Citroen’s newest concept car is called 19_19 and it was design to express the French automaker’s vision for “ultra-comfort” and extended mobility.
“19_19 Concept is our technological and innovative vision of the automotive future. It conserves the fundamentals that have made Citroën what it is over the last 100 years, a brand that listens to its customers and systematically focuses on human aspects, consistent with its ‘Inspired by You’ brand signature. Design, creativity, comfort and innovation are and will remain central to Citroën’s DNA, as demonstrated by 19_19 Concept.”
Linda Jackson, Citroën Global CEO
To celebrate 100 years of boldness and creativity at the service of freedom of movement, Citroën was duty bound to present a spectacular object, a UFO in the automotive sector. 19_19 Concept is a disruptive Citroën manifesto that rewrites the rulebook and illustrates a vision of mobility that is deliberately unconventional, futuristic looking and constraint-free. Boasting exceptional proportions for the automotive segment – and inspired by the worlds of aviation and interior design – 19_19 Concept is immediately recognisable through its pure and streamlined shapes, its skilfully worked technological details, and through the various ways in which it can be interpreted.
Taking comfort to a new level, with a cabin constituting a true living room on wheels, 19_19 Concept pushes the limits of the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme. The cabin is suspended on a new suspension system with Progressive Hydraulic Cushions® combined with smart active control. It features a unique layout influenced by the world of furniture with individual seats, each one expressing a different vision of comfort. 19_19 Concept is also innovative and futuristic through its autonomous driving technology. With the help of artificial intelligence, the concept car is equipped with a ‘Personal Assistant’ built into the dashboard that takes control of the vehicle during autonomous driving and interacts with passengers via an intuitive and proactive system that anticipates the needs of each occupant.
19_19 Concept reduces the carbon footprint of travel, heightens on-board comfort through the absence of noise and vibration, and proves that 100% electric drivetrains are suited to long journeys with a range of up to 497 miles (800km). Created to offer relaxed transportation, the concept car charges via induction technology where the infrastructure is in place, either when the car is moving or when it is stationary.
19_19 Concept reinvents long car journeys through ultra-comfort, bringing its occupants regenerative and restorative travel. The vehicle has a modern design, and includes technology that fosters a new automotive experience. Occupants enjoy a true ‘mental detox’ experience for maximum travelling pleasure, total relaxation, calmness and well-being.
19_19 Concept is Citroën’s take on tomorrow’s car travel, inspired by a desire for liberated and restorative mobility.
01 - EXCEPTIONAL DESIGN
19_19 Concept is primarily inspired by aviation, a field in which aerodynamics and attention to detail are very important. At first glance, 19_19 Concept stands out through its original body styling – powerful and magnetic – that can be interpreted in several different ways. The design is new and hyper-expressive, rewriting the traditional codes of autonomous electric cars. The exterior design of 19_19 Concept can be broken down into several layers: a fully-glazed suspended cabin; oversized wheels; and a subframe showcasing the electric drivetrain and suspension.
A. EXTRAORDINARY BODY STYLING
A SUSPENDED TRANSPARENT CAPSULE
AN EXTRAORDINARILY DESIGNED CAPSULE, AERONAUTIC AND AERODYNAMIC
The exceptional body design of 19_19 Concept resembles the fuselage of an aircraft and the transparent bubble of a helicopter. The capsule levitates above four ‘Super Tall and Narrow’ wheels, promising the comfort of a magic carpet ride, with the passengers transported by a car that appears to fly over the road. Boasting a powerful and authoritative road stance with the four wheels set squarely on the far corners of the body, 19_19 Concept impresses with its lengthy 3.10m wheelbase that makes room for a large battery. Citroën has always sought to make cars with the impression of a ‘magic carpet ride’, and this concept car features an innovative suspension with Progressive Hydraulic Cushions® and a smart active control system. The suspension system is visible and showcased from within the cabin.
WELCOME SCREEN ON THE DOORS
The side of the body features a black panel that blends into the front doors, which serves as a welcome interface for drivers approaching the vehicle. The car acts as a personal assistant, recognising the driver, welcoming them and interacting with them through the black panel by displaying animated graphic messages, for example illustrating the locking and unlocking of the doors.
TRANSPARENCY AND COLOUR CONTRASTS
The glazed area at the front is grey-tinted so that passengers can see and be seen at mid-height. At the rear, blue micro-perforated trim safeguards the privacy of passengers, enabling them to see out whilst not being seen. The passenger experience in rows one and two are different, highlighted by two different colours – black at the front and blue at the rear. 19_19 Concept draws on the brand’s heritage with its vivid and deep ‘Rosalie Blue’ colour, a nod to the record breaking Petite Rosalie. The luminous and almost electric hue is anodised, unvarnished, technological and futuristic.
‘SUPER TALL & NARROW’ WHEELS AND TYRES DEVELOPED BY GOODYEAR
ILLUSION OF CONTINUITY BETWEEN WHEEL AND TYRE
The wheels were designed and developed in partnership with Goodyear. The oversized 30-inch wheels, with a diameter of 930mm and fitted with 255/30 R 30 tyres, have an exceptional, revolutionary design. The wheel dimensions and designs are extraordinary – inspired by gear cogs – which feature at the heart of the Citroën logo. A wheel usually comprises a rim and a tyre, but the wheels on 19_19 Concept are hybrid. The Goodyear teams were set the challenge of creating seamless continuity between the rim and the tyre, plunging 19_19 Concept into a futuristic world beyond traditional automotive bounds and giving the impression of a vehicle moving forward on independent spheres.
FIXED-HUB CENTENARY LOGO
In an additional hypnotic wheel design feature, the fixed-hub Citroën Origins logo remains horizontal even when the wheels are turning. This is another nod to the brand’s history, namely the famous swan that symbolised the floating engines integrated since the Rosalie models. The fixed-hub centenary logo strengthens the poised appearance of the vehicle.
B. AERODYNAMIC DESIGN AND ARTFULLY WORKED TECHNOLOGICAL DETAILS
Considerable work went into the aerodynamics of 19_19 Concept. Citroën’s legendary models, including the DS, CX and XM, were known for their impressive aerodynamic qualities. This quest for optimal aerodynamics is a powerful source of inspiration in the styling language of 19_19 Concept. The objective was to achieve maximum grip and minimum drag through optimised airflow around the body, which is set high above the ground.
TECHNOLOGICAL, DESTRUCTURED AND FUTURISTIC FRONT END
TRANSPARENCY AND TECHNOLOGY
The extraordinary new concept car 19_19 Concept features a transparent sculpted double bonnet that channels a stream of air towards the windscreen to further enhance aerodynamics. The short upper bonnet serves as a spoiler – and as a medium for the light signature, which is formed from two strips of light in a ‘Y’ shape, consistent with the brand’s most recent concept cars such as CXperience and Ami One Concept. 19_19 Concept sports a new full LED light signature partition featuring the chevrons in the shape of a geometric double notch.
The concept has an all-new styling approach that fosters greater functionality. The glazed bubble of the interior is visible under the double bonnet. From the cabin, passengers will be able to watch the road beneath their feet. The upper and rearmost part of the bonnet is fitted with two rear-facing cameras that replace conventional door mirrors.
TECHNOLOGICAL REAR END CONSISTENT WITH THE FRONT END
The rear end echoes the front face, due to the same characteristics, including the tailgate bubble, aerodynamic subframe and light signature. In a nod to some of the brand’s legendary models such as the Ami 6, CX and, more recently, C5 and C6, the rear window on 19_19 Concept is concave. Completely consistent with the front, the rear features the same light signature, with two LED light strips forming a ‘Y’ with the chevrons, reinforcing the vehicle’s stance and constituting an aerodynamic spoiler.
TECHNOLOGICAL SHOWCASE ON THE ROOF
The roof is surmounted by two LIDAR laser-detection measurement systems positioned above the rear passengers. Resembling a twin tailplane, the LIDARs are made to deliberately stand out and are entirely separate from the body. Similar to the aviation sector, they work in sets of two for greater stability.
C. A SUBFRAME EMPHASISING THE FULLY-ELECTRIC TECHNOLOGY
The closer you get to the concept car, the more the details become important. While generally hidden on other cars, the technical components and technological details on 19_19 Concept are highlighted.
The subframe on 19_19 Concept was designed like a skateboard, housing the electric batteries and all the technical components. Fully streamlined, the subframe comprises aerodynamic appendices and piping to optimise air flow, as well as an array of sensors and radars useful to the operation of the vehicle. At the rear, underneath the cabin, the stem shape enhances aerodynamics by closing the airflow, inspired by the fin of an aeroplane.
“With 19_19 Concept, we sought to rewrite the automotive rule book with a high-impact vehicle featuring a strong and powerful design inspired by the world of aviation. As an aerodynamic and technological comfort bubble floating above the road, 19_19 Concept showcases details like the new-generation light signatures, the aerodynamic appendices and the wheels developed by Goodyear.”
Pierre Leclercq, Head of Citroën Design
02 - TAKING COMFORT TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL
A. INTERIOR DESIGNED AS A LIVING ROOM
19_19 Concept takes comfort to a whole new level by turning the cabin into a living room. A dream living room is a collection of beautiful and unique objects, different materials, and sometimes different styles. Similar to a living room that features a sofa, a chaise longue, ottomans and reading armchairs, each seat in the cabin is special and offers a different experience and postural comfort according to each passenger’s needs. The cabin offers several ways to experience the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme by allowing the passengers to customise their own settings.
The rear-hinged pillar-free convex doors, allow for exceptional cabin access, with easy seating for the occupants. The height of the driver’s eyes on the road is similar to that of a modern SUV. Passenger comfort is substantially boosted by visibility, posture and easy cabin access.
A WORLD AROUND EACH PASSENGER FOR BESPOKE COMFORT
DRIVER’S SEAT: COMFORT AND SUPPORT IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES
The driver’s seat is dedicated to driving and promotes a hyper-intuitive experience with simplified controls. For a comfortable and pleasant drive, the driver’s seat has a protective structure that houses a soft and enveloping ultra-comfort seat. In a contemporary fashion, the back of the seat and the oversized headrest are ‘scooped’ in terms of shape. With the driver comfortably settled in, the vehicle simplifies their experience with augmented reality and a Head-Up Display on the windscreen, providing them with all the information required for complete peace-of-mind at the wheel.
THE CHAISE LONGUE, A SPECIAL SEAT FOR THE FRONT PASSENGER
The front passenger seat is dedicated to travel and relaxation, with serenity and harmony. Semi-reclined, the passenger can concentrate on a range of non-road related activities, similar to a business class seat on a long-haul flight. The passenger can enjoy the trip with all-new postural comfort for the automotive sector, relaxing, stretching out their legs and experiencing home-like comfort on lengthy journeys. Equipped with a motorised lifting footrest, in a nod to the ‘Relax’ passenger seat on Grand C4 SpaceTourer, the chaise longue takes things even further.
REAR SOFA WITH SUNDECK-INSPIRED DESIGN
Rear-seat passengers are equally cosseted, with seats forming a sofa extending back to the boot, like the sundeck of a Riva boat. All the components – seats and seat backs, ceiling and boot – are upholstered in the same material, offering a true blanket of comfort that is warm and relaxing. Passengers can rest their heads on an intricate hammock-style weave of red elastic fabrics laid out in a chevron shape.
A CABIN THAT PUSHES THE LIMITS OF AUTOMOTIVE DESIGN
THE DASHBOARD: AERIAL AND ENTERTAINING
The dashboard on 19_19 Concept is pure and ultra-simplified, to showcase the steering wheel and the personal assistant function. The borderless glazed area under the dashboard can be transformed into a film projection screen for the pleasure and entertainment of the passengers. Smooth and flat, it faces the passengers and establishes continuity between the exterior and interior. It also features a fully transparent glazed area on its lower section so that there is a view of the exterior. The suspension and the road underneath the vehicle are both visible from the cabin, below the dashboard, giving occupants the impression of hovering over the road as in a helicopter. The crosswise cloth upholstery further heightens this impression as it features throughout the cabin, like a magic carpet.
THE STEERING WHEEL: A RETRACTABLE DESIGN OBJECT AND A NOD TO HISTORY
The steering wheel remains so that the driver can take back control of the vehicle where necessary, but 19_19 Concept can drive autonomously without any supervision from the driver. The steering wheel is original in terms of its shape. The steering wheel is also original in terms of its materials. It consists of a marble-like mineral resin that is warm to the touch, for an original, high-end and authentic appearance. In the centre there is a screen that features an animated display of the Citroën chevrons from across the generations, linking up the past and the future. The screen is ‘monostable’ so that the chevrons remain horizontal when the wheel is turned. This is a nod to Citroën's inimitable fixed-hub steering wheels. To comply with rules on driver distraction, the chevron animation stops when the vehicle begins to move.
B. A TECHNOLOGICAL OBJECT DEDICATED TO COMFORT
The Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme is a modern and innovative approach to 360° comfort. It is an essential part of the brand’s strategy. It includes all aspects of comfort, from the driving comfort to overall well-being, in order to create pleasant and relaxed driving.
CABIN SUSPENDED THROUGH SPECIAL SUSPENSION AND GOODYEAR TYRES
A NEW STEP FORWARD FOR SUSPENSION WITH PROGRESSIVE HYDRAULIC CUSHIONS®
19_19 Concept is the logical culmination of 100 years of suspension comfort. A worthy heir to Xantia Activa, 19_19 Concept is equipped with a smart and actively controlled suspension system. The suspension actively reads the road ahead to eliminate all jolts, supplementing the Progressive Hydraulic Cushions® system already available on C4 Cactus and New C5 Aircross SUV. 19_19 Concept is suspended above the road with a pendular system, ensuring outstanding comfort for the passengers, regardless of their posture and seating position during the trip, whilst eliminating cornering sensations. The suspension system has been designed so that the wheels move relative to the cabin, which remains completely stable and movement-free. The passengers are therefore entirely removed from the road and the outside world, ensconced in comfort and able to fully enjoy the new experience gained by autonomous driving.
Suspension comfort also stems from the choice of wheels and tyres. The tyres and wheels on 19_19 Concept were developed by Goodyear to boost comfort through their ingenious and innovative design. The tyres are predictive, feeling the road and weather conditions thanks to a system of smart sensors. These sensors assist the autonomous driving control systems by transmitting an array of data. This enables 19_19 Concept to determine the optimal autonomous driving mode – influencing speed, braking, roadholding and stability. The tyres were designed to isolate occupants from external noises, such as road noise. With its porous texture that reduces noise like a natural sponge, the tread acts as a padded filter between the road and the cabin and as a noise-suppressing wall.
AN INTUITIVE AND PROACTIVE ASSISTANT
Thanks to the proactive ‘Personal Assistant’ equipped with artificial intelligence. The cabin is without any touchscreens or buttons, but is home to projection and information areas that fully honour Citroën’s heritage. There are welcome screens on the doors too. The ‘Personal Assistant’ anticipates the needs of occupants, proposing actions even before the passengers express their needs. Substantially reducing the number of interactions required by passengers with the vehicle. The ‘Personal Assistant’ is the true brain and nervous system at the heart of 19_19 Concept. The proactive and predictive ‘Personal Assistant’ can propose alternatives to the initial route, detours to visit points of interest based on browsing history, breaks in pleasant nearby locations, and renowned restaurants in the surrounding area. The vehicle sound mapping enables messages, issued by the car, to be sent directly to the person concerned without disturbing the other occupants.
The ‘Personal Assistant’ has two positions on the dashboard. When the driver is driving, the ‘Personal Assistant’ is in support mode, so it is located on the lower section, under the dashboard. It remains active and proactive, but does not take control of driving. The driver does not have visual contact with the rear-projection area, to comply with driver distraction rules and to ensure a completely safe drive. In this mode, the projection area on the dashboard is reserved exclusively for the passengers, who can relax with a film. In autonomous mode, the steering wheel, pedals and steering wheel retract, the driver’s seat moves backwards to provide more legroom, and the ‘Personal Assistant’ slides up the dashboard to take control. It then becomes the vehicle supervisor and frees up the projection area under the dashboard for all occupants – including the driver – whose role switches to that of a passenger, as the concept is now in autonomous mode.
VOICE RECOGNITION WITH NATURAL LANGUAGE BY SOUNDHOUND INC.
A simple sentence will suffice to interact with the vehicle, select a playlist, activate a film, video game or app, adjust the cabin temperature and lighting, make a phone call or send a message. The ‘Personal Assistant’ system is equipped with voice recognition via natural language developed by SoundHound Inc., a Silicon Valley start-up and strategic partner of Groupe PSA. This technology – to be installed on new Groupe PSA models and future Citroën models – is based on ‘deep meaning understanding’ technology, the only technology able to respond instantly to several questions asked in a single sentence, as a human being would. ‘Deep meaning understanding’ technology provides the fastest voice recognition in the world and perfectly understands natural speech, in 40 languages.
ALL-NEW DRIVING EASE
19_19 Concept was created to make driving easier in all road conditions. Equipped with advanced autonomous driving technologies, 19_19 Concept can take over and manage vehicle control automatically, enabling drivers to get on with other, non-driving related occupations. When the driver takes back control – either due to the road infrastructure or because they simply want to enjoy the driving experience – the system is designed to make driving easier and bring drivers greater safety and peace-of-mind.
HEAD-UP DISPLAY AND AUGMENTED REALITY
With its ultra-pure dashboard, 19_19 Concept displays all driving information in the driver’s field of vision, using an advanced Head-Up Display system on the windscreen, as seen on fighter planes, and in a nod to the system on C6. The display assists drivers with augmented reality functions, providing the most relevant information in the best place. For example, it projects navigation data directly on to the road, with arrows showing the route more clearly, along with one-way streets and any dangers to be avoided.
A true expression of the near future of the automobile, 19_19 Concept takes control in certain driving phases, including on motorways or in traffic jams. Drivers can let themselves be driven entirely by the vehicle in complete safety. The driver can take back control whenever they like, for example to enjoy the at-the-wheel experience. They may be required to do so in certain more complex situations, such as in traffic through obstacle-filled city centres.
THE BEST OF ELECTRIC TECHNOLOGY FOR LIMITLESS MOBILITY
Futuristic yet realistic, 19_19 Concept is powered by an all-electric drivetrain fully consistent with Citroën’s strategy of energy transition. 19_19 is powerful, accelerating from 0 to 62mph (100km/h) in five seconds and reaching a top speed of 124mph (200km/h). Driven by 100kWh batteries, the 4WD drivetrain comprises two motors (one at the front, one at the rear) and develops torque of 800Nm and power of 340kW. The vehicle has a range of 497 miles (800km) under the WLTP protocol, for freedom of movement without constraints.
For even greater comfort in use, 19_19 Concept features quick charging technology (with over 370 miles of range recovered in just 20 minutes). For cable-free charging, 19_19 Concept is equipped with an induction charging system so that the batteries can charge directly when driving, where the road infrastructure permits. 19_19 Concept is adapted to all types of journeys, be it a trip to the country, holidays in the mountains or a weekend by the sea. Breaking with the trend of electric vehicles offering limited range, 19_19 Concept fully opens up new possibilities.
“The year of its 100th anniversary, Citroën is projecting into the future two of key attributes of the brand’s DNA, building on the success of its range today: bold design and 21st century comfort –Advanced Comfort – with four seats featuring their own individual universes, all-electric drivetrain, a proactive Personal Assistant and autonomous driving technologies.”
Xavier Peugeot, Head of Citroën Product