Concerns Re-imagining Citroëns Through AI

by George Dyke….

As we enter an era wondering what will prevail with Artificial Intelligence (AI), automotive designers are using the technology to imagine the re-introduction of some classic Citroën models.

The thing that concerns me about using AI in this manner is the effect it is going to have in preserving the virtues and historical significance of classic Citroën designs.

Anything I have seen rendered by AI gets somewhat the same look as to what Citroën designers in the last century would have penned, but at best the subtleness and sophistication is amiss.

Here are over 50 examples of renderings of Citroëns recently posted on Facebook and Instagram. While some are obvious CGI and others are a whimsical attempt at paying homage to a particular model, for the most part they miss the mark and all are now out there for possible misinterpretation.

Too broad a grill, misshaped bumper and odd hubcaps. No rear doors on the “berline” body.
Mesh a Smart Car with Citroën Ami two-passenger electric quadricycle, then deck it out in 2CV Charleston colours.
Front fenders are squished to make the wheel arch. Wrong angle to the windshield and a near “porthole shape” 3rd side window. Rear door is rounded on the rear edge by the fender and a “C pillar” bottom has been added that should not exist.
2CV Truckette theme with the ‘bug” treatment while being raised to look like an Asian micro-van.
Successful?? Maybe if your benchmark is Renault van design from the 1960s.
Designers seem to have an obsession for 2-door 2CVs. Then like in this case, squish the height.
Another one that misses in rear door and 3rd side-window execution.
I get the concept but what’s with the duplicate door handles and the 3rd windshield wiper blade? The shape of the grill is amiss as are the bumper over-riders.
Other than the headlights being too small, one might think this is not a rendering, but a real car. Larger engine stuffed in there up front. And that’s my point. Could this be embedded in historical records for the 2CV?
Oh that grill!
Couldn’t leave well enough alone.
A more ‘snail-like’ Tin Snail. Tentacle headlights, mouth-like grill, rounded front door bottom. Sheesh!
Headlights corrected from the above, but not much else.
Presented to look official — unfortunately.
The styling could arguably be said to be an improvement over the 1968 Citroën DS Presidential General De Gaulle Limousine, but it should never be construed as part of Henri Chapron’s design proposals for it.
A gullwinged DS with a roached rear.
Taking it retro – even with Cadillac bumper bullets.
Seriously, why?
The front end is sacrilege, and roof and the rear look chop-shop!
My goodness why would Chan would even call these two DS Cabriolets?
And then go on to attempt these?
Not only chopped, but in doing the cut, looking through the left rear door glass, which could not possibly go down having the wheelbase shortened and door curved to accommodate it, the roof line to the C-pillar on the right side is not a match to the left.
Bad rendering of the DS hubcap, front turn signal and the windsheild wipers are the wrong side and with an exposed post. Looking at rear of the C-pillar, there is a vertical extrusion that should not be there.
Bad bumpers, even worse headlights and a roof line on the sedan with insufficient curve towards the rear.
The top image is screwed in virtually every respect while the lower two sport bad bumpers, inaccurate headlights and wheels.
Hideous grills, wrong roof line, and for God’s sake — show properly shaped headlights and turn signals.
More of the same mistakes…
And now the mistakes applied with a C6 influenced grill. Can it get any worse?
Yes it can — Add 3 headlights with BMW type LED glow rings.
Wrong headlights again, hideous hubcaps, and a bulbous back fender.
Totally wrong front-ends for DS23, or any DS for that matter!
Attempts to infuse a Maserati look to the DS.
Along with the bogus turn signals and running lights, it goes really wrong with the window frames (door glass should frameless) and the 3rd side window replacing what should be brushed aluminum C-pillars. And note that it is said to be a photo!
More front-end screw-ups with headlights, grill obsession, and straightened roof lines.
Well, one man’s opinion…
Trying to make a D Break back end elegant by fitting in Mercury Cougar tail-lights.
AI generated D Yuck!
Batman gets texture-wrapped by the H Van.
AI generated SM influenced by the C-Airdream concept displayed at the 2002 Paris Motor Show.

Whether these artists exclusively used AI or imparted some of their traditional design talent, can we please take measures so that Flaminio Bertoni and Robert Opron are not rolling over in their graves! At least, this pleasingly re-imagined DS design pays appropriate homage.

I hope we can establish a means to ensure that AI images such as these are not going to be incorporated in into historical records that will be become inaccurate archives.  

And thankfully there are a few tasteful treatments. Here’s to 2 more:

This one looks pretty cool and potentially build-able. Will people take it to be reality in the future?
It one-ups an Aston Martin.

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