Two names, CITROËN and LACOSTE , have come together with a shared vision to cultivate boldness, creativity and optimism. The result of these common values is the CITROËN LACOSTE concept car. The new model is an emblem of a state of mind and a lifestyle, clearly alluding to leisure and pleasure. It takes a simplified, no-nonsense approach to motoring – without forgetting refinement –and transports passengers to a lighter, fresher world. The new concept car is both resolutely CITROËN and typically LACOSTE. Positioned at the crossroads of the automotive world where fashion and sport meet, it makes a number of references to these two sectors. The technology on board also strikes a playful note, underlining the seeming paradox between design expertise and lightness of tone.
With its strong presence and joie de vivre, the high-tech and innovative CITROËN LACOSTE makes car travel an all-new experience and an incomparable adventure for the senses. Pure, simple and laid-back, while remaining sophisticated, the CITROËN LACOSTE concept car takes us another step forward towards the car of the future, a vehicle aimed at putting an end to the “always more” mantra that often reigns in the automotive industry. The new model also fuels CITROËN’s thinking on focusing on the essentials to create original cars that are affordable and economical, while losing none of their ambition on motoring passion, notably through premium styling.
Sweeping away preconceived ideas on compact cars – supposedly short on character – the CITROËN LACOSTE concept car proudly asserts that another way forward is possible. Stylishly minimalist and elegantly laid-back, it instantly attracts with its off-beat sports aesthetic. It features a high waistline, bulging, textured wings, minimum overhang, and golf ball-style rims on wheels placed in the furthest corners of the body. On longer inspection, it is the car’s “open” physique that appeals, promising a fulfilling drive while expressing a wealth of inventiveness and elegance.Passengers enjoy an open-air experience thanks to broad cut-outs as the front doors and the lack of a hard-top roof. Journeys in the CITROËN LACOSTE inevitably heighten the senses, much more than in a protective bubble that cuts occupants off from the world. And as if these intensified sensations weren’t enough, the windscreen can also be lowered out of sight, providing a harmonious waistline around the entire cabin, front, back and sides.
The elegance of the CITROËN LACOSTE is to take this approach while retaining the lightness of tone inscribed in its DNA. The choice of drivetrain plays a key role here. Rather than seeking driving sensations through flat-out (and illegal) speed, the concept car opts for a 3-cylinder petrol engine with plenty of performance on tap to power a vehicle of this size and weight. With its light timbre, the flexible, economical and ecological powerplant is a perfect match for the car’s “back to essentials” nature. The new concept car respects the environment, by virtue not only of its engine but also its design choices. Even with its large wheels, the CITROËN LACOSTE seems to “marry” rather than confront nature. This impression takes concrete form in the subtle, undulating shape of the wheels, in an approach that suggests CITROËN LACOSTE drivers are playing with the elements for more fun.
Along with its bright and breezy convertible approach to life, the CITROËN LACOSTE also features taut, muscular and reassuring volumes. Compact and robust (at 3.45 m long, 1.80 m wide, 1.52 m high and with a 2.30 m wheelbase), the new model expresses faultless expertise and design. The car’s stylish and laid-back personality stems from this purity, as evidenced in the body paint in pearlescent white set off by dark blue design motifs and strips underlining the forms of the vehicle. Cabin access couldn’t be easier, since the doors have been replaced by broad cut-outs in perfect harmony with the body styling. Access to the rear seats is just as easy, with passengers simply jumping on to the rear bench. And for transporting luggage or sports equipment, the rear bench slides handily into the boot. The car could also be fitted with specially designed sports equipment, including tennis racquets, golf clubs, skis, a surfboard, a bike and a ball, with owners deciding on the theme of their weekends.
At the crossroads of the worlds of motoring, fashion and sport, the CITROËN LACOSTE makes a number of references to these three worlds. The cabin contains countless storage areas for enhanced travelling comfort. The compartments are discreetly located, under the ends of the dashboard and in the two benches, and feature sliding doors in green, echoing the colour on the seats. The seats are also overstitched in white cotton, with a weave closely resembling that of the polo shirt, an iconic LACOSTE design. The seatbelt anchorage points get “necklines” like polo shirts, while the seats are covered in a robust, rope-like cotton, a direct allusion to the ribbed hems of the same brand. Like a wardrobe of different clothes, accessories and fabrics, the CITROËN LACOSTE concept plays with a range of colours and materials.
For more fun, simplicity and elegance, the emphasis is on bold, traditional colours like white and deep blue. And to enliven the whole, the cabin is dotted with bright, almost fluorescent, yellow splashes, on the handles – in soft and tactile rubber with a tennis ball-like effect – and in the storage compartments. The fun-loving CITROËN LACOSTE brings familiar objects to mind. Some details make reference to the sporting world of the LACOSTE brand. It sports square-shaped relief designs resembling pieces of a tennis net on several parts of its body, including the bonnet and bulkhead. The fairing that rises up from the underbody, at both the front and the back of the vehicle, recalls the print left by a tennis shoe on a clay court. These designs also figure on the wheel rims of the concept car, this time with a “golf ball” motif
CREATIVE AND MAGICAL TECHNOLOGY
The technology on board the CITROËN LACOSTE concept car is also of a playful nature, underlining the seeming paradox between design expertise and lightness of tone. Strictly speaking the car has no fixed roof. In its place is a T-shaped structure anchored in the windscreen that extends back to the boot, forming a sort of backbone. This structure has several functionalities. It is of help when accessing the vehicle and features an ingenious system that provides shelter for passengers. An auto-inflatable hood deploys all the way along the “backbone”
to form a soft-top roof. In the same yellow as the door handles, the soft top ensures a light-filled cabin rain or shine.
Invisible on first glance, the deployment of the system makes for quite a spectacle. And by choosing this inflatable hood rather than a conventional structure, the CITROËN LACOSTE concept car remains faithful to its simple and light-hearted spirit. In much the same spirit, the fascia strip on the dashboard serves as the car’s display screen, showing driving information such as speed and directional indications. Messages take the form of icons with oversized pixels. This is a clear nod back to the first video games, but behind the naïve appearance lie cutting-edge technologies.
The CITROËN LACOSTE’s two-spoke steering wheel impresses with its minimalist design, simplicity and size. When passengers are getting on board, the wheel can be moved out of its regular axis and positioned against the upper dashboard – an ingenious way of optimising access to the front bench. Even the front and rear lights are discreet to the point of being almost invisible. Concealed under the car’s dark blue skin, they can be seen only once they are switched on. As well as providing visual purity, this design choice delivers a unique and magical spectacle.