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Paris Motor Show: Citroen Lacoste Unveil A Stylish Brand Blended Concept

Two iconic French brands collaborate on a sporty and simple concept car.

Dave Pinter
Dave Pinter on October 8, 2010. @DavePinter

Collaborations between fashion labels and automakers aren’t new. In most instances though the fashion influence often got confined to special fabric selections for the interior and maybe a badge or stripe on the exterior. Remember the Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer Edition? Citroen and Lacoste opted to try a collaboration that pushed the design envelope further and represents more of an equal mix of the two brands. The Citroen Lacoste concept is really heavy on the concept and lifestyle study part and not too focused on practical production. But that’s ok because what this concept successfully demonstrates is that the influence of a fashion label can bring a different attitude to car design. In particular, the Citroen Lacoste was intended to have a sporty yet laid back style which is reflective of the Lacoste brand.

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Citroen doesn’t specifically describe the concept in relation to any other vehicle segment in the press release. We think it has some similar character traits to the Jeep Wrangler but not so rugged. The CL concept’s most unique feature is the openness of the cabin. The windshield can be retracted down ( one nod to the Wrangler) and there isn’t a solid roof to speak of. A single support bar spans over the passenger area giving the driver and passengers an open air motoring experience. For weather protection, twin inflatable roof ‘panels’ can be deployed from the support bar.

The design of the CL concept aims to keep a lot of things simple in order to keep the driving experience pure. Citroen and Lacoste wanted to avoid the “always more” design mantra they feel dominates the auto industry.There aren’t any doors, the dashboard doesn’t have any fixed controls, and even the exterior lights were designed to discretely blend into the body work. The choice of engine, a 3-cylinder petrol engine is efficient and simple.

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We like that there is something quirky and comforting about this concept. It is kind of basic but there is enough personality to make it interesting. But practical, it certainly isn’t. The all white interior wouldn’t stand a chance at staying clean. But like the Jaguar C-x75 we featured earlier in the week, this is a car to inspire dreams of a drive to the beach with a bunch of friends. We’d like to see more collaborations between automakers and fashion brands (especially younger ones) to shake up car design. We can think of a few match-ups we’d like to see, maybe you’ve got some suggestions to leave in the comments.

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Citroen
Lacoste

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Dave Pinter is a senior editor at PSFK and focuses on automotive, design and retail news plus NYC culture. Dave is also a New York based concept designer.

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