The Citroën Méhari – produced from 1968 to 1988 – is considered as one of the few iconic vehicles that have unique styling yet remains sassy and confident. As a nod to this iconic off-roader, Citroën, in partnership with Bolloré Group, is introducing an all-electric cabriolet that could seat four persons – the E-MÉHARI.
This new SUV is Citroën's way of confirming its goal of offering modern and fun vehicles that are unique from the rest. Citroën describes the E-MÉHARI as a bold, vibrant vehicle that is in tune with its spirit.
As an "it car," the E-MÉHARI is designed for those seeking an alternative yet trendy vehicle. Since the E-MÉHARI is inspired by the 1968 Méhari, it features a number of elements seen on the original vehicle, For instance, just like the original Méhari, the E-MÉHARI is a convertible, featuring a removable top closed at the side through a foldaway system with large windows.
This top could cover the entire vehicle, or even just the front, rear or side. It also features a raised chassis for enhanced all-terrain driving capability. Moreover, just like the 1968 model, the all-electric E-MÉHARI comes with four rear seats and a folding rear bench. Its body is also made from thermoformed plastic, which is corrosion-free and elastic enough to withstand minor impacts.
Additionally, the E-MÉHARI features maintenance-free paintwork and can be hosed all over, both inside and out. Furthermore, the E-MÉHARI dons a ribbed door pattern, which is a wink to the designers of the original Méhari and the rippling lines of the bodywork.
Also, the exterior colors available for the E-MÉHARI are similar to those that wrapped the original Méhari. With all these similar elements, the E-MÉHARI managed to not only inherit the DNA of the original vehicle but also possess a fun and enjoyable identity distinct from other vehicles of present times.
What provides the E-MÉHARI a personality distinct from other vehicles are styling cues unique to the Citroën brand. For instance, the E-MÉHARI features warm contours and smooth lines, as well as a smiling front end. It also dons the signature feature of the Citroën brand -- dual headlights.
Aside from that, the E-MÉHARI boasts of clean yet charismatic styling that conveys its driveability. It is available in four exterior colors – blue, orange, yellow and beige – all of which were seen on the original Méhari. Its roof, meanwhile, is available in black and orange-red.
Customers could also choose from one of the available interior trim colors: beige or orange-red with a central pattern inspired by water sports. Both trims are made of plastic-coated fabric and are completely waterproof. Its raised body is accentuated by touches of black on the wing extenders, lower valance and bumper.
While the E-MÉHARI conveys a simple and relaxed design, it is fitted with an array of advanced technologies. The most obvious of these advanced technologies is its all-electric capability that’s backed up by the battery technology derived from Bolloré Group. It features Lithium Metal Polymer (LMP) batteries, which are known for their energy density, reliability and safety in use.
Since they use dry “fully solid” batteries, they are not as weather-sensitive as other batteries. Moreover, these LMP batteries allow the E-MÉHARI to achieve a city range of 200 km and cruise to a max speed of 110 kph. Once drained, the LMP batteries could be fully recharged in just eight hours using a 16A socket on a domestic station or public stations, or in 13 hours using a 10A domestic socket.
Citroën plans to put the E-MÉHARI on display to the global public -- within the Eco Driving Center in the framework of the COP 21 -- at the PSA Peugeot Citroën’s headquarters in Paris from December 9-11, 2015. Citroën is building the E-MÉHARI at the PSA's Rennes facility and intends to commence its sales in France in spring 2016.