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The Volvo Tundra vs Citroën BX

tundra citroen bx

The Volvo Tundra, introduced alongside the Citroën BX, startled Citroën with its striking similarity to their upcoming model, sparking curiosity within the automotive sphere.

In December 1975, Citroën embarked on a mission to redefine automotive design with the replacement program for the GS, known as XA. This set the stage for the birth of the iconic Citroën BX—a journey marked by collaboration, creativity, and visionary thinking. Join us as we delve into the story behind the BX, tracing its evolution from concept to reality and exploring the pivotal role played by visionaries like Marcello Gandini and Xavier Karcher in shaping its legacy.

Inception of a Icon

In December 1975, Citroën embarked on a journey that would redefine automotive design for years to come. Under the code XA, they initiated the replacement program for the iconic GS, a car that had left an indelible mark on the automotive landscape. This was not merely a task of replacing a model; it was about shaping the future of Citroën.

Less than two years later, in a testament to the company’s commitment to excellence, the specifications underwent a profound revision. Under the new code XB, a new vision emerged, one that would set the stage for a revolutionary design language.

For this ambitious endeavor, Citroën sought inspiration from beyond its own walls. In addition to the expertise of the Citroën Styling Center in Vélizy, led by the visionary Jean Giret, they turned to renowned design houses Italdesign and Bertone. Among the luminaries of the latter was Marcello Gandini, whose visionary ideas would leave an indelible mark on automotive history.

In 1977, Gandini proposed a theme that drew inspiration from the Jaguar Ascot and Reliant FW11, two icons of automotive design unveiled that same year. With two alternatives—a 4-window and a 6-window version—Gandini’s proposals captivated Citroën’s attention, especially that of Xavier Karcher, the driving force behind Citroën’s quest for a new stylistic identity.

Shaping the Future

In July 1978, the culmination of months of intense creativity and collaboration took form as all 1:1 scale models were unveiled. Among them, Gandini’s 4-window design stood out, capturing the essence of Citroën’s vision for the future. Yet, the journey was far from over.

Repatriated to Vélizy, the Styling teams embarked on a meticulous process of refinement. Over the course of a year, every aspect of the model was scrutinized and perfected. From the sleek contours to the intricate details, no stone was left unturned in the pursuit of automotive perfection.

One area of particular focus was the rear section, where the challenges posed by the wheel arches demanded innovative solutions. Through perseverance and ingenuity, the styling teams overcame these obstacles, culminating in the freezing of the exterior style in October 1979.

Beyond Boundaries

But the story does not end with the completion of the exterior design. In the summer of 1978, as Gandini’s model was validated and reintegrated into the fold, Bertone found themselves at a crossroads. With Citroën’s mission accomplished, they turned their attention to new horizons.

Fiat X1/10

First came the Fiat X1/10, followed by the Renault 9, each a testament to Bertone’s versatility and creativity. Yet, it was the collaboration with Volvo that would prove to be truly groundbreaking. Inspired by the success of the 262c coupe, Gandini and his team set out to create a concept that would push the boundaries of automotive design.

Displayed alongside the Lancia Sibilo at the 1979 Geneva Motor Show, the Volvo Tundra captured the imagination of enthusiasts and industry insiders alike. Yet, for Citroën, the unveiling of this concept came as a shock—a revelation of the future BX three years in advance.

A Legacy Unfolds

As Citroën grappled with the implications of Bertone’s visionary concept, the Italian coachbuilder remained resolute. While their response may have been less than convincing, Citroën’s surprisingly muted reaction paved the way for future collaborations.

Yet, the Volvo Tundra, as the concept would come to be known, was far from finished. Despite Volvo’s rejection in its current form, it served as a springboard for the development of the future 780 coupe. In the chronicles of Bertone’s creative journey, the Tundra occupies a unique place—an interlude between Citroën and Volvo, a testament to the enduring legacy of Marcello Gandini’s vision.

As the automotive world continues to evolve, the story of the Tundra serves as a reminder of the power of collaboration and the enduring pursuit of excellence. From its inception in the halls of Citroën to its transformation into a symbol of innovation at Bertone, the Tundra remains a beacon of inspiration for generations of automotive enthusiasts to come.

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Bertone has once again outdone itself with the new eco-friendly hypercar, the GB110. What’s special about it? The fuel is obtained by transforming plastic waste.

Every year, Top Marques Monaco manages to attract luxurious brands and models. The renowned event also showcased a new Italian hypercar, the Bertone GB110. Besides its stunning beauty, the hypercar has another remarkable feature that makes it highly intriguing: its ecological spirit. Yes, nowadays, hybrid and electric vehicles are a reality in the industry, but the approach to environmental respect takes a different form here.

From “bi” to Three-Dimensional

For almost two years, the project was the talk of the town following some detailed renderings. But transitioning from “bi” to three-dimensional is a vast leap. This is why enthusiasts were keen to see if the initially proclaimed qualities would hold up in reality. The company’s reputation, earned over years of distinguished service, suggested they would. After sadly going bankrupt in 2014, before rising from its ashes, the designers aimed to astonish visitors. Judging by the initial reactions, they succeeded.

On the occasion of the company’s 110th anniversary, the “stylists on four wheels” unveiled the GB110, and it must be said: it knows how to make an impression. The bodywork of the beast deviates from typical market clichés, and given the many expensive hypercars on sale, this already speaks volumes about its distinctive personality. The front exudes natural charisma with its narrow headlights and the thin extended section between the slightly raised lights above the hood, while the rear displays imposing strength.

Is the Engine from the Lamborghini Huracan? Clues Point to Yes

Previously, company spokespersons admitted to drawing inspiration from a pre-existing car, without specifying which one. We may have to live with this mystery, although the prevailing theory suggests it derives from the Lamborghini Huracan. This is implied by the “beating heart,” a ten-cylinder 5.2-liter engine augmented by a pair of turbochargers, capable of unleashing 1,100 HP and 1,100 Nm of peak torque.

The design team claims it can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.79 seconds, from 0 to 200 km/h in 6.79 seconds, and reach 300 km/h from a standstill in just 14 seconds. The top speed exceeds 380 km/h. The exuberance is delivered through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to all four wheels.

Impressive numbers, but almost overshadowed by the unique fuel system. Instead of relying on traditional gasoline and diesel, the engineers opted for something truly original: plastic waste. In collaboration with Select Fuel, the company developed a patented technology to convert polycarbonate materials into fossil fuel. Speaking about what motivated Bertone to take on this challenge, CEO Jean-Frank stated, “We believe that tackling pollution requires diverse solutions employing various technologies. Plastic waste must be treated as a valuable resource. Through our partnership with Select Fuel, we transform waste into its original form.”