• Aug 4, 2008


Click above for a hi-res gallery of the Citroen 2CV

Resurrecting the cars that put automakers on the map seems to be all the rage in the industry these days. Volkswagen brought back the Beetle a few years back and, more recently, Fiat resurrected the 500. Porsche... well, the 911 never really went away. But you get the idea. One iconic turning-point of an automobile that has yet to be awakened is the Citroen 2CV.

Launched after the end of WWII in 1949, the Citroen 2CV (so named because of its two-steam-horsepower equivalent rating) grew extremely popular due to its low cost and versatility. It could go anywhere, consumed little gas, and was extremely simple both to build and to maintain. By the time the last one rolled off the production line in 1990 – now that's one heck of a run – over 3.8 million units were built, and the 2CV gained iconic status and a cult following. Next year Citroen will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the 2CV. Given the momentous occasion, the coincidence of the show's alternate location in Paris this year and how poised the current economic climate would be for such a vehicle, it would seem an ideal time for PSA to give us a new 2CV that could put the French automaker back on the map with a low-cost vehicle to rival the Tata Nano, only with more character. Whether Citroen actually has any such plans is of course pure speculation at this point, so we'll just have to sit back and wait until October to find out.

[Source: Auto Unleashed]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      They became cult cars because of their accessibility, dependability, and simplicity. Regardless of intention (including Tata), modern emissions and safety legislation means that any car built, even if it had a single cylinder, will have the complications of computers (for EFI, ABS, and ESP if it gets mandated), pyrotechnics (airbags, tensioners), etc. and will be much heavier for structural reasons. All of which make a car expensive. They can copy the looks, but the New Beetle, Mini, and certainly the Fiat 500 are not the cheap and cheerful cars that endeared them to the masses.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Of course, why not?
      Look at how many manufactures have already been cashing in on reviving the old brands (be it a name, design, or both): Mini, Camaro, VW Bug, "new" old 'Stang,etc. There are many more, but you get the point.
      Since they can't come up with anything new that is truly groundbreaking, then might as well dust off the old design scrolls and take 'em trough CAD.
        • 6 Years Ago
        But let's not forget that this is thanks to the baby boomers out there that long to relive their youth. Why are all the musle cars being revived? Or the 500? Or those you mentioned? Because of those baby boomers. The 2 CV or 500 don't mean much for most of the young people.

        And I can tell you for a fact that I've seen more and more of the original minis and the 2 CV being sold at a local used car dealer aparently getting into old cars here in Queens. And they are demanding a premium as the 2 CV had an asking price of 18000.

        I say why not?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Baby boomers... So the huge chunk of the automobile market (U.S. and World) is driven by demand from a bunch of 50 and 60 year-olds walking around and snatching all those 'Stangs and Minis? You logic is flawed.
        In addition to the known market forces, most of the car manufacturers (and 99% of American manufacturers) cannot come up with anything truly NEW. They just milk the names and designs that broke the ground 50, 60 or 70 years ago. Otherwise, what else would they sell? So much of their model lineup is inefficient, pathetically old looking or just boring, that turning to the well-established name and design profile is cheaper.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Considering all of the safety mandates, any new 2CV would have to be a vastly different and more protective car than the original.

      But if the designers can do it, pourquoi pas?

      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd love to see a resurrection of the 2CV with a body that hints to its predecessor. Naturally you cant make a car like the old 2CV anymore due to a million reasons but even a 2CV twice the originals size would be small enough.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Doubtful, but there have been conceptual ideas of the Duck and the DS/ID kicked around as retromobiles. While similar in appearance, I am sure some of the technology that made a Citroen a Citroen will be lost.

      I could see them keep the general shape, the cloth roof, the removable seats, and maybe the middle of the dash shifter (the car I learned on BTW) but I bet no flip up windows, flat floor, inboard brakes, leading/trailing suspension, air cooled motor, and super skinny tires....
      • 6 Years Ago
      My Dad bought one in the mid seventies in England while we stayed there for six months. The car leaked, stalled in the middle of a major London round about. Words can't describe how scary that was, seriously. It took three attempts to climb a hill in Wales, each run started further back to get more speed up. The last run, we took the corner at the bottom of the hill on two wheels with a family of four inside.

      I can't say I would ever buy one if they produced it again, however the lasting effects of this car on my psyche is I only buy vehicles with as much power I can afford ( 2007 Altima 3.5 6 sp 270 hp). I can still remember giving my Dad incremental warnings of how close the semi's were getting as we entered the motorways.

      The DS19 on the other hand with a modern power-plant would defiantly be in my driveway along side my other French car (Renault owns Nissan).
      • 6 Years Ago
      It would be impossible to resurrect except, possibly, stylistically. The 2CV was an engineering masterpiece, having a totally unbreakable air cooled boxer twin of real sophistication, and a very accomplished suspension system. Redesigning any of this would be impossibly expensive, and probably pointless. The original (pre-war design) was the precursor to the DS, having a mechanical version of that car's oleo-pneumatic system; and the DS would have had an air-cooled boxer six if the company could have afforded it - that was why it had that long nose - to incorporate it. A brilliant design then: but not imitable due to cost.
      • 6 Years Ago
      +1 tony.

      I am 24 years old. I would be a young driver right? i would love to see the 2cv back. I grew up in Argentina and those 2cv are handed down from fathers to sons. tony is right in all that he says made those cars lovable. there are no cars today like the real 500, renault 12, dodge 1500, fiat 125, etc. But i think this is related to what serge and fm are talking. the baby boomers are not around anymore as the mayor part of the automotive market, but when they were, they changed the way car companies operated. even tho the customers have changed, the approach of the manufacturers hasn't. they are afraid of people who have lots of money and stubborn capricious needs like the ones the baby boomers had.

      for example: ford is developing (A.K.A. wasting a lot of money) in a sound system that will emulate the roar of a big V8 for cars with I4 with the eco boost. this is the kind of waste that makes a car expensive.

      Is worst than painted gold!!!

      So i hope they bring it back!!! the world needs more simple cheap humble "low ego emissions" cars like the ones mentioned before.
      • 6 Years Ago
      An air cooled engine?

      That would truly be retro, and in a forward thinking way I believe. If the snags can be worked out with emissions and all this idea of an air cooled engine would work, I'm sure. All that's needed is an automaker willing to take the risk and go for it.

      Peace!
      • 6 Years Ago
      The 2CV (1963), for those not familiar, is powered by a 602cc aircooled boxer. It has similar rear engine architecture to a Beetle but with a twin instead of a 4-cyl.
      Series production ran 1948-1991. When I first saw one in the mid sixties, I remember thinking what an ugly french car it was. Mainly because I didn't know the back story of the vehicle at the time.

      Compared to the 4-cyl the twin avoids the overheating that could occur in both the rear cylinders of the Beetle under extreme temperature conditions.

      For the NEW 2CV the engine would no doubt be upgraded with 4 valves per cylinder plus fuel injection and oxygen sensor etc. It would also be time for those two cylinders to get some liquid cooling. I am merely speculating here of course, but some enthusiasts out there have already made the switch to fuel injection.

      These changes will be more expensive with two cylinder heads. Fiat's parallel 900cc is the less expensive way to go. However, since this happens to be an iconic engine, the additional cost could be acceptable, plus those separated cylinders could dissipate a lot more heat if turbocharging is anticipated later on.

      Now with 60Hp plus on tap the NEW 2CV starts to look a more worthy beast.

      The gearbox transmits to the differential through a 90 degree bevel gear with some 70% efficiency. OK in the forties but avoided today with transverse engines on most front wheel drives.
      My suggestion would be to turn this engine through 90 degrees for a transverse mount.
      Liquid cooling facilitates this option otherwise thermal limitations would possibly make this prohibitive with air cooled cylinders - with the rear cylinder made less accessible to cooling. It has the disadvantage of a departure from the original orientation which may turn off some buyers. It can mean different things to different buyers. For instance I am sure many previous owners, like myself, wanted to see an air cooled engine in the NEW Beetle not something retrofitted from the Golf powertrain. It will be interesting to see what Citroen conjures up.

      That aside, since I began reading about 2CVs about a year ago it seems they would make an ideal series hybrid retrofit. The generator that stares you in the face when you open the access cover could be replaced with a robotic servo. These devices make excellent generators since they run mostly 1500-2000rpm but at 5000rpm they should be capable of 500v with a 30 second 300% current rating. Under those circumstances that's perfect for a 50kw inverter. Azure Dynamics has a FWD 10:1 ratio gearbox with integral differential to feed the half shafts. Motor and controller supplied separately.
      T2