THE GROWN-UP DEUX CHEVAUX
Even Citroën fans are divided as to whether the Dyane was a proposed replacement for the original 2CV or simply an attempt to fill the perceived gap between the basic 2CV and the more upmarket Ami, which although based on the 2CV chassis and drivetrain was rather more mainstream. Its genesis came with the acquisition by Citroën of Panhard in 1964, whereupon the Panhard design team was asked to exercise its flair in updating the 2CV. it was also the Panhard connection which provided the car's name, the firm having registered ‘Dyane’ when naming its own Dyna.
Although the shape was recognisably similar, the details were more contemporary, with the headlights now incorporated into the wings and the car now included a full height hatchback rear.
Initially the Dyane was offered with the 2CV’s 425cc, 22 bhp engine, later upgraded to the 602cc ‘M4’ engine as found in the Ami, good for 28 bhp. This was later replaced by the improved ‘M28’ unit from late 1968, good for 33 bhp.
To those outside Citroën circles, it was perhaps difficult to see a gap in the range between the 2CV and the Ami, but in reality the Dyane was a strong seller to those wanting a car in the spirit of the 2CV but looking for a bit more comfort. As Mike explains, one of the first comments from any passengers unused to these cars is their surprise at how comfortable the Dyane is.
Proof of the Dyane’s popularity comes with the fact that the car was produced until 1983, with the Acadiane van version clinging on unbelievably until 1987. Indeed, it was the popularity of the Dyane which encouraged Citroën to reintroduce the 2CV here in 1974.