Steaming Hot News From Paris!
Following on the heels of the Divine, the Paris Salon was today stunned by another offering from PSA’s ambitious DS brand, its latest concept the DSupérficiâle. Originally thought by diehard enthusiasts to be a homage to the D Super, itself the successor to the classic ‘no-frills’ ID19, PSA was anxious to dispel such misconceptions. At the press launch, DS spokesman Jean Conneries, standing in front of a still-shrouded shape, explained the philosophy behind the car.
We are foremost a French brand. We must build on that as the 21st Century progresses. However, in the past we have mistakenly concentrated too much on those aspects of heritage that are specifically Citroën. France has a huge heritage that it has bequeathed the World and foremost in that is philosophy. The philosophy of this car is ….. philosophy itself!
At this point the shroud was lifted to reveal an empty space. To stunned gasps, M. Conneries continued.
Look at the cars of yesterday. They were like toys, so small and light. Today, with safety legislation and the ever increasing demand for equipment, they have become behemoths in comparison. Many ideas have been developed to make more lightweight cars – aluminium, carbon fibre, small high-efficiency engines – but we have taken a braver path. We have gone back to basics and deconstructed the actual word. ‘Light’ and ‘Weight’. Please think for some seconds. And now we put them back together and we have another meaning. ‘Lightweight’ or, of course, ‘Superficial’.
Our intention is to present a car totally devoid of gravitas. As Camus said ‘of all artefacts, only a car has true reason – it represents desire rendered eternal through function’. Our team spent several weeks analysing this statement until we realised that the pivot was the word ‘function’ . Remove the function and you have the eternal car.
So, our DSupérficiâle has no engine, no transmission, no seats. It exists not in the metal but in the customer’s imagination. There, its abilities are limitless. It is whatever you wish. For the enthusiastic driver it can lap the Nurburgring in less that 6 minutes. For the safety conscious it has transparent pillars offering full 360 degree vision. For the family, all the kids travel in comfort and never get car-sick. And, even if you do not drive, since its option list is limitless, you can spend your whole life just deciding on the colour combination of the upholstery
Laurent L’Aigle, correspondent on motoring website DTW asked about the incorrect use of accents on the car name. M. Conneries was quick to defend this.
We are primarily a World brand. Such Gallo-centricity is inappropriate in the second decade of this century. These are not grammatical markings, they are symbols. The accent represents a raised eyebrow, that of other manufacturers who we have caught with their pants down! The circumflex is a crown with which, like Napoleon, who was remember a World leader not just a French one, we have crowned ourselves in fullest confidence.
Speaking about the need for a manufacturer to actually produce a physical product in order to derive income, M. Conneries answered.
Again, so literal. After all, a concept is not for selling and, in the past, our concepts have been costly to produce. Also, as we at PSA can sadly testify, making cars does not in itself correspond with making money – it can be quite the opposite. This is not the case with the DSupérficiâle – it is an industry ground-breaker. Who was it said that the true proof of God’s power is that he does not even need to exist in order for us to believe in him? Does a car have to exist in order for us to desire it? We, who were once Citroën – but are no more, I stress – are better placed than many to answer that. After so many concepts, the reaction to the metal was, invariably, disappointment, then further disappointment if a production version appeared. This is not the problem with the DSupérficiâle however. It can be all cars or, even, for the person who abhors motor vehicles, it can be no cars. What could be more perfect?
Despite M. Conneries’ confident presentation, the press remained unconvinced. As a result, rumours are already circulating that a simplified variant of the DSupérficiâle, based not on classical French philosophy but on ‘The Smallest Room Book of Popular Sayings’, is being readied for Los Angeles.