Today the Citroën C10 would appear to us like a UFO on public roads. In 1956, when the C10 was introduced, things were different. The automotive stock was completely different from what we see in the cities now. Instead of large SUVs, minimalism was defining in the post-war period. A solid roof and more than just two mobile wheels, that was the dream of many people.
It was the time of the Zundapp Janus, the Messerschmitt cabin scooter, the Isetta, the Fuldamobil and the Goggomobil. Citroën saw the need and probably wanted to play along. The C10 was rolling minimalism, but in the Citroën way. And of course different from the others.
The engineer André Lefèbvre was behind the idea. The man who shaped the brand with the double chevron after the death of André Citroën and who was responsible for the Traction Avant (TA) models, 2 CV, DS and HY. Lefèbvre developed the C10, which was innovative and avant-garde.
Citroën C10 - the drop of water for the road
The creation soon earned the nickname water drop in France because it was aerodynamic and inspired by aviation. 4 people found space in the C10, whose cabin was made of aluminum. Lightweight construction was important to Citroën, so the windows above the half-doors were made of Plexiglas, the seat construction was ultra-light, and the C10 weighed a slim 382 kilograms.
With a drag value of 0.258, the minimalistic waterdrop reached a top speed of 110 km/h. A two-cylinder with 425 cm³ took over the drive, which was absolutely sufficient in this car class.
Minimalism from the fathers of hydropneumatics
The C10 was sprung with hydraulic dampers, presumably standard on a car designed by the fathers of hydropneumatics. So the Citroën contribution could have been particularly comfortable. Unfortunately there was never a comparison with the cabin scooters from Messerschmitt or the Goggo from Hans Glas or the Isetta from BMW. The result would have been exciting.
Regrettably, the C10 remained a one-off during the Rétromobile will be seen. The C2014 was already exhibited in Versailles in 10, now it can be returned from the magazine to the public. Citroën uses the spirit of the pioneers from the great past to build a bridge to the present.
With the OLI Concept some radicalism returns to the brand. OLI and C10 are presented together, both are connected by the lightweight construction idea. Visually, however, the C10 is the more interesting, much more aesthetic concept.
As with the antique C10, Citroën has so far failed to prove that they actually have the courage to put the ideas on the road.
With images from Citroën Communication