Supercars: The Road & Track Guide
Cars of Exceptional Speed, Power and Beauty
by Editors of Road & Track

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The elegant design lines of the C-Metisse, the latest out-of-this-world concept car from Citroen was unveiled at the 2006 Paris Motor Show. Exceptionally stylish and powerful, the C-Metisse proved that a high performance car can also be green, combining a top speed of 155 mph with the ability to cover around 45 miles per gallon on the combined cycle. Crammed with hi-tech innovations and neat touches, the C-Metisse explores new paths in car design and driving pleasure. This model combines coupe styling with 4-door practicality thanks to the show-stopping gull-wing front and rear doors.

In particular, the C-Metisse has been developed to offer good environmental credentials. It boasts an economical HDi V6 diesel engine, coupled with an acclaimed Diesel Particulate Filter System, and two separate electric motors on the rear wheels, capable of developing a massive 295 lb-ft of additional torque. Around town the new concept car can even run in Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mode.

With its unique and powerful style, this 4-seater, 4-door coupe is visually striking. It is also exceptionally low for a grand-tourer of its size, at just 48.4 inches high, which contrasts with its length of 184.9 inches and width of 78 inches. And with its long bonnet and virtually non-existent rear overhang, its design is classically Citroen.

Both outside and in, the C-Metisse takes styling to another level. The front doors open gull-wing style, while the rear doors spin round to provide good accessibility for a car of such a low height. The large, eye-catching alloy wheels have been specially designed, with central wheel nuts hinting at the model’s sporting nature.

Once inside the ‘aircraft-style cockpit’, occupants are enveloped by the comfortable, individual white leather seats, and are surrounded by smart leather trim and aluminum inserts. Each of the passengers benefits from independent air conditioning controls, individual roof lighting and plenty of space.

Powering the front wheels is a 208 bhp V6 HDi diesel engine mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox, whilst a further two electric motors can drive the rear wheels. Providing an innovative 4-wheel drive capability, each of these motors can deliver up to 295 lb-ft of torque and 20 bhp.

The C-Metisse is focused on providing real driver pleasure and sets extremely high standards for out-of-town driving, as demonstrated by a stunning 0-62 mph acceleration time of just 6.2 seconds and impressive mid-range performance that sees this remarkable concept accelerate from 50-75 mph in 4.2 seconds.

Driving pleasure is increased by a ‘boost’ function, activated under heavy acceleration, which activates to provide the immediate torque required. This combines the torque of the combustion engine with that of the electric motors that drive the rear wheels to enhance performance without pushing up fuel consumption.

The diesel hybrid drivetrain comprises a pack of high voltage batteries to supply the electric motors. Placed in the centre of the vehicle, the pack is automatically recharged during deceleration phases. The drivetrain and braking control unit automatically manage the energy configuration: transition from 2 to 4-wheel drive, energy recovery and the recharging of batteries.

Particular attention has also been paid to reducing the weight of the vehicle so that it requires less power to run, uses smaller amounts of fuel and therefore emits fewer pollutants. The carbon-fiber body helps reduce the entire weight of the C-Metisse to just 1,400 kg, including batteries.

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