DS Automobiles Attempts to Advance SM Design

A few days after presenting the DS 9 and DS Aero Sport Lounge, the design studio of DS Automobiles is back in the news with the organization of a design competition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the emblematic Citroën SM, which the brand seems to have now inherited as a model and legacy of its own. The latest objective is to imagine the “SM of 2020”.

50 years ago, on March 10, 1970, Citroën presented the SM, (“Sport Maserati”), inside the Hôtel du Président Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland.

SM introduction in Geneva.

It was designed in-house by a team under the supervision of stylist Robert Opron who joined Citroën in 1964 and first refined the front end of the DS to house its headlights enclosed under glass covers. From there he began the simultaneous design of both the SM and the GS, (that also debuted in the fall of 1970), and then moved on to create the CX, prior to Peugeot’s take-over of Citroën in 1975 when he was the first one to quit the company!

Now, 50 years after the introduction of the Citroën SM, DS Automobiles Design Studio, has chosen to pay tribute to it by organizing a design competition during which six projects of what a future SM might look like will be submitted to the public for appreciation.

Illustration: style study imagined by Romain Saquet.

These projects will “compete” in the form of “duels” published on DS Automobiles Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts and the winners will be announced in a second phase organized from March 16. Alternative projects can also be submitted by other designers @DS_Official with the hashtag # SM2020 on Instagram and Twitter.

Illustration: style study imagined by Geoffrey Rossillion.

At the end of this competition, internet users will finally have the opportunity to win a litho of the winning project, signed by its creator, who could be one of the two designers features here, Geoffrey Rossillion or Romain Saquet.

So far, by what we see, the elegance and sublime flow that Opron achieved in the original SM, has been cast aside for avant-garde designs that echo the direction Mercedes and Rolls Royce have displayed with their concept coupes.

Maybach Exelero.
Rolls Royce 103EX Vision 100 concept.

Romain Saquet might want to start with getting the SM logo on the front fender right. It is noticeably upright and would have looked much better angled to properly match the original.

Update — March 17, 2020: Here are three more design submissions in the DS Automobiles’ celebration of the SM’s 50 years:

Damien Fressard – DS Automobiles – future SM design.
Jean Hiss – DS Automobiles – future SM design
Bob Romkes – DS Automobiles – future SM design
DS Automobiles Design Team – future SM.

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