Citroën Oli: The brand presents its vision of the future, with an electric urban SUV the size of a Renault Captur. But the bias is one of minimalism and common sense, even if it means going into decline.
While the more laconic press release foreshadowed a kind of Citroen AMI elongated, divided for four passengers, with specifications weighing 1,000 kg and autonomy of 400 km. The discovery of the Citroën Oli concept car gave us a pleasant surprise.
And again it's all a matter of distance. From a distance, this small SUV looks as rustic as a Willys Jeep.
So as you get close and spin around it, it hides a lot of subtleties, unleashes a revisited logo and, above all, is extremely accomplished for a concept car. The series is not wanted, but it could easily be.
The designers, under the leadership of Pierre Leclercq, wanted a charismatic silhouette.
With its hooked nose, its fastback roofline and above all its flat windshield that we imagine could be folded flat on the hood like a Jeep Willys, the prototype Citroën Oli does not lack originality.
At 4.20 m in length, it offers a format equivalent to that of a Renault Captur with a very different philosophy.
Starting with a search for aerodynamics that was not the priority, in fact, the maximum speed is limited to 110 km/h to preserve the radius of action.
However, the airflow channeled through shells hollowed out in the center of the headlights and emerging at the top of the hood creates a “virtual” sloping windshield like some luxury spiders.
The other advantage of this perfectly vertical front glazing is to reduce cabin heating by the greenhouse effect, this avoids having to use air conditioning.
Basic at first glance, the wheel arches are very ornate, a compass design that might be reminiscent of Bauhaus stylistic current and, more generally, more architectural rather than automotive lines.
Curves that also evoke the 2CV's plump wings. While the bending treatment of the rims harks back to the Citroën FAF's manufacturing process, this adventurous metal Méhari model is perfectly calibrated for assembly and use on African soil. Completely legit references.
The front bumper serves as a step to climb the hood and sit on the roof. You can even climb on it, whose rigidity is guaranteed by recycled cardboard coated with polyurethane resin.
While the rear combines a pickup truck style dumpster with a coupe spirit. The double bottom of the trunk, when in the high position, then serves as a hinged lid.
The antagonist-style rear doors and the absence of a central pillar, which is better than on the Ferrari Purosangue SUV, provide optimal access to the passenger compartment cut out for four.
The so-called “infrared” color – which we will see very regularly in series in the range – contrasts sharply with the black and white of the exterior.
Note the large window in the back door that will prevent the youngest from suffering from claustrophobia.
This cabin on the beltline is also reminiscent of the Citroën C2. At the front, the windows open in a parallelogram movement inspired by the kitchen wall furniture. You can roll your elbow into the door like a 2CV, but without risking injury.
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Minimalist, the dashboard of the Citroën Oli concept car contains a soundbar. In front of the driver, a blade allows, like a periscope, to reflect the screen of a smartphone which then acts as instrumentation.
On both sides, displays with large pixels passing from one door to the other give the illusion of being a widescreen. The orange atmosphere is reminiscent of the 1970s and the dashboard layout implicitly evokes that of the 2CV.
Pragmatic, Citroën Oli limits its weight by offering fixed seats, no slider, no tilting mechanism.
And at the rear, the ceiling-mounted headrests are mounted on hinges to clearly clear the trunk entrance. Less is more!