Pigment Print on Canson Platine Fibre Rag
Print size: 43,2 x 53,2cm
Edition: 250 signed and numbered prints.
When Citroën presented the model SM at the car salon in Geneva in 1970 it was not just the car model itself that was to be introduced. Citroën SM was also an industrial statement that aimed to restore France's reputation as a technologically prominent car-nation. Citroën had after a time of extensive business acquisitions ended up in a troubled economic and creative position, both Citroën's main owner, Michelin, and the French Ministry of Industry were worried. When the SM, le Super Maserati was received with standing ovations the Managing Director, lawyer Pierre Bercot could exhale, at least temporarily. Citroën was suddenly a player in the highest European division among heavyweights like Mercedes, BMW, and Jaguar. At the head office located in Quai de Javel, in southwestern Paris, the future was foreseen, now a new group of customers would be won with the help of outstanding French design, advanced French technology, and excellent performance. Nobody knew that that just a few years later, the winds of change would force most car manufacturers, including Citroën, to make entirely different priorities.
The story of Citroën SM begins with the DS models, competition-success in the latter part of the 1960s. Out of the success was born the idea of building a Super-DS, a Grand Tourer where performance in absolute world-class was paired with the typical Citroën attributes: front wheel drive, gas hydraulic suspension and slightly avant-garde brand identity. In 1967 Pierre Bercot gave the go-ahead and the development department went ahead with designer and speed enthusiast Jacques Né at the forefront. A big, modern two-door Grand Tourer where the six headlights were integrated behind a futuristic shaped front of plexiglass was the result. Responsible for the design was Robert Opron, chief ideologist of Citroëns new design studio in Vélizy near Versailles. Several full-scale models with exceptionally low air resistance were built and got the management group approval and blessing. Bercot and Maserati's owner Adolfo Orsi have had discussed a collaboration since 1965, these plans that could now be realized with Citroën SM. This alliance was later that year perfected when Citroën took over the share majority from the Italian owner family. In this way, the engine issue for the new super-Citroën was solved. A 2.7 liter V6 with four overhead camshafts designed by Maseratis Giulio Alfieri was available. This engine, which at the time made Citroën SM the world's fastest front-wheel-drive car. This engine would later be used by Maserati for its Merak.
As a speculator of an SM, you could choose from several different interiors options and colors. How about the postcolonial colors Vert des Tropiques, Rouge de Rio, Bleu d'Orient or Brown Scarabeé? The interior of Citroën SM also breathes avant-garde and innovative thinking. The front seats testify to a clear relationship with Maserati, sculptural but at the same time sensual, usually dressed in black or natural leather they could be taken from a contemporary issue of Vouge. When the model reached the market it was perceived as too odd and the dealers were not used to work with the new customer segment. When the engines started to malfunction. Peugeot, Citroën's new owner got cold feet. At the time for the energy crisis, it was hardly difficult for the traditionalists within Peugeot to argue for a closure of the model. As a consequence Bercot resigned, and Maserati was liquidated. Between the years 1970 and 1975 about 12 900 copies were produced.
Citroen SM (1973)
Engine: 90 degree V6 2670cm3
Max Power: 176 hp
Top speed: 200 KM/H
Curb weight: 1450kg
Configuration: Front wheel drive, engine in front, 5-gear manual.
Fuel consumption: 12,5 L / 100km