Citroen Lacoste concept car
20th September, 2010
The Citroen Lacoste takes a simplified, no-nonsense approach
to motoring – without forgetting refinement – and transports passengers to a lighter, fresher world.
The new concept car is resolutely Citroën. 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, the high-tech and innovative Citroen Lacoste makes car travel an all-new
experience and an adventure for the senses, almost bringing back memories of the Mini Moke.
Pure, simple and laid-back, while remaining sophisticated, the Citroën Lacoste concept car takes another
step forward towards the car of the future, a vehicle aimed at putting an end to the “always more” mantra
that often controls the automotive industry as the industry submits to the "It's All About Me" syndrome.
The new model also fuels Citroën’s thinking on focusing on the essentials to provide original cars that are
affordable and economical, while losing none of their ambition on motoring passion, notably through
Sweeping away preconceived ideas on compact cars – supposedly short on 'character' – the Citroën Lacoste
concept car asserts that another way forward is possible.
Stylishly minimalist and elegantly laid-back, the Citroen Lacoste instantly attracts with its off-beat
sports aesthetic. It features a high 'waistline', bulging, textured guards, 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 Citroen 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 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 weight, the flexible,
economical and ecological powerplant is a perfect match for the car’s '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 join 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 Citroen 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 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
Cabin access couldn’t be easier, since the doors have been replaced by broad cut-outs in 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 Citroen 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.
The seatbelt anchorage points get “necklines” like polo shirts, while the seats are covered in a
robust, rope-like cotton, a direct allusion to ribbed hems of clothing.
Like a wardrobe of different clothes, accessories and fabrics, the Citroen 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
The fun-loving Citroen Lacoste brings familiar objects to mind. 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”
CREATIVE AND MAGICAL TECHNOLOGY
The technology on board the Citroen 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 Citroen 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 naive
appearance lie cutting-edge technologies.
The Citroen 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.