Idée Fixe – Styling Sketches

Working within the brief as set out by Steve Randle at the outset, Driven to Write’s Richard Herriott draws upon his design background to produce a series of sketches for our putative Citroën Grande Berline.

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Drawings 1-3 take a graphic rather than sculptural approach.

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Drawing 1 establishes base criteria of the car which are a long front, short rear, long wheel base, fared arches, fastback and non-aggressive.

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Drawing 2 emphasises break at A-pillar to bonnet and adds a vestigial boot, nose profile adjusted, dropped window line; adds an aero separation feature at the rear corner.

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Drawing 3: Roof is raised; round corner at the tail is affecting the look of the front; window line is a place holder; rear lamps suggest themselves in response to the previous aero line at the rear.

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Drawing 4: This is a sideline, using highlight lines as the guide.

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Drawing 5: Back to graphic approach. Raised window line, used French curves, adjusted a-pillar and bonnet. Changed boot and bumper to have an inflection and no vestigial boot.

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Drawing 6: As for 4 but with panel gaps and shutlines and some shading.

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Drawing 7: started from drawing 1; added shutlines, lamps and details, longer nose, pointier front, revised the tail profile to borrow from 5 and 6. The small “tree” diagram shows the design pathway. Each drawing is numbered.

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Drawing 8 is a 3D sketch of the profile in 7.

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Drawing 9 is from drawing 8 with revised lamps. The rear is too “heavy” due to the faired in rear wheels.

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Drawing 10 reverts to profile and has a revised rear wheel fairing and adds a catwalk on the DLO. Drawing 10 represents a side profile that would be worked out in 3D using clay modelling and CAD in dialogue.


Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

10 thoughts on “Idée Fixe – Styling Sketches”

  1. Hmm. Long low side windows. Steeply inclined rear glass. Hmm.

    Don’t like seeing what’s outside, do you?

    1. Why would you? The way the world is going, this is the perfect car for the 21st century.

  2. I like the smooth profile and the simple shapes. The long nose – short back proportions are de rigueur for a big citroën in my eyes. But yes, the shapes as shown here are not very practical. I could see any silhouette between a fastback and a van for this car. Just nothing that resembles an SUV, please. The difficulty here is to create an airy, roomy ambiance without making the car look like a Vel Satis.

    The lights and grille are too conservative as shown here (drawings 7 and 8). They are very much Xantia / XM style. I’d wish something more radical, like very thin LED stripes or something similar. Just not something that resembles a classical car “face”.

  3. I’d advocate a slightly airier, more flamboyant adaptation of the styling of Peugeot’s HX-1 concept for an all new Grande Citroen.

    1. The wheels are too far forward. If you make it airier it will be a big Twingo.
      The new Espace might be what you want but for its gormless rear seats from an MPV.

  4. Thanks for your comments. The front end needs work as in 6 weeks of it so it naturally ended up being generic with XM overtones. About the sideglass/bodyside proportions I can say your desired car was done by Opel in 1986: the Omega is very aero while still being spacious and light. It has a deep
    sideglass. The XM and Volvo
    700s are endowed with the same kind of generous glazing. I like it; customers don’t these days.

  5. Must the wheels be so large? I know that’s the current fashion but that doesn’t make large wheels/low profile tires a good idea. They hurt ride quality and really stick it to the poor souls who have to pay for replacement tires. More evidence that people who acquire new cars see them as throwaways.

    Re wheel diameter/tire aspect ratio, if current trends continue tires will be wide thin rubber bands on immensely wide aluminum billets.

    1. I’d go with large tyres with quite high sidewalls. I feel thick rubber is appropriate and the drawings, I admit, don’t show that.
      By the way, the first C5 also had deep sideglass and that didn’t go over too well.
      I may return to this after the summer vacation. Please remind me.

  6. The tyres and wheels are not too bad here. Most design sketches are much worse in this respect.

    The deep sideglass is very much OK if it’s done the right way – as for example in the XM or in the first two drawings here. The C5’s design suffered from a lot of weaknesses, but deep sideglass for me isn’t one of them. If we imagine that a DS successor should be about the best possible solutions for the comfort and the safety of its inhabitants and not about pleasing stupid consumer trends, then we have to have big windows, don’t we?

  7. I think deep windows are a must-have. 10 looks pretty tempting to me – I’d buy one. In 7 and 8 it looks like someone took a chain-saw to the rear of the car. There should be minimal ornament, but where there is detail, it should work intelligently with the overall design.

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