The Citroen 2CV Design Brief

Core77 is running a series about French car manufacturer Citroen, and I love how they open the second installment about the 2CV car:

We need you to design something that’s going to remain in production for over four decades.

- It has to be cheap.
- It has to be easy-to-maintain.
- It has to be easy to manufacture.
- It has to get good mileage, let’s say 78 miles per gallon.

Maybe you’d stall by asking who the target buyer is and what the car’s performance needs are. So they come back to you with:

It needs to be able to carry four farmers and over 100 pounds of their goods and harvested crops to market over unpaved roads. And they might be carrying eggs. Yeah, so make sure the car can drive across a ploughed field while it’s loaded up with eggs, and that the eggs won’t break. Also, sometimes they might need to carry big stuff like furniture, so make sure you design in a solution for that.

I have fond memories of a 2CV as one of my neighbors when I was growing up in London had one. I remember riding in it as a young boy for the first time, and her winding the canvas roof back. Seeing the sky while driving! So exotic!

Continue reading about the 2CV's development and history at Core77