Citroen 2CV Prototype

From Citroen press: The 2CV story began in 1936, when the vehicle first went to the drawing board. It was to be a “popular car” with a basic design specification – “four wheels under an umbrella” – and an all-new, unique development process.

It was an economical car capable of transporting four people and 50 kg of luggage at 50 km/h in maximum comfort.

2 CV comfort hinged on the vehicle’s suspension, together with the interior space. Pierre Boulanger, then Citroën Managing Director, tried out the life-sized models himself, with his hat on. If his hat fell off, the model was instantly scrapped.

Some 250 prototypes were ready in May 1939 for that year’s Paris Motor Show, which was never held. War was declared, and Citroën destroyed all but one of the prototypes.

The official public launch finally took place in October 1948 at the Paris Motor Show, the rest as they say is history.

Technical data 2 CV prototype:

Engine Flat twin with opposing cylinders.

Bore: 62 mm; stroke: 62 mm.

Capacity: 375 cm3.

Fiscal rating: 2 HP.

Effective horsepower: 8 bhp. Water cooled. Battery, coil and contact breaker ignition. Dynamo directly off end of crankshaft, with no belt. No self-starter; starting handle

Transmission 3 forward speeds and reverse. Gear lever operated horizontally on dashboard.

Front-wheel drive

Steering Rack and pinion

Braking Hydraulic on front-wheel drums (in the wheels). Mechanical handbrake on rear wheels

Suspension Light-alloy (duralinox) chassis connected to the wheels by independent magnesium arms. Torsion bars protected by fairing under the rear seat (three bars, plus one for overload, on each side, for a total of eight). Anti-bucking device (suspension blocked on braking by a hydraulic locking system)

Tyres Michelin Pilote 125 x 400

Body 4-door saloon with 4 hammock-style seats. Single headlamp, on driver’s side

Performance Top speed: 50 km/h. Fuel consumption: 5 l/100 km

Gallery: Citroen 2CV Prototype