Stereotype displaying total formal maturity of the two-box aerodynamic sedan, enormously popular in the decade to follow, just remember the Citroën GS of 1971. Formal innovation and remarkable CD=0,35 for a car with a simple, uniform and continuous design, due to specific functional goal without aesthetic forcing.
When we are convinced we have a truly good idea, we strive to convince others, especially if the idea concerns a topic close to our hearts. In 1967, aerodynamics was still a rather exclusive topic, just for technical people and afficionados, while Pininfarina had always regarded it as a fundamental element in body design. Shortly thereafter, in fact, the firm began building its wind tunnel, the first in Italy for full-scale automobiles, in-augurated in 1973.
At the Birmingham Motor Show in 1967, it presented a prototype on BMC 1800 mechanics that achieved a number of ambitious results simultaneously: it radically improved aerodynamic performance, dropping Cd values from 0.45 to 0.35, and it updated the traditional three box shape of the sedan, transforming it into a tapered two-volume and expanding its versatility by increasing load space and applying a large cargo hatch.
The following year, to demonstrate that the formula was also valid for smaller cars, it built a similar prototype on the chassis of the small BLMC 1100 for the Turin Show. These two cars represented the models for the two-volume sedans that were to become enormously popular in the decade to follow. But though they were the first attempts in this direction, they already displayed total formal maturity.
The car illustrated in the photos is still perfectly functional and has exactly the same dimension as the Citroen GS that appeared in 1971.
The design was simple and uniform, continuous. The nose clustered elements into specific functional groups without aesthetic forcing. The air intake concealed beneath the bumper was well-positioned aerodynamically, the rubber crush zone between the headlamps completed the transitionbetween hoods and fenders, and the scalloped headlamps were the primary decorative element of the front end.
The slab sides were smooth, with flush fenders. Indicative of the close attentionto detail were the door handles hidden into the chromed windowsill moulding. The tail cut was shart and efficient, and the broad backlight doubled as a cargo hatch. The roofline recalled a wing profile, continuously curving, sustained by thin pillars that enhanced interior light and driver visibility.
Adding strength to all this, and avoiding a fragile look was a series of oriented louvres that lent the optical weight of a strong "C" pillar without blocking the visibility of the driver."