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Citroën 2CV
Citroen 2CV 1X7A7979.jpg
Overview
ManufacturerCitroën
Production1948–1990[1]
AssemblyLevallois-Perret, France,[2]
Forest/Vorst, Belgium
Liège, Belgium
Slough, UK
Jeppener, Argentina (1960–1962),
Buenos Aires, Argentina (1962–1980)
Montevideo, Uruguay (Panel van & pick-up)
Arica, Chile
Mangualde, Portugal (1988–1990),
Vigo, Spain (PSA Vigo Plant)
Koper, Slovenia (former Yugoslavia)
DesignerAndré Lefèbvre
Flaminio Bertoni
Walter Becchia
Marcel Chinon
Body and chassis
ClassEconomy car
Body style4-door saloon
5-door hatchback (3CV)
2-door panel van
2-door pick-up
2-door coupé utility
LayoutFront engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
RelatedCitroën Ami
Citroën Dyane
Citroën Acadiane
Citroën FAF
Citroën Méhari
Citroën Bijou
Powertrain
Engine375 cc H2 air-cooled 9 hp (7 kW).
425 cc H2 air-cooled 12 hp (9 kW).
435 cc H2 air-cooled 24 hp (18 kW).
602 cc H2 air-cooled 29 hp (22 kW). [3][page needed]
Transmission4-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase2,400 mm (94.5 in)
Length3,860 mm (152.0 in)
Width1,480 mm (58.3 in)
Height1,600 mm (63.0 in)
Curb weight600 kg (1,323 lb)
Chronology
SuccessorCitroën Dyane
Citroën AX (indirectly)

The Citroën 2CV (French: "deux chevaux" or "deux chevaux-vapeur", pronounced [dø.ʃə.vo], lit. "two steam horses", "two tax horsepower") is an air-cooled front-engine, The Citroën 2CV (French: "deux chevaux" or "deux chevaux-vapeur", pronounced [dø.ʃə.vo], lit. "two steam horses", "two tax horsepower") is an air-cooled front-engine, front-wheel-drive economy car introduced at the 1948 Paris Mondial de l'Automobile and manufactured by Citroën for model years 1948–1990.[1]

Conceived by Citroën Vice-President Pierre Boulanger[4] to help motorise the large number of farmers still using horses and carts in 1930s France, the 2CV has a combination of innovative engineering and utilitarian, straightforward metal bodywork—initially corrugated for added strength without added weight.[5][6][7] The 2CV featured low cost, simplicity of overall maintenance, an easily serviced air-cooled engine (originally offering 9 hp), low fuel consumption, and an extremely long-travel suspension[8] offering a soft ride and light off-road capability.

Often called "an umbrella on wheels",[9][10] the fixed-profile convertible bodywork featured a full-width, canvas, roll-back sunroof, which accommodated oversized loads and until 1955 reached almost to the car's rear bumper.

Michelin introduced and first commercialised the revolutionary new radial tyre design with the introduction of the 2CV.[11][12][13]

Manufactured between 1948 and 1990, more than 3.8 million 2CVs were produced. The car spawned many variants, as detailed in Production - Including all A-Series Variant Models section. The 2CV and its variants are collectively known as the A-Series. [14] Notably these include the 2CV-based delivery vans known as fourgonnettes, the Ami, the Dyane, the Acadiane, and the Mehari. In total, Citroën manufactured 9 million 2CVs and variants.[15]

A 1953 technical review in Autocar described "the extraordinary ingenuity of this design, which is undoubtedly the most original since the Model T Ford".[16] In 2011, The Globe and Mail called it a "car like no other".[17] The motoring writer L. J. K. Setright described the 2CV as "the most intelligent application of minimalism ever to succeed as a car",[18] and a car of "remorseless rationality".[19]

Both the design and the history of the 2CV mirror the Volkswagen Beetle in significant ways. Conceived in the 1930s, to make motorcars affordable to regular people for the first time in their countries, both went into large scale production in the late 1940s, featuring air-cooled boxer engines at the same end as their driven axle, omitting a length-wise drive shaft, riding on the exact same 2,400 mm (94.5 in) wheelbase, and using a platform chassis to facilitate the production of derivative models. Just like the Beetle, the 2CV became not only a million seller, but also one of the few cars in history to continue a single generation in production for over four decades.