Cars That Could Have Been Citroëns – Ital Design M8

Ital Design’s M8 styling concept was all about the CX – in just about every sense of the word.

All images: Ital Design
All images: Ital Design

Amid the raised eyebrows surrounding the 1978 announcement of the radical Megagamma concept, this Giugiaro styling proposal, diametrically opposed to Ital Design’s landmark mono-volume, was largely ignored. Frankly, the M8 is more of what one would have expected from Giorgetto’s magic marker in 1978, even if its uncanny resemblance to the Citroën CX was possibly its most notable aspect.

Little appears to be known about it – Ital Design’s own website only gives forth the following, which has lost something in translation:  “M8 is the first study completely intended to aerodynamics matched with maximum internal compartment. The Megagamma, presented that same year, was a reflection about the maximum comfort exploitation, beginning with a series mechanics. M8 tries to match this element with drastically reduced air penetration dowry: it will register a CX of 0.24.” Not all that helpful then.

Given that it was not a see-through styling model it was most likely Giugiaro hedging his bets with a purely speculative study for sale to the highest bidder. It’s difficult however to avoid the suspicion Giorgetto had at least one eye on Vélizy when he was overseeing its lines.

Author: Eóin Doyle

Co-Founder. Editor. Content Provider.

17 thoughts on “Cars That Could Have Been Citroëns – Ital Design M8”

  1. Super concept. Definitely pitched at Citroen, although Giugiaro are clearly trying to move things along a bit. To my eyes it is much nicer than the designs Bertone were coming up with for Citroen at the same time.

    Incidentally, this is probably old hat to DTW stalwarts, but I recently stumbled over a page of prototypes for the Citroen BX. It would seem that the BX had a prolonged gestation worthy of British Leyland. Some of the alternatives are really rather good.

    1. I have a soft spot for the Camargue personally

    1. Chris: The 1979 BX proposal you illustrate was created under the styling leadership of Robert Opron, prior to his departure for Renault and given that PSA bosses elected to take a different path with the production BX’s styling, he could perhaps be excused for taking ‘his’ ideas with him. Incidentally, I seem to recall a styling proposal for the CX having a similar glassback treatment.

      Laurent: I don’t have a definitive date as to when Citroen’s styling team left Paris for Vélizy, but certainly by the time Carl Olsen had taken over from Opron in the summer of 1982, they had moved out to the sticks – perhaps under the ex-Ogle Designer’s auspices. It was a binary choice, so I went for the latter. If you have a definitive date, I’m all ears.

    2. Just had a quick look and it seems the Citroen headquarters moved from Quai de Javel in 1982, so it’s there or thereabouts. That said, people kept referring to the historic site long after it closed down – just like Billancourt is still associated with Renault.

  2. Although I like it now, when I first saw the BX, I was very disappointed. It was conspicuously an ‘Italian car’ and, although I didn’t actually realise at the time that the same man who designed the Countach was responsible for it, the connection was obvious. In today’s homogenous world it’s sometimes hard to remember, but back then I wanted something that looked more ‘French’, even if, of course, the CX and GS were heavily influenced by a Pininfarina concept. So this is more like the 80s Citroen I’d have liked to see.

    Bearing in mind the Gandini/Giugiaro rivalry, it could well be that Giorgietto was deliberately stepping on Marcello’s toes

    1. It does not help that Bertone were obviously hawking the design around every manufacturer, including Volvo, Reliant and anyone else who would give them a sit down meeting.

  3. The car in question here is unresolved. It seems like two designs in one. There´s the ghose of large glasshouse mapped out by the thin pillars and the spoiler. Inside there is an evolution of the CX shape.
    Hedged bets?

    1. I’d have said that was just finding a way of incorporating a spoiler into the body without it looking an afterthought. But then you see the depth of the spoiler and it’s clear it would do very little ….

  4. The M8’s rear spoiler reminds me of the rather recent layered aero design trend, as most prominently embodied by the BMW i8. In slightly less architectural a form than Giugiaro’s, the same kind of thinking could be found on Jason Castriota’s Ferrari 599 or the Aston DB11.

  5. Eóin, in addition you should have a look to this Bertone project dug up by Christophe Bonnaud when he interviewed Marc Deschamps for Rétroviseur magazine.

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