Citroën eCV | Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Who are you?
My name is Martin Hajek, I am 43 years old and I live in the Netherlands.
I used to be an industrial designer but now work as business development manager.
What is this concept?
You are looking at a redesign of one of Europe’s most iconic cars – the Citroën 2CV (Deux Chevaux Vapeur).
When naming the redesign it was immediately obvious to call it ‘Citroën eCV’ in which the ‘e’ refers to the fact this concept is for an electric car.
Are you a (car) designer?
I have never designed a car.
In fact – I don’t even own a car.
To quote the famous Pippi Longstocking:
“I have never tried that before, so I think I should definitely be able to do that.”
Why on earth did you do this?
Last year I was visiting Paris where it occurred to me that nowadays French cars just tend to look cheap and weird.
Immediately I remembered the most iconic French cars from my youth and on the top of that list was the Citroën 2CV!
Why hasn't Citroën officially re-released the 2CV yet?
Especially when you consider that car-makers the world over are using electric driving as a reason to revive their own design classics.
Take for example the Urban EV from Honda – introduced at the 2019 Geneva motor show, it takes design cues from the original Honda civic from the 70s.
The Smart Vision EQ fortwo concept updates the design of the compact Smart fortwo car by adding a dash of autonomous driving.
Even one of the biggest automotive symbols of communist oppression in Europe, the Trabant car, has been electrified with a design which clearly pays homage to the original.
Not electric but still a revival of a classic; Volkswagen gave us the New Beetle and Fiat breathed new life into the classic Fiat ‘500’.
What is your relation to Citroën?
I am in no way affiliated with Citroën.
The names Citroën, 2CV and all combinations thereof as well as the Citroën and Citroën 2CV logo are owned by Groupe PSA.
This is a concept study and should be considered a (fictional) work of art.
But of course I hope Citroën will one day revive the 2CV!
You do know you're not the first to redesign the Citroën 2CV, right?
Well, I know now but I didn’t know when I started working on this projectbecause I did not want to be influenced by what’s out there.
And there is always something out there – in this case a design done by Citroën themselves way back in 2007
I think it is safe to say that specific concept could do with some creativity…
When did you design it?
As mentioned, I started thinking about the Citroën eCV concept over a year ago when I was on a trip to Paris.
After a lot of sketches (I tend to do my scribbling mostly on post-its) I went to work in 3D CAD and through many 3D CAD builds (I’m talking gigabytes of incremental file-saves) I completed the final design earlier this year.
Since I worked on this project in the evenings, weekend and personal holidays it took me just a bit longer than it might take a full-time designer
Where is the steering-wheel in the Citroen eCV?
There isn’t one.
It’s a level 5 autonomous driving car.
In normal English; it’s a fully self-driving car. You know, like KITT from Knight Rider.
How did you do it?
- sketching on post-its!
- making a virtual 3D model using CAD (Computer Aided Design). Well, making MANY 3D models actually – I have several gigabytes worth of file saves.
- converting the 3D model so that it can be ‘rendered’ which is a fancy word for making real-life pictures by adding (virtual) materials, cameras and lamps.
- editing it down to a short video, a bunch of images and some tidied-up sketches.
So you decided to do a TAXI version too? Why?
When I was in Paris over a year ago it struck me that when it comes to taxis the French capital does not really have an ‘icon’.
London has the famous black cabs, New York has iconic yellow cabs and even Tokyo, for better or worse, has the Toyota Crown comfort.
Paris on the other hand has…an eclectic offering of car brands with a simple ‘Taxi Parisien’ sign slapped on the roof.
Not iconic at all.
What if Paris decided to clean up it’s act of not having an iconic taxi and at the same time clean up the air in the city by making the Citroën eCV the official taxi for Paris?
Why is your TAXI concept green with yellow hub-caps?
I decided to dive into a bit of Parisian history and I found that Paris actually did have a unique taxi at one point.
Prior to the 1st world war the Renault AG1 car was used as the de-facto taxi in Paris.
After WWI broke out the French army commandeered all the AG1 taxis to be used in the battle de la Marne giving the taxi it’s nickname; Taxi de la Marne.
The colour scheme for this taxi was either red or green with yellow wheels.
I chose the green color setting for the Citroën eCV TAXI because it appeals more to the ‘green’ nature of the electric engine.
Wait, there IS a steering wheel in the TAXI version?
Whereas the Citroën eCV concept is a self-driving car I decided to keep the taxi driver.
After all, taking a taxi ride can be much more than just getting from A to B. In Paris you can take the bus, RER or metro if you simply want to get to your destination.