Citroën SM Michelin Proto: 300 HP ghost from the past
If Sadomasochism is the giving or receiving of pleasure from acts involving the receipt or infliction of pain; then I guess the Citroën SM finally lives up to its name in the one-off Michelin Proto. Because this beast - inflictor of pain, destroyer of worlds, mother of dragons - is the ultimate French road canon.
It was obviously forged in the fires of Mount Doom, but Citroën would have you believe it was created in 1973, in collaboration with Michelin, with the soul purpose of finding out exactly how much power could be unleashed on the powertrain of a frontwheel powered car.
The adaptive headlights were still a novelty in the early seventies, although I doubt they could keep up with the blistering speed of the Michelin Proto
And that is a lot. The tuned Maserati engine boosts out an incredible 300 hp, propelling this design icon to speeds that even by today's standards would have most of us wet our pants, or in the case of the SM: the timeless 70s brown velour upholstery.
Some say this particular SM has travelled hundreds of thousands of kilometers since it was unleashed from the womb of the "Special Studies" Team, and the data collected during its life has led to everything that has come out of the French automaker's factory ever since. All I know is: I want one now.