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AutoRAI 2001: the concept cars

Citroen_Pluriel_1999_f3q.JPGSince a few years CitroŽn is trying to regain the innovative and creative image the company had before it was absorbed by the Peugeot concern. As a result a number of concept cars has emerged from the design studios, showing what they're capable of. This Pluriel model study follows the C3 and C6 Lignage concepts and is CitroŽn's vision on a versatile compact car. It was introduced at the 1999 Frankfurt Motor Show and features a modular body style.
The car is in essence a convertible coupe with a folding roof (not unlike that of the old 2CV) which slides back into the false floor of the boot, leaving only the side arches erect. These arches can be removed to make the car into a full convertible, like is shown on the pictures. Also the car can be converted into a 2-seater "spider pick up" by folding the rear seats down into the floor and opening the boot hatch and fixing it in horizontal position to enlarge the load floor.

Citroen_Pluriel_1999_r3q.JPGAnother remarkable feature of the Pluriel is the difference in styling between each side of the car. One side is smooth looking where the other is grooved. This way both design options can be evaluated.
The Pluriel is powered by a 4-cylinder 1,360 cc unit producing 75 hp @ 5,500 rpm coupled to a 5-speed gearbox. It's 3,92 cm long, 1,65 cm wide and 1,55 cm high. As a special feature Michelin's PAX system tires are fitted which should make a spare tire redundant. A punctured tire remains rigid enough to drive another 200 km at a maximum of 80 kph.

In my opinion the Pluriel is a bit bland looking multi-purpose leisure and city vehicle with some interesting ideas incorporated. With a more coherent styling it can become a realistic production model and a creative and welcome addition to the CitroŽn range.

Daewoo_Musiro_2000_f3q.JPGIn a difficult period for the Korean industrial conglomerate and car manufacturer Daewoo its UK based Worthing Technical Center presented the Musiro concept at the 2000 British Motor Show. It's a striking 4-seater sports coupe mainly designed for image building purposes, but within the boundaries of reality and with a number of practical and innovative aspects.
Most remarkable aspect is the fully opening roof which turns the Musiro (Korean for "any time") into a convertible. The roof sections (top panel and rear window) drop behind the rear seats without taking up much space in the boot. Another eye-catching feature is the car's paint job. Paint supplier PPG developed a hue which is difficult to describe, it's sort of metallic green with a gold glow (the purple and blue lights shining on this car on the pictures kind of conceal this). The yellow tinted windows (inspired by colored sunglasses) are a bit too much for my taste.

Daewoo_Musiro_2000_r3q.JPGJust like with CitroŽn's Pluriel versatility and flexibility are key words in this design. Besides the opening roof and the usable boot space the flexible seating configuration, which can even allow for transporting long loads, adds to this.
In the interior translucent green weave material is used, in combination with leather on the seats. The transparent weave (and minimized design) should make the front seats appear less like a barrier to the people in the rear. With this the cabin looks roomy and organic.
A powerful engine complements this "versatile sportscar concept": a 6-cylinder 2.5 litre unit turning out some 200 hp. This is enough to propel the Musiro to a top speed of 250 kph and to accelerate from 0 to 100 kph in 7.9 seconds.

In theory the Musiro could be taken into production within a few years since its design is based on an existing platform for reduced development costs. Unfortunately this is not very likely given Daewoo's financial situation. It's a pity, I like this cars elegant and balanced design and the practical aspects that go with it. Maybe it would have given Daewoo's image a necessary boost.

Continue the tour by clicking the arrows pointing right....

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