Published on www.automobilemag.com
February 4, 2016
No matter what the guy who lives in one down by the beach will have you believe, vans are no longer cool in the United States. Even when Mercedes introduced the daft 507-hp R63 AMG, no one bought any because, well, it was still just a van. Europeans however, love vans and some of Europe’s offerings are rather unusual yet somehow undeniably cool.
Recently, French automaker Citroën introduced the whimsically named SpaceTourer people-mover, and now Citroën has partnered with French pop group Hyphen Hyphen to create an even more preposterous concept version of the van. Citroën says the SpaceTourer Hyphen, which debuts at the Geneva auto show in March, “turns up the volume!”
Citroën’s concept is based on the company’s standard SpaceTourer, which is set to replace its aging Dispatch Combi. Powering these interesting French vans is a 1.6-liter diesel engine that’s rated between 95 -178 hp depending on the selected trim, and can return as much as 46 mpg in European testing. Power is then sent through a standard 6-speed manual gearbox. SpaceTourer buyers can pick from three different lengths, allowing for five- to nine-passenger configurations for the van.
The Citroën SpaceTourer Hyphen Concept takes that standard van and builds a worldview that everyone wants to live in by giving the SpaceTourer a more “go-anywhere” spirit. Citroën describes the SpaceTourer Hyphen Concept as “a SUPERCHARGED DESIGN, protective and welcoming. It turns up the volume with an adventurous, rugged, bright color scheme that celebrates freedom and functionality.” In addition to the bright color scheme, which Citroën carried over from the exterior to the interior, the SpaceTourer Hyphen also boasts all-wheel drive, a higher ride height, and more aggressive tires to allow for “enhanced mobility.”
As far as van concepts go, the SpaceTourer Hyphen Concept is unquestionably interesting. It’s not as cool as our recent rendering of a Hellcat-powered Chrysler Pacifica, but can anything truly be as cool as a 707 horsepower Hellcat van? We think not. The Citroën SpaceTourer Hyphen Concept will debut alongside the regular SpaceTourer at the Geneva show.