The 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show played host to the international launch of the Citroën C3, but there was another small car concept that was attracting a lot of interest on the French manufacturer’s stand. Following the introduction of the C3 Picasso and DS3, Citroën offered an glimpse into possible future generations of those vehicles, with the Revolte, a plug-in hybrid city car.
The vehicle was “inspired by Citroën’s 90 years in the automotive business” but is actually very forward-thinking in its onboard technology. Citroën denies the Revolte is a reinvention of the legendary 2CV but admits there are common themes.
“As a brand, Citroën has always been one step ahead,” said Frederic Banzet, Executive Vice President at the French manufacturer. “We don’t want to repeat history, but we do have to re-invent ourselves. The Revolte is a tribute to our history. It is luxurious and vibrant; intelligent and high-tech.”
The Revolte is also a vehicle with a currently unspecified source of fuel. Citroën would not confirm whether the city car’s internal-combustion engine would be powered by petrol or diesel, but, if the company’s previous hybrid showings have been anything to go by, expect a small diesel unit to be mated to the electric motor.
Performance figures have not been revealed either, but Citroën says that the car will offer strong acceleration and a lively driving experience. It has the ability to run in pure electric mode and benefits from a recharging point that feeds the electric motor.
Power generation is not limited to the internal battery; on the hood of the car are photovoltaic cells that can carry out electric functions such as opening the windows, moving the seats, and powering the interior lights. By using the cells on the hood for these actions, more battery charge is saved to power the vehicle.
The battery pack is hidden away under one of the items in the Revolte that reflects the car’s chic and luxury elements—a rear bench that is covered in crimson velvet material. This bench accounts for two of the three seats, the front passenger space being left vacant, affording those traveling in the back more legroom. One other highlight in the Revolte’s interior is the use of touch-screen technologies, which achieves a less cluttered dashboard display.
Revolte measures 3.78 m (12.4 ft) long, 1.73 m (5.7 ft) wide, and 1.35 m (4.4 ft) tall, making it ideal for the town or city environment. The rear doors of the car are rear-hinged, providing easier access to the cabin, which, according to Citroën, represents “a box of makeup.” The most common materials used here are woven black leather, thick crimson velvet, and aluminum.