To have a list of truly iconic cars in your back catalogue as a manufacturer, it is something that must be carried through from generation-to-generation. Citroen is one such firm that has a history flooded with models that have stood the test of time and is still trying to carry on that tradition today.
As a result, we’d like to take a look at some of the cars that has made the Citroen brand both so interesting and appealing at various times during its long time in the business.
Let’s start with a model that could easily fight it out to be the most iconic Citroen of them all: the DS. Celebrating its 60th birthday this year, the DS was not only a striking piece of machinery but also revolutionary in its design, bringing the likes of front power disc brakes to a production model for the first time and of course, who could forget that hydropneumatic suspension system.
When revealed at the 1955 Paris motor show, the Citroen DS had a total of 12,000 orders by the end of the first day on display in the French capital. Who could blame them; that swooping body, cheeky front end and just the ultimate in chic design.
If the DS doesn’t top your billing of most iconic Citroens ever, then perhaps the 2CV does. Built as the car for the people, the 2CV not only enjoyed a production run of 42 years and shifted nearly nine million units in over four decades, but also appeared in the hands of one James Bond while being chased down a winding hill road.
Unfortunately, the 2CV was never as fast as Roger Moore made it look, thanks to the car never surpassing 29bhp; however, this failed to stop the 2CV being a runaway success and after just a few months on sale, had a three-year waiting list.
Citroen BX GTi 16V
Now to some, this will be somewhat of a curveball, but the BX GTi 16V is so highly regarded by the hardiest of petrolheads that it was deemed commendable enough for a place in this list. In 1987, the BX GTi became the first French mass production car to feature a 16V engine, which came in the form of the 1905cc XU9J4, a naturally aspirated powertrain kicking out around 160bhp.
As a result, the BX GTi 16V blasted to 62mph from standstill in just 7.4sec, while that accentuated bodykit won fans all over, especially when the facelifted model arrived in 1990 and was a hoot to drive.
Getting closer to the present, the Citroen C6 tended to divide opinion (and still does) wherever it went. For us, the avant garde design gets it into this list alone, but the fact that it was also a refreshing alternative to rivals from Stuttgart and Munich and was also fit for French Presidents, the C6 has an almost legendary stature in the Citroen hierarchy.
Its ability to effortlessly glide across the road also gained the Citroen C6 a few plaudits – including one Jeremy Clarkson – as did that vast bonnet and concave rear window that gave it a look of both the future and cars from a classier era.
Citroen C4 Cactus
Now we’re right up to speed; the C4 Cactus has not been among us long, but already its design alone has brought plenty of attention to itself and could be set to be that next iconic Citroen. The French manufacturer has shown through its past how it likes to offer the world something a little different from the norm, and this quirky, compact crossover seems to have done the trick once more.
The C4 Cactus was one of those cars that didn’t really differ from its concept origins, with those now highly recognisable AirBumps on the Cactus’ side skirts immediately drawing the eye, as well as the rather unique lighting arrangement at the front.
Could it really join the ranks of the other cars on this list? Only time will tell.