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Citroen's super-mini concept - the C-AirPlay

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December 2, 2005

Citroen's super-mini concept - the C-AirPlay

Citroen's super-mini concept - the C-AirPlay

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December 3, 2005 Citroen premiered the C-AirPlay two-seater concept car, at the opening of this year’s Bologna Motor Show in Italy yesterday. Masterminded by Citroen’s award-winning British car designer, Mark Lloyd, the futuristic urban run-around features a bold, dynamic exterior look, as well as plenty of ultra-modern styling cues. Inside and out the C-AirPlay introduces striking design touches, including see-through ‘portholes’ in the lower sections of the doors to increase the sensation of speed. Discreet, touch-sensitive controls for the gears, electric windows and rearview mirror are moulded into the single-piece silicone front seat, whilst the eye-catching steering wheel incorporates two spherical driver information displays.

Even the colour scheme is ultra modern with the iridescent white bodywork contrasting neatly with the bright red cabin. But it’s the massive expanse of glass that creates the bright and airy interior that helps give rise to the C-AirPlay’s name.

Shorter than the Citroën C2, the C-AirPlay is powered by a 110hp petrol engine while, thanks to the SensoDrive gearbox, gearchanges can be made via the steering wheel-mounted paddles. Fittingly, for a futuristic interpretation of a supermini, this versatile concept car also features fuel-saving, emission-reducing Stop & Start technology.

C-AirPlay is the result of exploratory studies in creative design and in-depth research into driving pleasure. It is a perfect fit with the marque's styling references and its values. C-AirPlay returns to the source of automotive pleasure, a pleasure born in movement and sensation rather than in sheer speed.

C-AirPlay is a concept-car of flowing design whose clean body lines and tall, strongly curved features create an impression of agility. The iridescent white bodywork bathes the whole car in light.

Behind the wheel, the driver enjoys dynamic driving sensations based on physical and intellectual perceptions. Air is a key factor both inside and outside the vehicle. At low speeds, the air flow around the driver is perceptible and plays an active role. The air flows in through a ventilation system directly connected with the outside, and through the large air vents on the door panels.

At the same time, light floods in through the roof opening and the porthole windows on the lower part of the doors. These windows offer a direct vision of the road, thus amplifying passenger sensations. Seeing the road close-up enhances the impression of speed.

Contributing to the flowing body lines of C-AirPlay, the tall windscreen extends right up to the wide panoramic roof. This creates a vast glazed area that offers excellent visibility while also letting in maximum light.

The colours used by C-AirPlay – rarely seen on cars – are designed for contrast. The iridescent white bodywork is also present inside the car, alongside the bright red used for the cabin. These two colours enhance the overall brightness of the car, and create an impression of vitality and warmth in the cabin.

The compact lines, low height and strong on-road stance of C-AirPlay suggest dynamic driving pleasure. The taut body lines express this concept-car's dynamic capacities. The broad air intakes are a statement of its determined character. The rear-end design is a perfect fit with the rest of the vehicle, giving it a strong, decisive look. The broad chrome chevrons at the rear of C-AirPlay state the visual identity of the Marque.

In C-AirPlay, attention to detail underlines the coherence of the car's styling to give it greater energy and substance. This innovative design work is also in evidence on the exterior components, which integrate perfectly with the bodywork to create a harmonious whole. The lower part of the doors features wide windows. In terms of their use and their shape, these windows resemble portholes that allow the passengers of C-AirPlay to enjoy a close-up travelling experience.

With C-AirPlay, the most ordinary journey creates sensations of driving pleasure. This is a car that leaves space for the unexpected. With its responsive, low-weight chassis, this concept-car sets remarkable standards of performance, particularly in its favourite stamping ground – the city. A nimble car, it is able to extract itself from difficult situations quickly and efficiently.

Its wheelbase gives it a strong on-road stance, while the wheels and tyres are generously sized.

The low driving position creates an impression of speed and movement that is specific to C-AirPlay.

As well as boasting dynamic driving sensations and excellent road manners, this car also respects the environment.

A car for everyday journeys, C-AirPlay is equipped with a 110 bhp petrol engine. A SensoDrive automated gearbox with short gear ratios creates dynamic and fun driving sensations that are further amplified by easy access to the steering-wheel mounted gear paddles.

As a good urban "citizen", C-AirPlay uses Stop & Start technology for low fuel consumption and emission levels.

The interior design confirms the vehicle's dynamic and sophisticated style. The cabin of C-AirPlay can accommodate two adults and their luggage in comfort. This design reflects the fact that C-AirPlay is a supermini, a car that is by nature intended for frequent use. The interior design is enhanced by the use of original materials, used in an innovative way to increase interaction between the driver and the vehicle.

C-AirPlay was designed as a car of essential features. It is an object dedicated to automotive pleasure, fully focused on the functions and sensations that are deemed to be most important for the driver and passenger.

The level of equipment provided on C-AirPlay is fairly simple, but the car makes no compromises on safety. Driving controls and information are grouped on the steering wheel in order not to break up the pure design lines of the cabin.

The instruments are organised around two spheres including the speedometer, rev counter, fuel level, and other functions.

This equipment is back-lit as soon as the headlamps are switched on. The colour emitted is the same shade of red as the cabin.

C-AirPlay places its occupants in a world of strong sensations. All the senses are stimulated at the same time and on several levels.

The pure design lines of the cabin place particular emphasis on passenger sensations. The front seat, intended for two people, is designed in a single piece. Its uninterrupted curves echo the inserts in the curving door panels and the uncluttered lines of the dashboard.

Air, light and colour work together to create a lively atmosphere based on contrasts. C-AirPlay and its occupants function as one, interacting with their immediate environment.

Tactile zones in the centre of the front seats include gear controls, the electric window lifts and rearview mirror adjustment. Looking beyond their innovative design, these touch-sensitive points express a new proximity with the car, which reacts to physical contact, just like a living organism. The tactile zones provide a strong reactive sensory interface between the driver and the car.

The tactile exchange between C-AirPlay and the driver also extends to the materials used, such as the silicone on the seats and door panels.

C-AirPlay thus creates sensations that are new to the world of cars, linked to comfort and driving pleasure.

A vehicle of taut, curving lines and dynamic driving sensations, C-AirPlay is a lively, dynamic concept supermini.

It is an original and innovative response to modern, everyday transport requirements.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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