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CitroŽn Lacoste concept car with an auto-inflatable soft-top roof
Fresh ideas for a more environmental sportiness

CitroŽn Lacoste concept car: front / side view.

CitroŽn Lacoste concept car: profile view.

CitroŽn Lacoste concept car: rear / side view.

A blend of bold, yet simple forms expressing agility.

20 September 2010: French brands CitroŽn and Lacoste will be presenting at the forthcoming Paris motor show (Mondial de l'Automobile, public days from 2 to 17 October 2010), what they call "a shared vision" through the new CitroŽn Lacoste concept car.

The new concept is a blend of bold, yet simple forms, expressing agility and sportiness in a refreshing lightness that is radically different from those heavy-weight sports machines. For both French brands, the concept represents an emblem for a state-of-mind and a lifestyle, taking a simplified approach to motoring in a subcompact convertible body that is:

- 3.45m long,
- 1.80m wide,
- 1.52m high and
- with a 2.30m wheelbase.

Naturally, being a "CitroŽn Lacoste" baby, the concept has to bear references to cars, fashion and sport. Minimalist and laid-back, it features a high waistline, bulging and textured wings, minimum overhangs front and rear and golf ball-style alloy wheels, placed in the furthest corners of the body.

The open-air experience comes from the lack of a hard-top roof and of the front doors. Even the windscreen can be lowered out of sight, providing a harmonious waistline around the entire cabin, front, back and sides.

CitroŽn Lacoste concept car: lowered windscreen.

The windscreen can be lowered, for a harmonious waistline.

Beyond the forms, driving sensations are not to be found in flat-out speed, as the new concept opts for a 3-cylinder petrol engine with sufficient performance to power a vehicle of this size and weight. Only a flexible, economical and ecological engine can match the car's "back to essentials" nature.

The CitroŽn Lacoste seems to hug nature, with the undulating shape of the wheels, as if the driver is playing with the elements for fun.

CitroŽn Lacoste concept car: tail lights illuminated.

Discreet lights can be seen only when illuminated.

The laid-back personality stems from the design purity, with the body paint in pearlescent white, which is set off by dark blue design motifs and strips underlining the forms of the vehicle. Even the front and rear lights are discreet to the point of being almost invisible. Concealed under the car's dark blue bodywork, they can be seen only when illuminated.

Access to the rear seats is simply by... jumping onto the rear bench, something which can be funny for a concept car, not more. For transporting luggage or sports equipment, the rear bench slides into the boot.

The car can also be fitted with sports equipment such as tennis racquets, golf clubs, skis, a surfboard or a bike.

CitroŽn Lacoste concept car: top - down view.

Access to the rear seats is by... jumping onto the rear bench.

The cabin contains many storage areas, with compartments discreetly located under the dashboard and within the two bench seats - with sliding covers that echo the colour of the upholstery. The seats are overstitched in white cotton, with a weave closely resembling that of a polo shirt - an iconic Lacoste design. Building on this theme, the seatbelt anchorage points have "necklines" like a polo shirt, while the seats are covered in rope-like cotton.

The CitroŽn Lacoste "baby" plays with a range of colours and materials. For fun, simplicity and elegance, the emphasis is on bold, traditional colours like white and deep blue. The cabin is then dotted with bright - almost fluorescent - yellow splashes in the storage compartments and on the grab handles, which are finished in soft and tactile rubber, with a tennis ball-like effect.

CitroŽn Lacoste concept car: auto-inflatable hood.

The auto-inflatable hood deploys to form a soft-top roof.

In fact, many details make reference to the sporting world of the Lacoste brand. Square relief designs resemble sections of a tennis net on several parts of the body. The fairing that rises up from the underbody, at both the front and the rear, recalls the print left by a tennis shoe on a clay court.

Instead of a fixed roof, the concept car has a T-shaped structure that extends back to the boot like a "backbone". It helps when accessing the vehicle while featuring a clever 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 grab handles, the inflatable roof provides a light-filled cabin.

CitroŽn Lacoste concept car: dashboard facia.

troŽn Lacoste concept car: dashboard facia with messages.

Messages through icons with oversized pixels.

The fascia strip on the dashboard serves as the car's display screen, showing driving information such as speed and the directional indicators. Messages take the form of icons with oversized pixels, like a nod to the very first video games, although behind the naÔve appearance lie modern technologies.

The two-spoke steering wheel is also minimalist in design. When passengers board, the wheel can be moved from its normal position and located against the upper dashboard to optimise access to the front bench.

Too daring? Too simple? A lot will be said about the CitroŽn Lacoste at the Mondial next month, as the concept addresses modern issues of energy, environment and urban density, with elegance, simplicity and... plenty of fun.

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