On the Geneva Salon, Citroën showed proudly the Metropolis, a sleek limousine with harmonious lines. Originally, the car had been on show at the French pavilion at the Shanghai World’s Fair from 1 May to 31 October 2010 .
The Metropolis was a reference to the grandeur, avant-gardism and vitality of the country’s great megalopolises with their undeniable magnetic attraction.
The car is so interesting, elegant and beautiful, that it certainly merits a place here in our columns… just enjoy the photos taken by Matthias Hossan in an old chinese factory and Shanghai court gardens.
Hans Knol ten Bensel
Designed in Shanghai …
The concept car was designed 100% by Citroën’s international design team based in Shanghai since 2008. As Citroën puts it, Metropolis resituates the codes of luxury and attraction in the Marque’s universe of “Créative Technologie”. The World’s Fair visitors were treated to an “automotive work of art”, one that fitted in perfectly with the “Sensual City ” theme of the French pavilion.
Needless to say that Citroën considers its ‘showcase’ presence in the Chinese market important: it is Citroën’s second biggest market.
Metropolis, the ultimate in luxury
With its three-volume body styling – essential in the Chinese market – Metropolis expresses a vision of creative and sophisticated luxury through its imposing stature (5.30 m long, 2 m wide and 1.40 m high), which also serves to reflect the ambition and scale of the country to which it pays homage.
Like a “Chinese vestal” such as Xian Nu, the styling language of Metropolis blends smooth surfaces, taut lines and sensual curves, together with special touches like the beautifully shaped front wing that emphasises the powerful, tapering silhouette.
Matthias Hossan photographed the car in Shanghai settings, very fitting indeed...
The front end of Metropolis clearly expresses the store of power lurking behind the consummately wrought kite- shaped grille. The streamlined headlamps on either side have an imperious and steely regard, lending the whole a natural air of authority.
At the back, Metropolis artfully balances width and stability while boasting a taut and aerodynamic shape. The flowing lines are enhanced by the concave rear window combined with the shape of the boot, which features an active spoiler.
The innovative “slatted boomerang” lights composed of layered segments add the crowning touch to the rear of the vehicle.
The Metropolis indeed combines grandeur, stability and refinement with creativity, technology and quality
Metropolis and avant-garde technology
The Metropolis boasts a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. And to get the most out of these on-road capabilities, it is also fitted with Hydractive suspension.
With its plug-in hybrid drivetrain, Metropolis can run in several modes:
Full electric: at start-up, in town at low speeds and when decelerating, with an electric motor developing a continuous 55 bhp (40 kW) and peaking at 95 bhp (70 kW);
In thermal combustion mode: at steady speeds on roads and motorways when the engine achieves maximum efficiency, with a V6 2-litre petrol engine developing a continuous 272 bhp (200 kW) and 375 Nm.
With the two engines combined: during acceleration for extra power (“overboost” function), with the car developing maximum power of 460 bhp (345 kW) and 430 Nm of torque, and in four-wheel drive mode for extra grip when needed.
We let you enjoy the beauty of this car in the accompanying photos…
Hans Knol ten Bensel