Citroën’s stand at the Frankfurt motor show will feature the Tubik, a radical new MPV concept. For this vehicle, Citroën took inspiration from the TUB and Type H light vans that it built for over 40 years starting in 1939. Citroën designed the Tubik to be an “executive shuttle” with comfort and fun as its main ingredients.
With a length of 4800mm, a width of 2080mm wide, and height of 2050mm, the Tubik can accommodate as many as nine passengers seated in three rows. It also features a modular seating arrangement that could be adjusted. Its interior is similar to a “lounge-style cocoon” and features a leather floor, ambient lighting, and felt seats.
It has also been fitted with a gigantic semi-circular TV screen and offers high-definition surround sound. The front and rear could be accessed via the concept’s cabin door that opens along its entire side.
Citroën based the cockpit on the “cyclotron,” which brings together the seat, pedal assembly, steering wheel and head-up display in a circular set-up. A fingerprint recognition system is used to identify the driver. Tubik has a four-wheel drive drivetrain and is offered with PSA’s Hybrid4 technology that consists of a diesel engine upfront.
Its rear wheels are driven by an electric motor. It features a set of 22-inch wheels that are covered with low-resistance tires. Citroën also used Hydractive suspension technology on this vehicle. When the car is moving at high speeds, aerodynamics is improved as it automatically sits lower. Citroën said that the Tubik has comparable CO2 emissions to the level of that of a conventional saloon.
As they are, the design lines on the new Citroen Tubik are inspired by the Citroen TUB and the Citroen Type H upgrade. With a body similarly shaped as the TUB and with generous dimensions -- 4.80m in length, 2.08m in width and 2.05m in height, the Citroen Tubik is large enough to accommodate up to nine passengers.
Interestingly, the front end has been designed to stand out from the rest of the concept. Its ribbing is reminiscent of the corrugated metal found in the Citroen Type H while its windscreen pillars take inspiration from Type H's two characteristic ridges. The carmaker finished the body shell of the new Citroen Tubik in metal grey which envelops the pearlescent white at either end.
These contrasting colors allowed Citroen to mark the location of the combustion engine at the front and its electric motor at the rear. Ingress and egress are made as convenient as possible by two large doors: the access for the driver could be rear-opened while the side door runs in circles to allow side access. Moreover, the new Citroen Tubik features a large two-way panoramic window that allows for greater visibility.
It also has a rear end that cleverly conceals the cargo storage. Since the Citroen Tubik is aimed to focus on the driver, the front cabin features an area called referred to by Citroen designers as "cyclotron," which is a system that basically clusters the seat, steering wheel, pedal assembly, and circular head-up display in one circular line. In addition, the aluminum grey of the Tubik’s bodywork could also be seen on the cyclotron, thereby highlighting the vehicle’s robust appearance.
Amazingly, a fingerprint recognition system is installed in the black full-grain leather seat, thereby identifying the one seated in front as the driver. Meanwhile, the head-up display and the screen – located in the center of the steering wheel – provide the navigation information that drivers would need. The screen, meanwhile, shows images from the reverse and rearview cameras, thereby allowing the driver to get a good view of what is behind the Tubik.