Citroen's 2CV is back!

2 May, 2007 1:00am Sam Hardy

The legendary tin snail is set to return - and we have full details

Here's proof that Citroen is set to come out of its shell when it comes to car design - because the 'tin snail' is back!

These pictures show how a successor to the 2CV is shaping up. Boasting a thoroughly modern interpretation of the classic design, it has its eyes on the lucrative family car market.

Based on insider information, our pictures show what you have to look forward to. Taking over where the Evoque concept car of 2005 left off (Issue 865) the shape is instantly recognisable and couldn't be confused with anything else.

As Fiat has done with the 500 and VW with the Beetle, Citroen has followed the current trend for reinventing classic models. By cashing in on the charm of the original 2CV, the French firm is set to launch into uncharted territory - going up against prestige models such as BMW's MINI. With the same curved bonnet, slab sides and covered rear wheels, it looks just like the original 2CV, which first appeared in 1948.

Trademark details such as the slatted bonnet and double chevron grille remain intact. But with flush-fitting windows and faired-in lights, the shape has been given a modern update. It promises to be extremely eco-friendly, too.

With car firms ever more concerned about their impact on the environment, the 2CV will be a showcase for Citroen's green technology. It's likely to be made from plastic body panels, and with power coming from a hybrid diesel engine (see below), it should boast low fuel consumption and emissions.

As with the exterior, the cabin will draw on its famous predecessor with a minimalist look. A large, thin-rimmed steering wheel dominates the interior, while the fixed central hub contains controls for the stereo. There will also be a retro speedometer, and as with the original car, the gearlever will be mounted in the centre of the dashboard.

However, while the 2CV was designed to be cheap and cheerful, the newcomer will feature lots of hi-tech kit as standard, including sat-nav and connectivity for the latest handheld gadgets.

As with the MINI, personalisation will be a big part of the 2CV's appeal, with contrasting body panel colours, seat trims and the option of a full-length sunroof. It's possible the Citroen could feature panoramic glass, as well as a removable canvas top.

Under the skin, the 2CV is likely to use platform architecture from the C3 supermini and C4 hatch, featuring a front-wheel-drive layout and a comfortable driving experience.

The new model will be positioned above the C3 in Citroen's range, and will carry a premium price. Although the firm is tight-lipped about production, our sources indicate that a concept version could appear in 2009.