Of all the automakers in the world – and by the world, we mean the world outside the United States – Citroen's design arguably runs the gamut more than any other's. On the one hand, you've got cheap, compact and quirky hatchbacks like the comically named Revolte concept revealed in Frankfurt half a year back. On the other, you've got the GTbyCitroen, an extreme exotic supercar concept, now slated for limited production. In between lies a gorge as big as, well, France itself. But the chevron-emblazoned automaker has bridged the divide this year in Geneva with an intriguing concept called the Survolt.
Not digging the Revolte/GT comparo? Think Bugatti Veyron meets Chevy Volt, circa "Hackers". Beneath the compact sportscar shape, splattered with more neon graphics than "Tron", lies an all-electric powertrain. Citroen's provided little in the way of details regarding the propulsion, but you can read more esoteric prose about the design in the press release after the jump. Better yet, check it out for yourself in the gallery of live shots from the Geneva show floor below, and the studio shots in the gallery below that.
Survolt is the continuation of CITROËN'S exploration of distinctive and original electric vehicles, initiated with the Revolte concept car revealed at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show. Survolt turns received notions on their heads through its radically new vision in a consummate blend of high-fashion glamour and extravagance with motor-racing punch.
The desire to overcome one's limits, take things further, dare and create is written in CITROËN'S DNA. Breaking with convention, shaking up the rules, shifting borders and surprising continuously is the passionate quest and leitmotiv of a brand that over its 90-year history has never ceased to develop innovative objects ahead of their time. Survolt is one of these. It takes the genetic material of Revolte and adds an extroverted sports dimension to the mix.
Like a luxury accessory that transcends an outfit, Survolt is CITROËN'S answer to an automotive universe that all too often seems morose. Survolt casts aside protocol and transgresses existing codes to initiate a new kind of stylish, sporty and elegant supermini. Bucking current trends and pointing to the future of sleek coupés, it unites elegance, glamour and sporting passion, sublimating this last quality with its electric drivetrain.
Innovative and sensual
With its compact dimensions – 3.85 m long, 1.87 m wide and 1.20 m high – Survolt reappropriates sports car styling cues to form an all-new and revolutionary concept.
At the front, the distinctive vehicle badge reigns elegantly above the large oval-shaped grille, its centre home to the striking double chevron. The car's "look" – charming and profound at the same time – attracts and holds the viewer's gaze with a promise of transgressions suddenly made possible. Its slim, horizontal head lamps, inspired by high-performance sports coupés, exert a magnetic appeal, while an LED light signature adds a contemporary, high-tech touch.
Survolt was made to gobble up the miles and glide over roads. Low-slung and sleek, it features strong contrasts between the voluptuous bonnet and generous, sculpted flanks, highlighted by emphatic wheel arches that promise performance and thrills.
Survolt's air-slicing, flowing design is heavy on excitement and sensuality. It conveys agility, precision and vitality, barely containing a powerful, well-defined musculature under refined and luxurious wraps. The rear features the elegant light signature of Revolte together with a spoiler in an essential reference to motor sport.
Survolt is innovative and powerful but also knows how to turn on the charm, revealing its finest assets to catwalk in motor sports arenas. It features two-tone paint, hues of fuchsia and charcoal grey, and plays with materials and volumes. The curves shift from satin-smooth to shiny, breaking definitively with the classic masculine codes of the sports world. Survolt continues the work begun with Revolte by once again blending two universes with contrasting appearances. Survolt eschews decorum to create its own styling language.
The inclusion of materials such as chrome and aluminium inevitably recall the spheres of luxury goods and motor sport. Survolt is a perfect combination between high fashion and car racing, a unique alliance with the same philosophy and the same cues as Revolte, namely performance, cutting-edge technology and excellence.
Survolt's cockpit is designed like a floating cell, a glass setting held between chrome-finished roll bars like some magnificent piece of jewellery. The leitmotiv with Survolt is to transgress the conventions of the luxury world and combine them elegantly with those of the sporting world.
The cabin was imagined as a cross between two worlds that by their essence are opposed. This union begets an organic universe, both flowing and technical, from which the driver's station springs forth. The interior as a whole was designed to bring the two occupants comfort and refinement, triggering singular pleasure and an outstanding experience.
The car's generous glazed area brings light and a sensation of space, light years from that offered by today's sports cars.
Transcendent power and excitement
Ahead of its time, Survolt captivates with its innovative, environment-friendly technology. Like Revolte, Survolt is powered by electricity, thus combining sports performance with environmental respect and sustainable development. Still particularly rare in the racing world, this technological solution also embodies a previously unthinkable alliance. But CITROËN dares and creates, transgressing conventions to better sublimate them. With irreproachable ecological credentials, the drivetrain blends driving pleasure, thrills, performance and vitality, and all in extreme comfort, since the car is silent in operation.
CITROËN is proposing a new automotive vision with Survolt, in a move that is entirely consistent with its 90-year history as an innovative brand focused on creativity and technology.