Design Concept of the Day #3: Citroen Tubik

September 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Volkswagen’s reviving the Microbus, and Citroen’s reinventing the H-Van. The Tubik (a reference to the ‘TUB’, Type-H) is meant to be a high-tech executive shuttle this time around, however, rather than an utilitarian working vehicle, and it’s packed with Citroen’s communications tech to offer an all-round mobility solution. Systems include the MultiCity platform – an online portal and route finder now live in France giving train, plane and other public transport info as well as traffic updates – and a surround-sound audio system plus giant semi-circular cinema screen. The Tubik seats up to nine in a variety of passenger/luggage/lounging configurations, on felt seats with silky backrests; the leather-floored rear compartment is accessed via a huge full-length upward-opening side door with a panoramic one-way window for maximum privacy.

The H-Van is recalled by details such as the ribbed-effect front end (a nod to the H’s corrugated-iron panels), its ridged windscreen pillars and its distinctive front nose, housing in this case a diesel engine. It’s not just a retro recreation, however, thanks to gadgets such as a head-up display, fingerprint-recognition security, and reversing/rear-view cameras.

Power comes from Citroen’s Hybrid4 diesel-electric powertrain, and its CO2 emissions are “at a level comparable to a conventional saloon.” It’s 4.8m long, 2.08m wide and 2.05m tall, sits on 22-inch wheels with low rolling-resistance tyres, and features Citroen’s Hydractive self-levelling suspension, which automatically lowers at high speeds to enhance aerodynamics. Strip out some of the obvious concept-car gimmicks, and you have a perfectly feasible rival for the Volkswagen Multivan/Caravelle.

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