Not so long ago the notion of an eco-friendly vehicle meant small, boxy and decidedly uncool. But the push towards hybrid and electric vehicles in recent times has changed all that - if supercars can be hybrids, why not limousines? Citroën’s international design team has created the Metropolis plug-in hybrid-limousine concept for the Shanghai World Fair. The imposing 5.3m long by 2m wide by 1.4m high vehicle produces impressively low CO2 emissions of just 70g/km via a 2-liter, V6 petrol engine and an electric motor developing 70kW at its peak.
The Metropolis’ V6 petrol engine is mated to a 7-speed, dual-clutch electronic gearbox and delivers 272bhp (200kW) and 375Nm of torque. The conventional engine is used at "steady speeds on main roads and motorways" with the electric motor kicking-in when extra grunt is required to deliver maximum power output of 460bhp (345kW) and 430Nm of torque - the same as a 4-litre V8 petrol engine.
At low speeds the electric motor takes over entirely to make the Metropolis a zero (local) emissions vehicle and when conditions are slippery on the road, a four-wheel drive mode can be selected.
The Citroen touch is immediately apparent from the front with the double chevron Citroen logo built into the twin chrome strip at the top of the kite-shaped grille. Another familiar touch from the Citroen international design team - which has been based in Shanghai since 2008 - can be found in the concave rear window which carries the car's low-prolfime through to the sharp rear end.
Other design highlights include an active rear spoiler and "Pearl Silk" body which Citroen says changes color under different light conditions.
The Shanghai World Fair runs from May 1 to October, 31.