March 14, 2016

Citroën E-MEHARI styled by Courrèges concept car

Citroën E-MEHARI styled by Courrèges concept car

At the Geneva Motor Show, Citroën will be showing off E-MEHARI styled by Courrèges concept car, fruit of cooperation between two figureheads of French creativity with long track records of revolutionizing their respective industries through each successive era. French fashion House Courrèges and Citroën E-MEHARI, an all-electric cabriolet, are the most natural of partners. Citroën E-MEHARI styled by Courrèges examines space and functionality through the lens of liberty, with the play of colours and materials focused on White, the Courrèges signature colour and symbol of light. Brimming over with positive energy and optimism, this exciting concept car will be illuminating the Citroën stand at the Geneva Motor Show from 1 March.

Citroën E-MEHARI styled by Courrèges, born from twin spirits

Some 50 years after Méhari appeared on the scene in May 1968, two visionary french Brands teamed up on an exciting project: Citroën E-MEHARI styled by Courrèges concept car. It’s based on Citroën E-MEHARI, unveiled in December 2015, a car inspired by its no less revolutionary forebear. Citroën E-MEHARI is an all-electric four-seater cabriolet. It’s fun, modern, environment-friendly, and eminently true to the values of creativity, freedom and optimism that Citroën has been advancing since nearly a century ago.

Very similar values are held by french fashion House Courrèges, whose modern, innovative creations have always radiated brightness and optimism. Courrèges revolutionized the fashion world of the sixties and seventies, just like Citroën revolutionized the motoring world with its legendary Méhari, released in 1968. Both share the spirits of freedom, youth and creativity. Courrèges, like Citroën, is a Brand driven by free-thinking visionaries.

This realization prompted Citroën to approach Courrèges with a project to sublimate new E-MEHARI model into an exclusive and luminous creation. It would be fashionable, playful and electric, a trend-setter in every sense of the term, naturally enough given the background and reputation of this emblematic Brand. Courrèges bosses Jacques Bungert and Frédéric Torloting, who “believe very strongly in the crossover between different creative fields”, took up the idea and called in their design studio, which would liaise with the Citroën Design Centre to run development work on the concept car.

With this project, both partners are expressing a desire to invent new designs, using materials of tomorrow to come up with works that combine outstanding beauty with practical usability. It’s a quest for modernity, for a radical departure from classic norms, but firmly rooted in real life as it is lived, with a touch of sportslike elation and a strong sense of poetry. The partnership would yield a concept car abounding in energy, bathed in light, open to the world outside, and powered by an innovative lithium metal polymer battery.

Citroën E-MEHARI styled by Courrèges, White light

Citroën E-MEHARI is an electric car with strong personality traits of fun, freshness and colour. Because it was designed from the outset to be inherently fashionable, Citroën had no difficulty giving Courrèges complete freedom to deliver its own interpretation of the car. The result is Citroën E-MEHARI styled by Courrèges concept car, with its play of colours and materials focused on the colour White, true to both Méhari spirit and the inimitable Courrèges style.

Citroën E-MEHARI styled by Courrèges keeps E-MEHARI door motif, with its grooves harking back affectionately to the corrugated bodywork of original Méhari. It’s clothed as if in a sumptuous White dress. Not only the body is in White, but the four wheels are too. There’s just a strip in bright Orange, for contrast, starting from nothing at the wheels to come and underscore the design of the central safety hoop. The rear hoop is replaced by two side straps, to free up even more space.

For the ultimate in comfort and exclusive refinement, the interior features door linings in luxurious White leather, and the dashboard and seats in the back, take on deliberately square architectural shapes. The colour bright Orange reappears in the form of an exuberant vinyl trim running across the dashboard and along the characteristically shaped air vents. The White/bright Orange combination is also seen on the door handles. The single-spoke, monochrome steering wheel is highly original, as is the leather-lined floor with its White mats.

The charismatic style of Citroën E-MEHARI styled by Courrèges in no way lessens the practicality or playfulness inherent to Citroën E-MEHARI. The car has four full-size, high-standing seats, a plexiglas roof with frosted finish opening wide to the outside world. A rear flap for accessing the boot area opens on an exclusive line of luggages, including 3 models made of White leather and bright Orange vinyl trim in complete harmony with the vehicle.

All-electric, naturally

Citroën E-MEHARI is an innovative, offbeat, ultramodern, all-electric car that draws inspiration from the unique spirit of freedom articulated by the original Méhari of 1968.

Citroën E-MEHARI styled by Courrèges concept car harnesses E-MEHARI all-electric technology using LMP® (lithium metal polymer) batteries developed by the French engineering expertise of the Bolloré group. Top speed reaches 110 km/h and urban-cycle vehicle range 200 km. Full battery recharge takes 8 hours at a dedicated 16 A charging station (home station or public station such as Autolib) or 13 hours from a standard 10 A domestic power outlet. Citroën E-MEHARI styled by Courrèges concept car offers an incomparable, stress-free and noise-free motoring experience. It’s a unique sense of freedom perfectly attuned to the modern age: wind in your hair with the quiet that only electric power can give!

Irreverent little Citroën E-MEHARI is a true pacesetter. It’s capable of all-track access, with its high-standing chassis. Its versatility and stunning looks make it equally at home in the most select neighbourhoods of the capital and the most fashionable coastal resorts. Citroën E-MEHARI styled by Courrèges concept car stands for joie de vivre. Beauty is ably backed by usability to open up a whole new alternative angle on motoring pleasure, rooted in one of the essential values shared by the Brand Citroën and Courrèges: optimism.

“E-MEHARI styled by Courrèges concept car is a fun car, a free-roaming spirit inspired by the ground-breaking Méhari of 1968. This exclusive, fashionable car is a Courrèges reinterpretation of a revolutionary Citroën model born of Citroën automotive engineering expertise,” explains Citroën CEO Linda Jackson.

“As early as 1968, Coqueline Courrèges was among the first to understand that oil would not last for ever, as she looked at the empty petrol pumps on rue François 1er in Paris. That was when she decided that it was time to do something for the planet. She arrived on the podium of the Courrèges show in 1968 in her first self-built small electric car.

Thirty years later, she opened the way permanently for electric cars with the technology of her renowned prototypes, winning the Challenge Bibendum events in their category. Since we took the company over, she has been busier than ever, in a personal capacity, developing innovative projects based on electric vehicle architecture and systems, in order to continue changing the way we live. This cooperation with Citroën was a natural step for us: we need to support all initiatives that continue to advance the cause of new energies. We are taking an optimistic view of the future,” said Jacques Bungert & Frédéric Torloting.