2006 Citroën C-Métisse
19 January 2018 - motor1
Back when a diesel-electric hybrid seemed like a great idea...
Name: Citroën C-Métisse
Debuted: 2006 Paris Motor Show
Specs: V6 turbodiesel engine with 208 horsepower, two electric motors each with 20 hp and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm), all-wheel drive, 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) in 6.2 seconds, 155 mph top speed, 1,400 kg (3,086 lbs) weight, 0.30 drag coefficient
Why We Remember It Now:
Citroën has a rich history when it comes down to fantastic concepts, and the C-Métisse is no exception: a radically styled showcar with gullwing doors, superb interior, and an unusual powertrain.
It was nearly two years ago when we inaugurated the Concept We Forgot series with the 1980 Citroën Karin and now another concept carrying the double chevron is in the spotlight. Unveiled 12 years ago in Paris, the C-Métisse hasn't aged at all and it would still look relevant among the concept cars currently being exhibited at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.
It's a bit tricky to say for sure what sort of body style the C-Métisse features as while we would be tempted to describe it as a wagon, Citroën says it's a four-door coupe. Call it what you want, the concept definitely won't leave you indifferent.
From its unusual shape with front and rear gullwing doors to the high-tech cabin inspired by an aircraft's cockpit, it's understandable while the C-Métisse stole the show at its debut in the City of Light. At just 1.24 meters (48.8 inches) tall, the concept sat extremely low to highlight its sporty side.
And then there was the odd powertrain choice. Citroën's engineers decided to pair a turbodiesel V6 engine with a couple of electric motors. The HDi unit was linked to a six-speed automatic transmission responsible for channeling 208 hp to the front axle. As for the electric motors – each with 20 hp and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) - these drove the rear axle to enable an all-wheel-drive layout.
The peculiar diesel-electric hybrid powertrain was both sporty and frugal as the C-Métisse needed only 6.2 seconds to hit 62 mph (10 kph), topped out at 155 mph (250 kph), and returned 36 miles per gallon (6.5 liters / 100 km).
Citroën actually made the concept to highlight the diesel hybrid drivetrain, which went on to become the HYbrid4 technology. We've seen it in models such as the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 minivan followed shortly by the 508 RXH rugged midsize wagon. However, the tech was short-lived as PSA pulled the plug in 2015, just five years after its introduction on a production car.