Citroën’s greatest hydropneumatic hits, altogether at last.
PC marks the end of the hydropneumatic Citroën in a world first
More than six decades after Citroën stunned the world with its revolutionary suspension system, the last hydropneumatic model has rolled off the production line in France. Parent company PSA decided to axe the technology for what they say are reasons of high manufacturing costs and low customer demand.
Following an illustrious period of chassis innovation – which began with the Traction Avant 15H in 1954 – the final car, a C5 Tourer, will be taken to the company’s heritage collection near Paris. Sales of the Mondeo rival have been in freefall for some time, with conventional saloons such as the C5 taking an increasingly small share of the market, when compared to the new wave of Peugeot, Citroën and DS badged SUVS and MPVS.
To mark the occasion, PC gathered every model sold in the UK in one place for the very first time. That includes the Traction Avant 15H, a test-bed model which featured hydropneumatics at the rear and paved the way for the iconic DS a year later.
The high pressure hydraulics – used for brakes, steering, suspension, clutch and
gearchange – was identified as the ultimate in chassis development with the likes of Mercedes and Rolls-royce using the system on licence. Computer technology was added in 1988 and brought the fully active suspension commonly used by most highend manufacturers today.
Nobody has ever brought together the full line-up of hydrocitroëns. Until now…
‘No other car moves the way a hydropneumatic Citroen does. Wheels busily bob up and down beneath a sculpted body that remains completely level as it glides across broken tarmac. With that pipework underneath and the mysterious hisses and clicks, it gives you a sense the car is a living, breathing creature.’