Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The return of a sexy French icon...

No, not Catherine Deneuve or Brigitte Bardot, but the Citroen DS, one of the most recognizable, and in my opinion, one of the sexiest cars ever made.

Citroen has recently unveiled plans to relaunch the DS (which is a pun on the French word for Goddess) in 2010, in a bid to compete with other top of the line luxury cars and to cash in on the nostalgic love affair people seem to be having with cars such as the Beetle, the Fiat 500 and the Mini Cooper.

Now before you start thinking I'm a bit of a motor head, let me reassure you, my love of the DS is a purely shallow attraction. The technical brilliance of this car goes completely over my head. Hydro pneumatic suspension, power steering, hydraulic systems- you might as well be speaking Greek to me. I'm the sort of person who when asked what kind of car I drive, I respond 'a blue one'.

I've never really been that into sports cars, and quite often I find some of the people who drive the likes of Ferraris or Porsches to be quite off-putting. It has never been a useful pulling technique with me either, the sort of car a man drives, and I'd rather travel around the world than own a Range Rover.

But there is just something about this car that gets me going. It's certainly a glamorous car, and the black and white images of de Gaulle being driven around in one while he was President could appear in the dictionary to illustrate the word 'French'. Sure there are other French cars that have become symbolic of the country, like the 2CV or the Renault 4, but the DS is like the Robert Redford to these little upstarts; no matter how hard they try, they'll never ooze as much sex appeal.

The DS ranked 3rd in a 1999 poll of 'Car of the Century', behind the Ford Model T and the Mini Cooper. I've owned a Mini Cooper before, and it was fun to drive and smart looking. But it's just too cute to ever inspire the same lust in me. It will be interesting to see how the DS's relaunch goes, though. It could be hugely successful, or it could fall as flat as the Spice Girls' comeback tour.

I know the Duke loves the DS as much as I do, but I'm still pretty sure we will never own one. He already owns his favorite little piece of French iconography, the Citroen H van. The thing goes maximum 30km/hour, has no seatbelts and very little floor left in it, and is quite possibly the un-sexiest car I have ever seen...


6 comments:

Dedene said...

Oh! That van is so ugly. But what nostalgia. Hope Mr. D gets it fixed up soon.

carol b said...

I'm thinking the Fiat 500 might be my next car, got to agree with you though, the DS very sexy.
the Duke's van? gorgeous in its own way...

La Belette Rouge said...

The Citroen is very sexy. How lovely to have a car intended for a goddess.

Emily said...

It it still works, why not... perhaps give it a fresh coat of paint?

Olga Granda-Scott said...

I would still prefer a Fiat 500 as well, but would definitely settle for this one!

Printemps said...

Actually i bumped over that Citroen car... while parking in Paris ... usual problem. the owner went wild ... certainly sexiest car ...