Citroen

Citroën, an innovative mid-range

100-year-young Citroën is celebrating 50 years of the GS.

It's an understatement to say that the GS unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October 1970 softened the crisis. It filled the gap in the most popular mid-range category – between 1000 and 1500 cc – and gave Citroën back its verve, having been marginalised with a range that was confined to the two extremities of the price bracket: the popular 2CV and the luxurious DS. Like its predecessors, this new arrival had strayed off the beaten track. Its original curves had clearly drawn inspiration from a Pininfarina study for British Leyland. Its shape was highly aerodynamic: rounded with a truncated rear. The 4.12 m long front-wheel drive was powered by a flat-4 air-cooled 1015 cc 61 hp engine. Described as highly sophisticated compared with its competitors, the GS boasted a highly original hydro-pneumatic suspension system, four disc brakes and a dashboard on which the numbers on the speedometer rotated behind a magnifying glass. In 1971, a station wagon version was launched. A two-door "service" van was also added aimed at companies, and was available in a blocked-out-window version and one with windows. The GS range was produced until 1986 in a plethora of different versions. There was even one featuring a pistonless rotary engine.

Citroen