Was the Most Innovative Automobile in History a Citroën?
Did the introduction of the Citroën DS in 1955 represent the single biggest breakthrough in automotive technology in history?
In the recently released 2017 film, “Transformers: The Last Knight,” the female star of the show, played by the beautiful Laura Haddock, is seen driving an equally beautiful mint condition 1963 Citroën DS. In the movie, this Citroën DS is of course no ordinary car, but is actually the highly technologically advanced Transformer known as Rodimus Prime. In the film Rodimus Prime is filled with amazing technology, but what about the car’s technology in real life?
Citroen DS in the Transformers: The Last Knight Movie via Seibertron.com
When the Citroën DS was originally released back in 1955, did it represent a technological breakthrough that was as ground breaking as a Transformer would be today?
You can see all of the hot rods in the new Transformers movie here:
The Citroën DS was first introduced in early October of 1955, and beyond its futuristic aerodynamic design, it had several new, radical features. It was the first production car to have disc brakes, a central hydraulic control system, a semi-automatic transmission, and the incredibly innovative hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension system.
Citroen DS via Cars of UK
Here is Jay Leno discussing the Citroën DS on his show Jay Leno’s Garage:
The hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension system was developed by the famous French inventor Paul Magès back in 1954, and is still in use today. Numerous military vehicles, including combat tanks, use the technology; as well as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which offers it as “Magic Body Control.”
Could it be that the 1955 Citroën DS arguably represents the single greatest technological leap in automotive history?
Here is Richard Hammond on Top Gear Series 1, Episode 3, way back in 2002 (before James May!) reviewing the Citroën DS. Jeremy Clarkson of course has his own ‘special’ comments about people who drive Citroën DS’:
So what do you think Nation? Does the Citroen DS deserve to wear the Most Innovative Automobile in History crown? Or does another vehicle deserve the credit?
Keep driving my friends!
My thanks to Alex Harrington of the Grand Tour Nation and my friend Larry for their help with this article.