by the bumper and bonnet. In addition to the glazed surface that connects the outside with the inside, the concept car’s suspension system is magnified and given a technological approach, the radars and sensors enabling the car to operate autonomously. The entire structure of the suspension, wheels and inner wings is designed with striations featuring Citroën’s emblematic chevrons, a special touch introduced on Ami One Concept. This emphatic design choice makes the front end even more expressive, lending it greater personality and clearly setting it apart from classic automotive production.

TECHNOLOGICAL REAR END CONSISTENT WITH THE FRONT END

COHERENT SIGNATURE

The rear end echoes the front end with the same characteristics, including the tailgate bubble, aerodynamic subframe and light signature. In a nod to some of the Brand’s legendary models such as the Ami 6, CX and, more recently, C5 and C6, the rear window on 19_19 Concept is concave. Completely consistent with the front, the rear houses the same light signature, with two LED light lines forming a “Y” including the chevrons, reinforcing the vehicle’s stance and constituting an aerodynamic spoiler.

TECHNOLOGICAL SHOWCASE ON THE ROOF

The purely styled roof is surmounted by two LIDAR laser-detection measurement systems positioned above the rear passengers. Resembling a twin tailplane, the LIDARs are made to deliberately stand out and are entirely separate from the body. As in the aviation sector, they work in sets of two; the function is redundant for greater security.

C. A SUBFRAME EMPHASISING THE FULLY-ELECTRIC TECHNOLOGY

The closer you get to the concept car, the more the details become important. While generally hidden on other cars, the technical components and technological details on 19_19 Concept are highlighted. They are showcased and worked aviation-style, isolated and each with its own function. 19_19 Concept is a pure bubble but the technical components are deliberately visible. The vehicle’s technologies are thus practically in raw state and visually staged, such as the light diodes indicating the activation of the various technical components relating to the electric drive train and the autonomous driving functions.

The subframe on 19_19 Concept was designed like a skateboard, as a deliberately visible technical platform home to the electric batteries and all the technical components. Fully streamlined, the subframe comprises aerodynamic appendices and piping to optimise air flow, as well as an array of sensors and radars useful to the operation of the vehicle. At the rear, under the cabin, the stem shape enhances aerodynamics by closing the air flow, inspired by the rudder of an aeroplane.

In a reference to Citroën’s French roots, the subframe features three coloured lines forming the French flag. All the technical components are finished in black, either matte or gloss, the function being underlined by the contrast.

“With 19_19 Concept, we sought to rewrite the automotive rule book with a high-impact vehicle featuring a strong and powerful design inspired by the world of aviation. As an aerodynamic and technological comfort bubble floating above the road, 19_19 Concept showcases details like the new-generation light signatures, the aerodynamic appendices and the wheels developed by Goodyear.”

Pierre Leclercq, Head of Citroën Design

02. TAKING COMFORT TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL

A. INTERIOR DESIGNED AS A LIVING ROOM

19_19 Concept takes comfort to a whole new level by making the cabin a true living room. In a certain respect, the cabin is an extension of the passenger’s home, a place where they feel just as comfortable and relaxed, in an atmosphere of silence and calm.

The living room theme is magnified. A dream living room is a collection of beautiful objects, a unique ensemble of different objects, different materials and sometimes different styles. As in a living room, comprising a sofa, a chaise longue, ottomans, reading armchairs and furniture separating several spaces, each seat in the cabin is special and offers a different experience and different postural comfort according to the desires of the occupants. The cabin offers several ways of experiencing the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme, the occupants entering different dimensions depending on the seat.

The Citroën teams designed a vehicle providing them with a lofty point of view. Passengers feel like they are flying over the road with no constraints, taking mastery of the road as soon as they enter the cabin. The rear-hinged autoclave doors, pillar-free, afford exceptional cabin access, with easy seating and exits for the occupants. The height of the eyes relative to the road is similar to that of a modern SUV. Passenger comfort is substantially boosted by visibility, posture and easy cabin access.

The 19_19 Concept cabin is made up of pure and clear geometric shapes with no embellishments. Boasting deep and warm colours, with a base of blue and red, similar to Ami One Concept, the cabin finish varies between blue, red and purple through the use of 3D mesh. The same fabric is used throughout the cabin on different scales, from the floor to the ceiling.

A WORLD UNTO EACH SEAT FOR BESPOKE COMFORT

INDIVIDUALISED SOLUTION FOR EACH PASSENGER

Each seat has been designed to provide a unique and individualised experience, with each passenger choosing their own travel experience. Travel is no longer a constraint but a time for pleasure. Occupants are at home in their vehicle and appreciate spending time there, enjoying a restful moment of well-being or using their time rather than wasting it. Whether family, friends, colleagues or carpoolers, passengers travel together with the possibility of remaining in their “bubble” or interacting. This is a new kind of car travel. The time when the driver had pride of place in the cabin is over. All the passengers now have a special seat that responds to the desires of all occupants, who have the comfort of being able to choose their own comfort. The onboard experience is fully customised. 19_19 Concept passengers can read a book or magazine, play a video game, order a meal, listen to and share music, and watch a film. And they can even drive if the driver is OK with it!

DRIVERS’S SEAT: COMFORT AND SUPPORT IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES

The driver’s seat is dedicated to driving, a hyper-intuitive experience with simplified controls. For a comfortable and pleasant drive, the driver’s seat has a raw, protective structure home to a soft and enveloping ultra-comfort seat, like a broad and thick cushion grafted on to the structure. In a contemporary note, the back of the seat and the oversized and sonified head rest are scooped out. With the driver comfortably settled in, the vehicle simplifies their experience with a head-up display through the windscreen with augmented reality, providing them with all the information required for complete peace of mind at the wheel.

THE CHAISE LONGUE, A SPECIAL SEAT FOR THE FRONT PASSENGER

The front passenger seat is dedicated to travel and relaxation, deeply imbued with serenity and harmony. Semi-reclined, the passenger can concentrate on all sorts of non-road related activities, as in a business class seat on a long-haul flight. The passenger can enjoy the trip with all-new postural comfort for the automotive sector, relaxing, stretching out their legs and experiencing home-like comfort on lengthy journeys. Equipped with a motorised lifting foot rest, in a nod to the “Relax” passenger seat with extended comfort on C4 SpaceTourer, the chaise longue takes things even further through its fully furniture-inspired design. Citroën has rewritten the rules and moved outside the automotive world, equipping the seat with a cylindrical and sonified head rest fitted with a buttress on the back. An iconic and symbolic seat in the cabin, the chaise longue is upholstered in the same material as the rest of the cabin but in a special colour, white blended with grey.

REAR SOFA WITH SUNDECK-INSPIRED DESIGN

Rear-seat passengers are equally cosseted, with seats forming a sofa extending back to the boot, like the sundeck of a Riva boat. All the components – seats and seat backs, ceiling and boot – are upholstered in the same material, as in an alcove, offering a true blanket of comfort that is warm, intimate and energising. Passengers can rest their heads on a hammock-style trellis of red elastic fabrics laid out in a chevron shape, having stored their personal affairs easily in the boot. The rear-seat sofa is a true cocoon, a cosy corner featuring its own sound bubble, to isolate passengers who so desire from those in the front. The cocoon spirit is underscored by the micro-perforated trim covering the rear area, enabling occupants to see outside but not be seen. Rear-seat passengers benefit from ideal cabin luminosity in all circumstances thanks to reading lights set above their heads. The reading lights extend downwards from the exterior LIDARs, magnifying and showcasing the technological content.

A CABIN THAT PUSHES THE LIMITS OF AUTOMOTIVE DESIGN

The 19_19 Concept cabin is designed as a true living room on wheels. Each traditional automotive component has been reworked in a spirit of absolute travelling comfort. The rules have been rewritten, the deck reshuffled. The time spent in a car is now a time for true rest and relaxation.

THE DASHBOARD: AERIAL AND ENTERTAINING

The dashboard on 19_19 Concept is pure and ultra-simplified, serving to showcase the steering wheel and the personal assistant. The borderless glazed area under the dashboard can be transformed into a film projection screen for the pleasure and entertainment of the passengers. Smooth and flat, it faces the passengers and establishes continuity between the exterior and interior. Floating and open to create an expansive view of the exterior, it features a fully transparent glazed area on its lower section. The work on suspension and the road running buy are thus visible from the cabin, below the dashboard, giving occupants the impression of hovering over the road as in a helicopter. The crosswise cloth upholstery further heightens this impression, featuring throughout the cabin with no interruptions, like a magic carpet. The more technological areas, free of upholstery, are finished in a macro-texture in a chevron pattern that enlivens and lends extra character while echoing the exterior by underscoring the formal and graphic continuity between the exterior and interior on both sides of the glazed bubble.

THE PERSONAL ASSISTAN: AN ANIMATED AND COLOURFUL CYLINDRICAL OBJECT

The purely styled dashboard also showcases the personal assistant, an animated and graphic cylindrical object that slides vertically above and below the dashboard depending on the driving mode selected. As decorative as it is interactive, naturally establishing contact with the driver and passengers, the personal assistant is an integral part of the cabin furniture and becomes something of a fifth passenger on board.

THE STEERING WHEEL: A RETRACTABLE DESIGN OBJECT AND A NOD TO HISTORY

The steering wheel remains present so that the driver can take back control of the vehicle where necessary, as 19_19 Concept can drive autonomously without any supervision of the driver. It can be retracted in autonomous driving mode, as can the pedal set. This provides drivers with extra room, so that they can relax and take advantage of the journey. The steering wheel is original in terms of its shape. It is a floating object, an utterly fresh take on the classic single-spoked Citroën steering wheel. The spoke here is set higher up, enabling drivers to move their hands around the entire wheel without obstructing the lower part. The steering wheel is also original in terms of its materials. It consists of a marble-like mineral resin, warm to the touch, for an original, high-end and authentic appearance. In the centre, a screen featuring an animated display of the chevrons having constituted the successive generations of the Citroën logo links up the past and the future. The screen is monostable, the chevrons remaining horizontal when the wheel turns, in a nod to Citroën’s inimitable fixed-hub steering wheels. To comply with rules on driver distraction, the chevron animation stops when the vehicle begins to move.

DOORS AND STORAGE SPACES DESIGNED AS PRACTICAL AND INGENIOUS CABIN FURNITURE

The doors are rear-hinged on both sides of the vehicle, providing optimal cabin access for all passengers thanks to the absence of a B-pillar. The doors feature pure and light styling to air the cabin and highlight the different experiences. They have the same upholstery as the rest of the cabin, strengthening the cocoon aspect, while the storage spaces on the doors and central console have special finishes that contrast with the rest of the interior through their material and shape. Finished in the same warm and robust mineral material as the steering wheel, the central console and the door storage spaces are pure, solid, strong and graphic objects. They comprise large red storage slits for exhibiting stylish objects such as journals, magazines or works of art, as in a real living room, and are also adorned with the Origins logo in a celebration of the Brand’s centenary year.

SOUND COMFORT FOR BUBBLE-LIKE TRAVEL

The acoustics and sound comfort of the cabin were designed to enable each passenger to benefit from their own intimate area, their own customised “sound bubble”. The vehicle’s mapping enables messages issued by the vehicle to be sent directly to the person concerned without disturbing the other occupants, while the zoning enables the complete individualisation of content, each passenger being independent of the others with no mutual disturbances.

EXCEPTIONAL LIGHT

The entirely glazed cabin is a light-filled cocoon providing exceptional visibility in all directions and for all passengers. Passengers forget about the panoramic glazed capsule and experience the outside world to the full, able to star gaze in complete relaxation, comfortable installed in the posture of their choice. Downwards visibility is also boosted, with the road running by beneath the feet of the front passengers, helicopter-style, and lateral low visibility as well, thanks to the glazed lower part of the doors.

B. A TECHNOLOGICAL OBJECT DEDICATED TO COMFORT

The Citroën Advanced Comfort® is a modern and innovative approach of comfort seeking for a 360° comfort. It is an essential part of the Brand’s strategy. It includes all the features of the comfort, from the driving comfort to the mind comfort, in order to create a pleasant and relaxed driving.

CABIN SUSPENDED THROUGH SPECIAL SUSPENSION AND GOODYEAR TYRES

A NEW STEP FORWARD FOR SUSPENSION WITH PROGRESSIVE HYDRAULIC CUSHIONS®

If there is any one brand that has pushed back the limits of suspensions by constantly innovating to bring its customers more comfort, then that brand is Citroën. Suspension plays a key role in absorbing shocks, keeping the vehicle body stable and ensuring overall comfort.

19_19 Concept is the logical culmination of 100 years of suspension comfort. A worthy heir to Xantia Activa, which took corners on the level, 19_19 Concept is equipped with a smart and actively controlled suspension system that brings occupants a magic carpet ride. The suspension actively reads the road to eliminate all jolts, supplementing the Progressive Hydraulic Cushions® system already available on New C4 Cactus and New C5 Aircross SUV. The ultimate goal is to give passengers the impression of being totally disconnected from the road, the sense that they are flying over the surface without experiencing bumps, disturbances or exterior interference. 19_19 Concept is suspended above the road with a pendular system ensuring outstanding comfort for the passengers, regardless of their posture and activity during the trip, eliminating cornering sensations. The suspension system has been designed so that the wheels move relative to the cabin, which remains completely stable and movement-free. The passengers are thus entirely removed from the road and the outside world, ensconced in a bubble of comfort and able to fully enjoy the new experience afforded by autonomous driving.

COMFORT-ENHANCING TYRES

Suspension comfort also stems from the wheels and tyres, which play a major role as they form the sole link with the road. The wheels mounted on tyres developed by Goodyear boost comfort through their ingenious and innovative design. The tyres are predictive, feeling the road and weather conditions thanks to a system of smart sensors that assist the autonomous driving control systems by transmitting an array of data. This enables 19_19 Concept to determine the optimal autonomous driving mode, with an impact on speed, braking, roadholding and stability. The tyres were designed to isolate occupants from external noises, particularly road noise. With its porous texture that absorbs impact and reduces noise like a natural sponge, the tread acts as a padded filter between the road and the cabin and as a noise-blocking wall.

AN INTUITIVE AND PROACTIVE ASSISTANT

Comfort on board 19_19 Concept goes beyond suspension, seat and acoustic comfort. It is also ensured through intuitive and proactive technology that reassures passengers and makes journeys peaceful, serene or fun, as desired, thanks to a proactive Personal Assistant equipped with artificial intelligence, created to improve in-car comfort. Extremely pure to further shaking up conventional automotive cues, the cabin without any touchscreen or button, the cabin of 19_19 Concept is home to projection and information areas that fully honour the Citroën heritage, as well as welcome screens on the doors. The Personal Assistant anticipates the needs of occupants, proposing actions even before the passengers express their needs. Substantially reducing the number of interactions required by passengers with the vehicle, the personal assistant is the true brain and nervous centre of 19_19 Concept. The proactive and predictive personal assistant can propose alternatives to the initial route, detours to visit points of interest based on browsing history, breaks in pleasant nearby locations, and renowned restaurants in the surrounding area.

The personal assistant has two positions on the dashboard. When the driver is driving, the personal assistant is located on the lower section, under the dashboard, in support mode. It remains active and proactive but does not take control of driving. The driver may not have visual contact with the rear-projection area, in compliance with driver distraction rules and to ensure a completely safe drive. In this mode, the projection area on the dashboard is reserved exclusively for passengers, who can relax with a film. In autonomous mode, the steering wheel, pedal set and steering wheel column retract, the driver’s seat moves backwards to provide more leg room, and the personal assistant slides up the dashboard to take control. It thus becomes the vehicle supervisor and frees up the projection area under the dashboard for all occupants, including the driver, whose role switches to that of a passenger in autonomous mode.

VOICE RECOGNITION WITH NATURAL LANGUAGE BY SOUNDHOUND INC.

A simple sentence suffices to interact with the vehicle, select a playlist, activate a film, video game or app, adjust the cabin temperature and lighting, make a phone call or send a message. A cylindrical totem reigning over the dashboard, the personal assistant enters into contact with the driver. The system is equipped with voice recognition via natural language developed by SoundHound Inc., a Silicon Valley start-up and strategic partner of the PSA Group. This technology, to be fit on new PSA Group models and future Citroën models, is based on “deep meaning understanding” technology, the only technology able to respond instantly to several questions asked in a single sentence, as a human being would. “Deep meaning understanding” technology provides the fastest voice recognition in the world and perfectly understands natural language, in some 40 languages.

When occupants call on the function by saying “Hello Citroën”, the system’s colourful interface lights up with a vertical image consisting of blue, red and white colours (in harmony with the cabin tones) and a clear and pure font. When the personal assistant is “thinking” and speaking, the screen displays graphic animations, establishing visual contact with passengers.

ALL-NEW DRIVING EASE

19_19 Concept was created to make driving easier in all driving conditions. Equipped with advanced autonomous driving technologies, 19_19 Concept can take over and manage vehicle control automatically, enabling drivers to get on with other, non-driving related occupations. But when the driver takes back control, because the road infrastructure so requires or because they simply want to enjoy the driving experience, the system was designed to make driving easier and bring drivers greater safety and peace of mind. Both driving modes offer the driver and passengers total serenity, reducing their mental load so that they can take full advantage of their journeys, talking, laughing, relaxing and arriving at their destination in top form, with no stress and in complete freedom.

HEAD-UP DISPLAY AND AUGMENTED REALITY

With its ultra-pure dashboard, 19_19 Concept displays all driving information not on a digital screen or an instrument cluster in front of the driver but in the driver’s field of vision, using an advanced head-up display system through the windscreen, as seen on fighter planes and in a nod to the system available on C6. The display assists drivers with augmented reality functions, providing the most relevant information in the best place. For example, it projects navigation data directly on to the road, with arrows showing the route more clearly, along with one-way streets and any dangers to be avoided.

AUTONOMOUS DRIVING

A true expression of the near future of the automobile, 19_19 Concept takes over certain driving phases, including on motorways or in traffic jams, the vehicle takes over control. Drivers can let themselves be driven entirely by the vehicle in complete safety. The driver can take back control whenever they like, for example to fully enjoy the at-the-wheel experience. They may be required to do so in certain more complex situations, such as traffic in obstacle-packed city centres.

19_19 Concept is a vehicle you can drive yourself or be driven in, autonomously. The driver decides when to delegate driving so that they can relax and take full advantage of the journey. The controls remain fully accessible via voice recognition thanks to the interaction of the personal assistant with all the passengers. Occupants can thus continue their journey in peace of mind, relaxed and with no constraints or limits. The driver no longer needs to supervise the road and can take advantage of the travel time.

THE BEST OF ELECTRIC TECHNOLOGY FOR LIMITLESS MOBILITY

Futuristic and forward-looking yet realistic, 19_19 Concept is powered by an all-electric drive train fully consistent with Citroën’s strategy to contribute to the energy transition. 19_19 is powerful and fleet, accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in five seconds and reaching a top speed of 200 km/h. Fuelled by 100 kWh batteries, the 4WD drive train comprising two motors (one at the front, one at the rear) develops torque of 800 Nm for power of 340 kW. The vehicle has a range of 800 km under the WLTP protocol, for freedom of movement without constraints.

For even greater comfort in use, 19_19 Concept features quick charging technology (with 600 km of range recovered in 20 minutes). For trouble- and cable-free charging, 19_19 Concept is equipped with an induction charging system whereby the batteries are able to charge directly while driving where the road infrastructure so permits. 19_19 Concept is adapted to all types of journeys, be it a trip to the country, holidays in the mountains or a weekend by the sea. Breaking with the trend of electric vehicles offering limited range, 19_19 Concept fully opens up new possibilities.

“The year of its 100th anniversary, Citroën is projecting into the future two of its key genes, still writing today’s range success: bold design and 21st century comfort – the Advanced Comfort, through in particular 4 seats featuring their own individual universes, all-electric drive train, a proactive personal assistant and autonomous driving technologies.”

Xavier Peugeot, Head of Citroën Product

DIMENSIONS

Length: 4,655 mm
Width: 2,240 mm
Height: 1,600 mm
Wheelbase: 3,100 mm
Wheel diameter: 913 mm
Goodyear tyres: 255/30 R30

CITROËN DESIGN TEAM

Head of Advanced Phase Exterior Design: Frédéric Duvernier
Exterior Design: Romain Gauvin
Head of Advanced Phase Interior Design: Jean-Arthur Madelaine-Advenier
Interior Design: Raphaël Le Masson, Jérémy Lebonnois
Color & Trim Design: Hélène Veilleux, Aude Renon
HMI Design : Nicolas Michel, Dominique Liegey

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