Founded shortly after the First World War, Citroën has consistently been one of the world’s most innovative car companies. Many of us immediately think of the DS or 2CV, but the Traction Avant of 1934 was arguably Citroën’s cleverest car: the first mass-produced vehicle with front-wheel drive, a monocoque chassis, independent front and rear suspension, an automatic transmission and hydraulic brakes.
The 2CV is Citroën’s most familiar icon, however, and we feel obliged to dwell on it because Ti co-founder Andrew Frankel adores them. You can find Andrew’s twin-test between his own 1958 Deux Chevaux and the current Citroën Ami in the articles below. And discover why Ti contributor David Twohig isn’t quite so enamoured with the ‘Tin Snail’.
After decades of ground-breaking cars – also including the SM, GS and CX – Citroën became part of the PSA Group with Peugeot in 1976. What followed were several decades of playing it safe (with a few notable exceptions, such as the Xantia Activa) and some rather forgettable cars. Thankfully, Citroën now seems to have rediscovered its identity and joie de vivre.
A case in point is the luxurious C5 X (reviewed below), which harks back to the big, supremely comfortable Citroëns of the past. The Ami is also an interesting new approach to urban mobility, while the Oli concept points to a lightweight EV that, frankly, can’t come too soon. Citroën’s cars don’t always appeal to enthusiasts, but once again it feels like one of the most innovative car companies.