Citroen C1 Urban Ride Concept: The Next SUV-Inspired City Car Photo:
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Trevor Collett | Sep, 23 2014 | 2 Comments

Citroen has turned its attention to the new C1 city car ahead of the Paris Motor Show, unveiling a concept version called the ‘Urban Ride’.

Many moons ago, Toyota and Subaru (still arguing over who got there first) decided to combine some of the look - and a small amount of the ability - of a ‘proper’ 4WD and put it into a wagon-ish body.

Suzuki and Daihatsu were also in on the act (although their offerings were perhaps more accurately described as ‘small 4WDs’ rather than SUVs).

Suzuki reckons it was first, taking Toyota to task in 2009 over an advertisement referencing the Rav4 as “the original compact SUV”.

Either way, the SUV, as we know it, was born. Since then, the look has become more important than anything else. That's why many carmakers now offer SUVs that are exclusively front-wheel-drive with virtually no off-road ability.

And now Citroen is the next carmaker to take the SUV craze in a new direction, with a city-sized hatch designed to look like an SUV - that isn’t an SUV.

Citroen calls it “personalising”, and says the SUV-inspired styling is designed to demonstrate the C1’s “go-anywhere looks” and “protective nature”.

It’s hard to achieve the look without raising the ride height however, so the Urban Ride is 15mm further from the ground than a regular C1, with a 10mm wider track.

There’s also plastic guards for the wheel arches and another for the front bumper, but the wheels and tyres appear to closely match the inner-city version.

Visitors to the Citroen stand at the Paris Motor Show will be asked to vote on whether they want the French carmaker to put the C1 Urban Ride into production - in both five-door and cabriolet versions.

The inner-Paris target market will almost certainly say ‘yes’, but whether that enthusiasm translates to sales or not is something for Citroen to consider.

There was enough support for Volkswagen to make the shift from concept to production for its similarly-themed Cross Up, unveiled in road-ready guise at last year’s Geneva Motor Show.

Citroen will also have the regular C1 on display in Paris, as the new model was launched in France a few weeks ago following the official unveiling at this year’s Geneva show.

The Devine DS and super-frugal C4 Cactus Airflow 2L concepts will also be on show in Paris.

MORE: Citroen News and Reviews

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