Title: The History of Citroën

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Summary: Few French car manufacturers are more reputed or classic than Citroën. Read on to learn about the fascinating story of Andre Citroën, how Citroën grew from the smouldering ruins of post-war France into one of the largest, most influential automotive companies of all time.

Meta Title: The History of Citroen

Meta Description: Find out how Citroën emerged from the smouldering ruins of post-war France to become one of the most influential automotive companies of all time.

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Citroen 2CV

French cars have always reserved a special place in our affections, balancing superb mechanics with a chic, minimalist flair to become the first choice of every city-dweller seeking to add a joie de vivre to their drives.

Few French car manufacturers are more reputed or classic than Citroën. Read on to learn about the fascinating story of Andre Citroën, how Citroën grew from the smouldering ruins of post-war France into one of the largest, most influential automotive companies of all time.

A country in chaos                                                                                       

Ironically, Citroën’s roots are intrinsically tied to those of another French motoring powerhouse.

During World War I, factories of all types across Europe were commissioned to support the war effort. Prior to the outbreak, Andre Citroën was a highly respected mechanic and the director of Mors, a French car manufacturer that ranked as a market leader at the turn of the century. After the start of the war, however, Citroën became the overseer of a vast munitions factory of 35,000 workers, which was owned – of all people – by Renault!

After four years, and as the war began to wind down, Andre Citroën knew that the demand for munitions would soon be over. He, his factory and his staff required a new project. What did he come up with, you ask? Introducing….

Citroen Thing

The Citroën Type A

The vehicle that Andre et al devised was simply named the 10 HP Type A. This was an automotive with a water-cooled 1327 cc four-cylinder engine, outputting 18hp, enjoying maximum speeds of 40mph. Made first available for purchase in 1919, over time the car became adapted to several carriage options: there were three Torpedo models (a four-seater and three-seater tourer and a sport variants), a Conduite Intérieure (principally, a saloon) and a light truck!

Factory

Citroën’s passion for publicity

One thing that Andre seems to have loved as much as cars was marketing, displaying a long-lasting appetite for advertisement: he sponsored races, rallies and expeditions across countries throughout the globe; he turned the Citroën factory, on the bank of the Seine, into a tourist attraction; and, most notably of all, he converted the Eiffel Tower into a colossal, marketing lightshow, with 250,000 light bulbs and 600 kilometres of electric cable combining to display a luminous CITROEN down the side of the building. It’s unsurprising, then, that by the advent of the 1930s, Citroën were the fourth-biggest car manufacturer on the planet. On the way, Citroën returned to his roots and purchased his former company of Mors, joining Citroën’s vivid ranks.

Citroen Tower

Tragedy hits

Citroën were a visionary company, led by a suitably visionary entrepreneur. However, there was an Icarian aspect to their innovation; by the middle of the 1930s, the entire operation looked set to crumble into disarray.

Citroën over-invested in a prototype vehicle known as the Traction Avant – the front-wheel drive. It was a wholly revolutionary vehicle that looked set to pioneer an entirely new system of motion.

Citroën worked with such passion on the Traction Avant that they ultimately overspent. In 1934, they were officially declared bankrupt.

The lights come back on

You’ll be pleased to hear that the pioneering front-wheel drive didn’t lead purely to backward steps.

Citroën were bought out by Michelin, the tire manufacturer; sharing Citroën’s vision and eye for the future, they continued the Traction Avant’s development. By the end of the 1930s, it ranked as one of France’s most successful vehicles; in France, it’s still known today as “Reine de la Route”, or, to us, “the Queen of the Road”.

Though Andre Citroën died in 1935 of stomach cancer, he did so with his company’s fortunes truly back on the rise; his funeral was an enormous Parisian ceremony, as the people of France bid their last goodbyes to one of the nation’s most well-loved, iconic automotive pioneers.

Author: Fusion

Title: Geneva Motor Show Round-up

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Summary: Few events in the motoring calendar generate more hype than the Geneva Motor Show, where developers across the world come to showcase and debut their latest, most exciting developments.

Meta Title: Geneva Motor Show Round-up

Meta Description: Read our round up of this year's Geneva Motor Show, featuring some of the most exciting new vehicles that 2017 has to offer.

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Renault Alpine

Few events in the motoring calendar generate more hype than the Geneva Motor Show, where developers across the world come to showcase and debut their latest, most exciting developments. Taking place each year in Palexpo, a colossal convention centre close to Geneva’s airport, the event is coordinated by the reputed Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles, who manage many of the most acclaimed, hotly anticipated automotive events on the planet.

Though the show opened to the public on the 9th March, Monday the 7th and Tuesday the 8th served as press days, where select members of the press were able to get a sneak-peak of the cars before anybody else.

We’ve collated a round-up of five of the cars we’ve seen so far that excite us the most, noting what about it is about them that we think is sure to excite you, too!

Renault Alpine A110

Fifty-five years after an A110 first graced the roads, Renault have revived the classic vehicle, belonging to their sub-brand Alpine, in the form of a two-seater sports car, boasting a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine that’s capable of producing up to 320Nm of torque and 249bhp. Though its mechanics are entirely in line with the latest, contemporary motoring trends, the car fields a holistically retro exterior; it’s a blocky white colourway matched with a flowing, vintage frame. With an interior combined from carbon, aluminium and leather seats, expect Renault’s Alpine offering to provide a sleek and luxurious drive.

Audi

Audi Q8 Sport

We love the look of Audi’s newest SUV, a sporting take on the popular Q8 model, boasting a buoyant, orange pallet and stylistic changes to the grill and trim that render this a dazzling variation on an already formidable line. Audi have said that the engine is an electronically supercharged hybrid 3.0-litre V-6 and although you don’t see this mode of induction much in production cars, it’s not the first time that Audi have turned to electronics for supercharged power. It packs 476 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque; not bad at all!

Dacia Logan

Dacia Logan MCV Stepway

Though the new Wolverine movie Logan may be currently dominating the headlines, quietly there’s another Logan in town: Dacia’s all new Locan MCV Stepway. Principally, this is a mightily overclocked estate, leaning more to the proportions of a typical SUV. Dacia’s cars are renowned for their kindness to our wallets, alongside their excellent quality furnishings. This is definitely one to keep an eye on, if you’re in the market for great performance at a great price.

Ferrari

Ferrari 812

Retro looks to be firmly in fashion, with Ferrari introducing its fastest-ever naturally aspirated sports car in a striking red sheen and a chassis reminiscent of the Daytona of yore, so immensely popular throughout the 80s. The 812 rides at a phenomenal 789bhp, with a roaring 6.5-litre V12 engine. As with all Ferraris, this is a stunning piece of automotoring; expect its price to match the degree of razzmatazz.

Honda Civic

Honda Civic Type R

The Civic Type R made a striking impression on everyone at last year’s Paris Motor Show and it’s continued to dazzle in Geneva. This is a radically remodelled take on the classic Civic range, boosting an aesthetic with more bite than what we’re used to. There’s bold, potent colours, spoilers and side brackets, along with the latest in in-car infotainment. Look out for this one in showrooms later in 2017; we expect it to be hard to miss!

Author: Fusion