Cult Car with Technologies Far Beyond Its Time in 1970s: Citroen SM

Think of a car! Exactly 52 years ago, it should have adaptive lighting in the corners, wipers with rain sensors, a hydropneumatic suspension system that can be lowered and raised, and even a wind resistance of 0.26, which can hardly be caught even in today’s sports cars. this article is the story of that car.

When the calendars showed 1970, there were at least 3 more years before the OPEC countries imposed an embargo, raising the price of oil from $ 2.5 to $ 12 per barrel, and fuel-efficient relatively small cars took over the market after the Yom Kippur War. The priority of automobile companies was to produce prestigious automobiles rather than producing low-cost vehicles like today.

that emerged during this period citroen smis one of the most futuristic, technologically and beautifully designed performance vehicles of all time.

Now I would like to briefly share the story of this magnificent vehicle with you.

In 1961, the citroen company started a study called “project s”. The main aim of this project was to create a sport performance derivative of the ds series, which has successfully caught the trend in Europe. Work proceeded very slowly at first. because at that time the citroen group was not very experienced in sports cars. The turning point in the studies was the acquisition of the famous Italian performance automobile manufacturer Maserati by Citroen in 1968. In this way, Citroen’s magnificent design concept and hydropneumatic suspensions, which are ahead of their time, are combined with Maserati’s v6 engine. In fact, the strongest opinion about why the name of this tool is SM emerges here. Combination of the letter “s” from project s with the letter “m” from maserati.

The vehicle, which was introduced for the first time at the Geneva motor show in March 1970, was one of the most striking cars of the fair. The technological features of the car, which was put up for sale in France in September of the same year, made the users feel like they were on a spaceship.

Among these innovations; Adaptive high beams that rotate sensitively to the movement of the steering wheel, hydropnomatic suspension developed according to ds, hydraulically assisted, which ensures that the vehicle remains straight in all road conditions, corrects the wheels by centering them in all conditions after the steering wheel is turned, and prevents them from causing harm to the driver by folding them in the event of an accident. non-reflective, speed-sensitive “diravi” steering system, 6-headlight system at the front, system that determines the speed of the wiper motor according to the intensity of the rain flowing through the channels (rain sensor of today’s vehicles), 4-wheel disc brake (front discs are inside the wheels as in today’s vehicles). , the rear discs are right next to the differential and in, thus keeping the discs larger and stopping distance much shorter.)

steel wheels (composite wheels are optionally available), front wheels that adjust tire camber angles in bends. (in this way, maximum contact of the tires with the road was ensured)… can be counted.

Although the citroen sm is such a well-equipped performance vehicle, it is superior to many competitors of its time with its weight of only 1460 kg (weight 1520 kg in injection models) thanks to the aluminum materials used predominantly in the body. In addition, thanks to the innovative approach in the braking system, it is among the vehicles with the best stopping distance in its class.

There are 3 types of engine options in SM. In the first series produced between 1970 and 1972, the 2.7 liter 170 horsepower V-6 engine with weber carburetor was offered as standard. In the models between 1972-1975, on the other hand, 178 hp injection 2.7 liter V-6 engine and 3 liter weber carburetor 180 hp V-6 engines were used. The 3-liter version also has a 3-speed automatic transmission option. Other vehicles are 5-speed manual transmission. In order to increase the driving distance on long journeys, a 90-liter petrol tank is placed in the vehicle. also, thanks to its unique design, the wind resistance coefficient is 0.26; which is not a value that can be easily seen even in today’s most advanced performance vehicles.

Citroen SM was also exported to the USA due to the wider target market. Since 6 different designs are prohibited in the USA, SMs in this country have 4 headlights. Citroen SMs have received a lot of attention in the USA and are currently sought after by collectors. there is even a citroen sm in the collection of the famous tv showman jay leno.

In 1972, it was awarded the car of the year award by the US motor trend magazine. This award is extremely important. because citroen sm; Although it is a vehicle of a non-US manufacturer, it has succeeded in surpassing its domestic competitors such as cadillac eldorado, lincoln mark iv and ford thunderbird.

So what happened to this amazing vehicle? In fact, the oil crisis, which I mentioned at the beginning of my article, which also happened to vehicles known as muscle cars in the USA, brought the end of many performance cars. Increasing oil prices have caused the demand for such high-volume and high-fuel vehicles to decrease gradually and the popularity of small-volume low-fuel vehicles to increase.

However, the biggest problem was the bankruptcy of Citroen in 1974 due to bank debts. When Citroen was purchased by the PSA group led by Peugeot in May 1975, the first thing to do was to divest the Maserati and stop production of the SM series. Thus, the 5-year citroen sm adventure came to an end.

Finally, one more reminder. Citroen SM was put on the list of the 100 coolest cars of all time by the famous American automobile magazine Automobile Magazine in 2005.

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