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2003 Frankfurt Show, Part III Page 3


The marketeers didn’t help the engineers when they asked them to turn the 307CC into a rally winner, because the extra mechanism required to open and close the roof adds weight that had to be trimmed to bring the car into the limits of the rally regulations. Naturally the competition car’s top will be fixed, but it will look like the production car, and Peugeot will be working on the old basis of “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday” from a form of motor sport that is commanding an ever-increasing TV audience worldwide.

Citroen’s Living Room

2003 Citroe C-Airlounge concept

2003 Citroe C-Airlounge concept

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Citroen’s Airlounge concept has some interesting technical details, but the most impressive aspect of it is the interior, which has the look of a spread from ‘Architectural Digest’. On the outside, the French designers have gone for the lowest possible drag factor and have succeeded – the Airlounge has a Cd of just 0.26. In addition to a smooth overall shape, there are other features that help the car to slip through the air with the minimum drag. They include ‘vortex generators’ at the front and the rear. The generators, which have a series of teeth like those of a giant comb, are designed to minimise the vortices that form around the vehicle and create drag. There are also specially-shaped wheel fairings and rims, and ducts that lead air from high-pressure areas at the front of the car and feed it into the wheelarches, where pressure is lower.

The interior reflects a trend that is evident here in Frankfurt, the influence of domestic interior design on cars. Smooth leather is everywhere, and many of the seats in the concepts are set on individual pedestals. This trend is present in the Citroen, but that’s not the only home comfort, for the Airlounge is furnished with shag pile carpets and ambient lighting that can be changed to reflect different moods. It may sound like 1970’s California van culture to American ears, but to the French it’s the latest thing.


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