Sunday, March 28, 2010

BMW 328

BMW 328, 1936

BMW 328, 1936

BMW 328

BMW 328, 1936

In the mid-30s, production roadsters and competition cars were still very similar in technical terms - and motorsport was still the ideal place to prove the performance and reliability of a production car. But to keep up with the competition, BMW soon had to build cars with more power and muscle. So BMW's engineers looked for ways and means to significantly increase engine output without increasing engine size. And they found the solution - the M328, the engine powering the legendary BMW 328 sports car in 1936.

Right from the start in its debut at Nürburgring on 14 June 1936, BMW's new roadster literally pulverised even the most powerful supercharged competitors. This outstanding success was attributable to the well-balanced combination of superior engine power and cutting-edge suspension technology characteristic of BMW roadsters to this day: 80 hp in the regular version and low weight of just 830 kg or 1,830 lb gave this elegant roadster superior performance still impressive today.

With the BMW 328 Roadster initially being restricted to motorsport as of mid-1936, production of the series model started in spring 1937. And so this high-performance sports car was driven not only by BMW's works drivers, but also by private customers since, over and above racing, it was very well suited for everyday use. And with its top speed of 155 km/h or 96 mph, this was indeed one of the fastest cars on the road back then.

But again, the BMW 328 Roadster remained a very rare bird, with only 464 units of this classic roadster being built up to 1940.

Buick Roadmaster

Buick Roadmaster 1939

The origins of the Roadmaster name date to 1936 when Buick renamed its entire model line-up to celebrate the engineering improvements and design advancements over their 1935 models. Buick's Series 40 model range became the Special, the Buick Century took the place of the Series 60 and the Series 90 — Buick's largest and most luxurious vehicles — became the Limited. Buick's Series 80 became the Roadmaster.

The Roadmasters produced between 1936 and 1958 were built on Buick's longest wheelbase and shared its basic structure with senior Oldsmobiles. Between 1946 and 1957, the Roadmaster was Buick's premium and best appointed model, and was offered in sedan, coupe, convertible and station wagon bodystyles between 1936 and 1948. In 1949 a hardtop coupe, designated "Riviera" joined the model line up; a four-door hardtop joined the model range in 1956.

The 1953 Buick Roadmaster station wagon, Model 79-R, was the last wood-bodied station wagon mass-produced in the United States. Its body was a product of Iona Manufacturing which built all Buick station wagon bodies between 1946 and 1964. Priced at US$4,031, the wagon was second in price to the Buick Skylark. Only 670 of these final woody wagons were produced for 1953.

In 1959 Buick again introduced a model range that represented a significant shift in its body design, and the Roadmaster name was replaced by the Electra name.

Jeep Willys MB

Jeep Willys MB 1943

With modifications and improvements, the Willys Quad became the MA, and later the MB. But the Army, and the world, came to know it as the Jeep.

Some claimed that the name came from the slurring of the letters "GP," the military abbreviation for "General Purpose." Others say the vehicle was named for a popular character named "Eugene the Jeep" in the Popeye cartoon strip. Whatever its origin, the name entered into the American lexicon and, for awhile, served almost as a generic title for off-road vehicles, while the Jeep itself became an icon of the war.

The Willys MA featured a gearshift on the steering column, low side body cutouts, two circular instrument clusters on the dashboard, and a hand brake on the left side. Willys struggled to reduce the weight to the new Army specification of 2,160 lbs. Items removed in order for the MA to reach that goal were reinstalled on the next-generation MB resulting in a final weight of approximately just 400 lbs. above the specifications.

Willys-Overland would build more than 368,000 vehicles, and Ford, under license, some 277,000, for the U.S. Army. The rugged, reliable olive-drab vehicle would forever be known for helping win a world war.

Willys trademarked the "Jeep" name after the war and planned to turn the vehicle into an off-road utility vehicle for the farm - the civilian Universal Jeep. One of Willys' slogans at the time was "The Sun Never Sets on the Mighty Jeep," and the company set about making sure the world recognized Willys as the creator of the vehicle.

Jeep Willys MA

Jeep Willys MA 1941

With modifications and improvements, the Willys Quad became the MA, and later the MB. But the Army, and the world, came to know it as the Jeep.

Some claimed that the name came from the slurring of the letters "GP," the military abbreviation for "General Purpose." Others say the vehicle was named for a popular character named "Eugene the Jeep" in the Popeye cartoon strip. Whatever its origin, the name entered into the American lexicon and, for awhile, served almost as a generic title for off-road vehicles, while the Jeep itself became an icon of the war.

The Willys MA featured a gearshift on the steering column, low side body cutouts, two circular instrument clusters on the dashboard, and a hand brake on the left side. Willys struggled to reduce the weight to the new Army specification of 2,160 lbs. Items removed in order for the MA to reach that goal were reinstalled on the next-generation MB resulting in a final weight of approximately just 400 lbs. above the specifications.

Willys-Overland would build more than 368,000 vehicles, and Ford, under license, some 277,000, for the U.S. Army. The rugged, reliable olive-drab vehicle would forever be known for helping win a world war.

Willys trademarked the "Jeep" name after the war and planned to turn the vehicle into an off-road utility vehicle for the farm - the civilian Universal Jeep. One of Willys' slogans at the time was "The Sun Never Sets on the Mighty Jeep," and the company set about making sure the world recognized Willys as the creator of the vehicle.

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited EV

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited EV 1940

The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited EV is a Range-extended Electric Vehicle that provides a glimpse into the future of a "Go Anywhere, Do Anything" vehicle with renowned Jeep Wrangler capability.

The ENVI is to develop the electric-drive solutions for every segment. An electric-drive Jeep Wrangler brings ultimate fuel efficiency and ultra-clean transportation to a market segment whose consumers want to explore the environment to the fullest.

The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited EV prototype is a two-wheel drive Wrangler. However, Chrysler's ENVI organization is exploring four-wheel-drive, in-wheel electric motors to demonstrate the full reach of the Company's advanced electric-drive technologies. When this technology is developed by ENVI, the instant high torque of the electric-drive motor and the ability to precisely control each wheel independently will result in off-road capability ideally suited for the Jeep brand, without compromising on-road capability.

The Wrangler Unlimited EV also uses an ENVI Range-extended Electric Vehicle powertrain, consisting of an electric motor, an advanced lithium-ion battery system, and a small gasoline engine with an integrated electric generator to produce additional energy to power the electric-drive system when needed. The electric motor produces 200 kW (268 horsepower) and 400 N•m (295 lb.-ft.) of torque. The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited EV has a range of 400 miles, including 40 miles of zero fuel-consumption, zero-emissions, all-electric operation.

The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited EV features a new ENVI Green Pearl exterior color, integrating full body-side "EV" graphics.

Aston Martin Lagonda V12 Rapide

Aston Martin Lagonda V12 Rapide 1939

Aston Martin Lagonda V12 Rapide 1939

Monday, March 22, 2010

Opel GTW Geneve Concept

Opel GTW Geneve Concept 1975

In Geneva in 1975, Opel revealed a beautifully streamlined two-seater, the "Genève". Engineered to take a Wankel-type rotary engine, its original name was "GT/W" ("W" for Wankel). However, GM dropped its Wankel development program before the car was completed.
Opel Design renamed it and exhibited its fiberglass mock-up as an eye-catcher at the show.

Opel GTW Geneve Concept 1975

Opel GT

Opel GT 1968

"Only Flying is More Exciting" - this slogan has become a classic in advertising history, and even an everyday saying in German-speaking countries. It belonged to a car which has itself long since become a classic - the Opel GT. Its career got off to a flying start in 1965 when, to everyone's surprise, Opel presented an aerodynamic "Experimental Concept" at the IAA in Frankfurt - a car which did not fit into the usual world of central European high volume automobile production. In view of the sensational design, it was no surprise to see the production version on the road three years later. But what few people knew was that Opel had set a precedent: for the first time in Europe, a vehicle went into production that had initially debuted as a concept car.

The 1968 Opel Coupé could not deny a certain similarity to the legendary 1968 American Corvette, nor did it want to. It followed a new design style called the "Coke Bottle Shape", which also outstanding the Stingray. "Besides having a fantastic look, the Opel sports car was primarily designed to impress with sophisticated aerodynamics," explains Erhard Schnell, GT designer at the time. A sleek front end with retractable headlamps that rotate on the longitudinal axis, broad fender, tapered flanks in the door area, then bulky rear fenders which flow into the rear with sharp separating edges and round lamps - these were the Opel GT's key design characteristics.

"Safety belts are standard, please buckle up" - this was the Opel advertisement that promised GT occupants outstanding acceleration. And the driving performance the sporty 90 hp two-seater offered was truly top class in the late 1960s. Its 1.9-liter engine accelerated the GT from zero to 100 km/h in 10.8 seconds, and on to a top speed of 185 km/h. Almost 40 years ago, this was really fast. As a top model in the upper mid-class segment at that time, the Opel Rekord 1.9 had a top speed of 160 km/h, for example. The 200 km/h threshold was like the sound barrier, and had just been crossed by the muscle cars of that generation, such as the Mercedes 280 SE 3.5 with a 200 hp V8 engine. A Porsche 912 - which was commonly considered to be a car in the shape of the first 911, with four cylinders and 90hp, just like the Opel GT - also had a top speed of 185 km/h, but took 12.5 seconds from zero to 100 km/h.

The 1968 GT's sporty handling matched its performance figures thanks to a chassis with front twin A-arm axle and rear center-joint rigid axle with bolted springs, longitudinal control arm and lateral track bar.

Did you know?
= from 1968 to 1973, exactly 103,464 units of the GT were produced? The GT is a permanent collectors highlight, and a well-maintained model can fetch a fortune.
= 85 percent of the entire GT production run was exported, and 70,222 units (around 70 percent) went to the USA alone?
= the GT's body in white was created by French specialists Chausson (Reims), while Brisonneau & Lotz in Creil, north of Paris, took care of lacquering, electrics and interior equipment? The final car assembly took place in Bochum, where the body was 'married' to the powertrain and chassis. It was also the production center for the Kadett, upon which the GT was based.
= space for the 1.9-liter engine, which was also used in the Rekord, was so small that the hood had to be power domed and the cylinder-head cover skewed in the front section? The "Power dome" was not just for show!
= the Aero GT concept with removable targa roof was presented in 1969 at the IAA? One of the two prototypes can be found today in Opel's classic collection.
= the company founder's grandson, Georg von Opel, reached 188 km/h in mid-1971 at Hockenheim in a converted Opel GT with electric propulsion? The following year, a team of motoring journalists and race car drivers set 20 world records at the Opel Test Center in Dudenhofen in the "Diesel World Record GT 1972".
= many reasons led to the end of production in August 1973? These included demands from the USA - the most important export market - to fit bulky safety bumpers, which did not match the style of the car, and the fact that Brisonneau & Lotz was bought by Renault, signaling the end of the contractual relationship with Opel.
= Robert A. Lutz, "car guy", GM Vice Chairman, Global Product Development, was a sort of godfather to both Opel GTs? In 1968, in his position as Manager at Opel, he played a decisive role in speeding up the decision on series production, and he also gave the green light to the new General Motors roadster troop - Solstice, Sky and GT.

Opel Kapitan

Opel Kapitan 1959

In the fall of 1959, the new Opel Kapitan (known internally as the Opel Kapitan P2 2.6-liter) rolled off the production line in Rüsselsheim for the first time. Thanks to its distinctive design, high comfort and state-of-the-art technology, it soon became a bestseller. A total of 145,616 units were sold up to 1964, making the P2 2.6-liter the most successful Opel Kapitan ever.
Fifty years after its market launch, the new top model from Rüsselsheim, the Opel Insignia, is repeating history. After less than 12 months on the market, over 150,000 drivers already call the innovative car their own. Five decades of progress in automotive development separate the two models, but both - each at their own time - play a groundbreaking role for the brand with the distinctive lightning-bolt emblem.

Opel Kapitan P2 2.6-liter - "More value for less money"

While the first post-war Opel Kapitan was still strongly influenced by American aesthetics, the second generation as of fall 1959 was distinguished by its own unique appearance and more European design. "The sweeping lines and softly flowing transitions are now replaced by a firm emphasis on the horizontal and the effect of pronounced contours," explains a contemporary text. The bodywork became more rigid and straight lines "stretched" the car - an effect that was enhanced by the particularly flat roof. Opel increased driver vision by installing a wider panorama windscreen that projected more deeply into the roof, and improved access for rear-seat passengers by making some slight design changes to the roof edges.

The Opel Kapitan's 2.6-liter, in-line six-cylinder engine delivered 66 kW/90 hp and maximum torque of 190 Newton meters between 1,300 and 2,500 revs. The experts were particularly impressed by its smooth running characteristics - the result of a new engine mounting that ensured maximum noise insulation and improved vibration damping.

Technical features such as the "actuation aid" for the clutch pedal were followed in the subsequent years by innovations such as "Hydra-Matic" automatic transmission and power steering. Thus, in terms of both technology and comfort, the Opel Kapitan set standards for automobile production at the time. Despite this, Opel refrained from increasing the price compared with the predecessor model, which also contributed to the sales success.

Opel Kadett Roadster

Opel Kadett Roadster 1938

With an automotive history spanning 110 years, Opel is one of the most tradition-rich brands in the industry. Over so many years, some developments are forgotten along the way and reappear again much later down the road. As the company prepares the start of the 10th compact class generation with the new Opel Astra, pictures of an unfamiliar Opel roadster were discovered in an old data base. Opel classic car experts' research shows that Opel engineers built the prototype of a two-seat convertible in 1938, evidently based on the first Opel compact class generation, the Opel Kadett from the 1930's. The name of the car is noted on the pictures that were found: Opel Kadett Two-Seat "Strolch", which means vagabond.

The chic, charming roadster never made it to series production. The old minutes from a management meeting indicate that this project wasn't pursued due to a scarcity of steel before WWII and to relatively low numbers of units in this segment. But evidently Opel was already well prepared for the market launch, as evidenced by a brochure found in old archive records. Ready for printing, the brochure proudly presented the technical details of the Strolch powertrain: 1.1 liter displacement, 23 hp, three-speed transmission, maximum speed 98 km/h. But prototypes of the roadster were not included.

The Opel classic experts were so fascinated by the 3.62-meter long study that they came up with the idea of producing the Strolch 70 years after its was initially developed. In this way they could also demonstrate that even back during the first compact class generation, Opel engineers put a tremendous amount of imagination and passion into their work on new models.

A normal Opel Kadett from 1938 in the classic car collection that has served as a source for spare parts is to be used as the basis. The technology specialists in the classic team immediately started in on their new project. Particularly challenging were the design of the aerodynamic rear and work on other body parts that were not part of the Opel Kadett series. Building the folding fabric top without detailed plans required a lot of imagination and technical skills, especially because the only reference materials were the old pictures.

But the engineers managed to elicit even some of the old pictures' secrets. In order to determine the color of the old prototype, the historical black-white pictures were put through a precise greyscale analysis. This showed that the original Strolch was a bright red.

Daihatsu Compaqno Berlina 800

Daihatsu Compaqno Berlina 800

Daihatsu Compaqno Berlina 800

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Buick YJob Concept

Buick YJob Concept 1938

Buick YJob Concept 1938

Jaguar XK 120

Jaguar XK 120, 1948

Jaguar XK 120, 1948

Mercedes-Benz 150

Mercedes-Benz 150, 1935

Mercedes-Benz 150, 1935

Mercedes-Benz 770

Grand Mercedes Cabriolet 1931

Mercedes-Benz 770

Mercedes-Benz Type S

Mercedes-Benz Type S 1927

Mercedes-Benz Type S 1927

Friday, March 19, 2010

Citroen DS 19

Citroen DS 19, 1956

The Citroën DS (also known as Déesse, or Goddess, after the punning initials in French) was an automobile produced by the French manufacturer Citroën between 1955 and 1975. Citroën sold nearly 1.5 million D-series during its 20 years of production.The DS is well-known for its futuristic, aerodynamic body design, and for its innovative technology (including its hydropneumatic self-leveling suspension system).

The DS advanced the achievable standards in terms of ride quality, roadholding, handling, and braking in an automobile. Automotive journalists of the time often noted that competitors took decades to adapt to the higher standards it set. The smooth, aerodynamic body lines gave the car a futuristic appearance. While it looked very unusual in 1955, public tastes appear to have caught up with the DS in the post-Ford Taurus/Audi 100 era.

Model history
After 18 years of development in secret as the successor to the venerable Traction Avant, the DS 19 was introduced on October 5, 1955 at the Paris Motor Show. The car's appearance and innovative engineering captured the imagination of the public and the automobile industry almost overnight. 743 orders were taken in the first 15 minutes of the show, and orders for the first day totalled 12,000.

Far from being just a fascinating technology in search of a purpose, contemporary journalists were effusive in noting how the DS dramatically pushed the envelope in the ride vs. handling compromise possible in a motor vehicle.

The high price tag, however, hurt general sales in a country still recovering from World War II 10 years earlier, and a submodel, the ID (another pun: in French, Idée, or Idea), was introduced in 1957 to appeal to more cost-conscious buyers. The ID shared the same body with the DS, but had more traditional features under the hood. It had no power steering (though this was added as an option later), and instead of the hydraulically controlled manual transmission and clutch, it had a conventional clutch and transmission. Interestingly, the first model series was called 11D, a clear reminder of the last model of the Traction Avant, the 11C. A station wagon variant, the ID Break, was introduced in 1958.

Outside of France, the car's radical and cosmopolitan design appealed to non-conformists. A United States advertisement summarised this selling point: "It takes a special person to drive a special car".

Throughout its model lifetime, the DS managed to remain ahead of its time. It featured power disc brakes, a hydropneumatic suspension including an automatic levelling system and variable ground clearance, power steering and a semi-automatic transmission. A fiberglass roof reduced weight transfer. Inboard front brakes (as well as an independent suspension) reduced unsprung weight. Different front and rear track widths and tire sizes reduced the understeer typical of front-engined and front-wheel drive cars.

Despite the rather leisurely acceleration afforded by its small four-cylinder engine, the DS was successful in motorsports like rallying, where sustained speeds on poor surfaces are paramount.

The DS came in third in the 1999 Car of the Century competition, recognizing the the world's most influential auto designs. Winner and second place went to the Ford Model T and the Mini. It placed fifth on Automobile Magazine "100 Coolest Cars" listing in 2005.

History will remember the DS for many reasons, including the fact it was the first production car with front disc brakes.

Technical innovations
Hydraulic system
The hydraulic system of the DS 19 was a revolution. Previously hydraulics had been restricted to use in brakes and power steering; the DS used them for the suspension, clutch and transmission. The later ID19 had manual steering and a simplified power braking system.

At a time when few passenger vehicles had caught up with the four-wheel independent suspension of the Traction Avant, the application of the hydraulic system to the car's suspension system to provide true self-levelling was a stunning move. This application - 'hydropneumatic suspension' - was pioneered the year before on the rear of the top of range Traction Avant 15CV-H.

At first it was often described as air/oil suspension, since both elements played a key role.

Each wheel was connected not to a spring, but to a hydraulic suspension unit consisting of:
* a sphere of about 12 cm in diameter containing pressurised nitrogen
* a cylinder containing hydraulic fluid screwed to the suspension sphere
* a piston inside the cylinder connected by levers to the suspension itself
* a damper valve between the piston and the sphere

A membrane in the sphere prevented the nitrogen from escaping. The motion of the wheels translated to a motion of the piston, which acted on the oil in the nitrogen cushion and provided the spring effect. The damper valve took place of the shock absorber in conventional suspensions.

The hydraulic cylinder was fed with hydraulic fluid from the main pressure reservoir via a height corrector, a valve controlled by the mid-position of the anti-roll bar connected to the axle. If the suspension was too low, the height corrector introduced high-pressure fluid. If it was too high, it released fluid back to the fluid reservoir. In this manner, it maintained a constant height. A control in the cabin allowed the driver to select one of five heights:
* normal riding height.
* two slightly higher riding heights, for poor terrain.
* two extreme positions for changing wheels.

The DS did not have a jack for lifting the car off the ground. Instead, the hydraulic system enabled wheel changes with the aid of a simple adjustable stand.

Source and reserve of pressure
The central part of the hydraulic system was the high pressure reservoir, which maintained a pressure of between 130 and 150 bar in two accumulators. These accumulators were very similar in construction to the suspension spheres. One was dedicated to the brakes, and the other ran the other hydraulic systems. Thus in case of a hydraulic failure (a surprisingly infrequent occurrence), the first indication would be that the steering became heavy, followed by the gearbox not working; only later would the brakes fail.

Hydraulic fluid
The original hydropneumatic system used a vegetable oil (LHV or liquide hydraulique végétale) similar to that used in other cars at the time. Very soon, Citroën changed to using a synthetic fluid (LHS or liquide hydraulique synthétique). Both of these had the disadvantage that they are hygroscopic, as is the case with most brake fluids. Disuse allows water to enter the hydraulic components causing deterioration and expensive maintenance work. The difficulty with hygroscopic hydraulic fluid was exacerbated in the DS/ID due to the extreme rise and fall in the fluid level in the reservoir, which went from nearly full to nearly empty when the suspension "got up" and the 6 accumulators in the system filled with fluid. With every "inhalation" of fresh moisture- (and dust-) laden air, the fluid absorbed more water. In August 1967, Citroën introduced a new mineral oil-based fluid LHM, or liquide hydraulique minérale. This fluid was much less aggressive on the system and it remains in use to the present day.

Briefly illegal in the United States (US federal law requires motor vehicle brake fluid to be red - an exception had to be granted to Citroën), LHM has since been adopted by manufacturers like Rolls-Royce, Jaguar, BMW, and Audi under different labels, like "Total," "Pentosin," and others.
LHM required completely different materials for the seals. Using either fluid in the incorrect system would completely destroy the hydraulic seals very quickly. To help avoid this problem, Citroën added a bright green dye to the LHM fluid and also painted all hydraulic elements bright green. The former LHS parts were painted black.

Several different hydraulic pumps were used. The DS used a seven-cylinder axial piston pump driven off two belts and delivering 175 bar of pressure. The ID19, with its simpler hydraulic system, had a single cylinder pump.

Gearbox and clutch
The mechanical aspects of the gearbox and clutch were completely conventional and the same elements were used in the ID 19.

The gear change control consisted of:
* Hydraulic gear selector.
* Clutch control. This was the most complicated part. The speed of engagement of the clutch was controlled by:
* A centrifugal regulator, sensing engine rpm and driven off the camshaft by a belt
* The position of the butterfly valve in the carburettor (i.e. the position of the accelerator)
* The brake circuit: when the brake was pressed, the engine idle speed dropped to a rpm below the clutch engagement speed, thus preventing friction while stopped in gear at traffic lights. When the brake was released, the idle speed increased to the clutch dragging speed. The car would then "creep" much like automatic transmission cars. This drop in idle throttle position also caused the car to have more engine drag when the brakes were applied even before the car slowed to the idle speed in gear, preventing the engine from "pulling" against the brakes.

Impact on Citroën brand development
The 1955 DS in one stroke cemented the Citroën brand name as an automotive innovator. In fact, the DS caused such a huge sensation that Citroën was fearful future models would not be bold enough. Other than variations on the very basic 2 cylinder economy car Citroën 2CV, like the Citroën Ami, no new models were introduced from 1955 to 1970.

The DS was a large, expensive executive car and a downward brand extension was attempted, but without result. Throughout the late 1950s and 1960s Citroën developed many new vehicles for the very large market segments between the 2CV and the DS, occupied by vehicles like the Peugeot 403, Renault 16 and Ford Cortina. None made it to production. Either they had uneconomic build costs, or were ordinary "me too" cars, not up to the company's high standard of innovation. Because Citroën was owned by Michelin as a sort of research laboratory, such experimentation was possible. Citroën finally did introduce the clever Citroën GS in 1970, which sold a spectacular 2.5 million units.

DS in the US
While the DS was a hit in Europe, it seemed rather odd in the United States. Ostensibly a luxurious car, it did not have the basic features that buyers of that era expected to find on such a vehicle - fully automatic transmission, air conditioning, power windows and a reasonably powerful engine. The DS price point was similar to the contemporary Cadillac luxury car. Also, people at the time wanted only the newest models, which changed every year, like fashion, yet the DS appeared vaguely derivative of the 1950 Hudson Hornet step-down design.

Outdated US legislation also banned one of the car's more advanced features, aerodynamic headlamps, now common in US automobiles. Ultimately, 38,000 units were sold. The first year of the aerodynamic glass over the DS' headlights along with driving lights turned by the steering, was also the first year these features were outlawed in the US.

Design variations
The DS always maintained its size and shape, with easily removable, unstressed body panels, but certain design changes did occur.

A station wagon version was introduced in 1958. It was known by various names in different markets (Break in France, Safari and Familiale in the UK, Wagon in the US, and Citroën Australia used the terms Safari and Station-Wagon). It had a steel roof to support the standard roof rack.

In September 1962, the DS was restyled with a more aerodynamically efficient nose, better ventilation and other improvements. It retained the open two headlamp appearance, but was available with an optional set of driving lights mounted on the front fenders. In 1965 a luxury upgrade kit, the DS Pallas (after Greek goddess Pallas), was introduced. This included comfort features such as better noise insulation, leather upholstery and external trim embellishments.

In 1967, the DS and ID was again restyled. This version had a more streamlined headlamp design, giving the car a notably shark-like appearance. This design had four headlights under a smooth glass canopy, and the inner set swivelled with the steering wheel. This allowed the driver to see 'around' turns, especially valuable on twisting roads driven at high speed at night.

However, this feature was not allowed in the US at the time (see World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations), so a version with four exposed headlights that did not swivel was made for the US market.

The station wagon edition, the Break (called the ID Safari on the UK market) and "Familiale", was also upgraded. The hydraulic fluid changed in all markets (except the US) to the technically superior LHM (Liquide Hydraulique Minérale).

Rarest and most collectible of all DS variants, a convertible was offered from 1958 until 1973. The convertibles were built in small series by French carrossier Henri Chapron, for the Citroën factory. In addition, Chapron also produced a few coupés, non-works convertibles and special sedans (DS Lorraine for instance).

DS engines
As with all French cars, the DS design was impacted by the tax horsepower system, which effectively mandated very small engines.

Unlike the Traction Avant predecessor, there was no top-of-range model with a powerful six cylinder engine. The DS was designed around an air cooled flat six based on the design of the 2 cylinder engine of the 2CV, similar to the motor in the Porsche 911. Technical issues forced this idea to be scrapped.

Thus, for such a modern car, the engine of the original DS 19 was also old-fashioned. It was derived from the engine of the 11CV Traction Avant (models 11B and 11C). It was an OHV four-cylinder engine with three main bearings and dry liners, and a bore of 78 mm and a stroke of 100 mm, giving a volumetric displacement of 1911 cc. The cylinder head had been reworked; the 11C had a reverse-flow cast iron cylinder head and generated 60 hp at 3800 rpm; by contrast, the DS 19 had an aluminium cross-flow head with hemispherical combustion chambers and generated 75 hp at 4500 rpm. Apart from these details, there was very little difference between the engines: even the locations of the cylinder head studs were the same, so that it was possible to put the cylinder head of a DS on a Traction Avant engine and run it.

Like the Traction Avant, the DS had the gearbox mounted in front of the engine, with the differential in between. Thus the DS is a really a mid engine front wheel drive car. It initially had a four-speed transmission and clutch, operated by a hydraulic controller. To change gears, the driver flicked a lever behind the steering wheel to the next position and eased-up on the accelerator pedal. The hydraulic controller disengaged the clutch, engaged the nominated gear, and re-engaged the clutch. Manual transmission control was a lower-cost option. The later and simpler ID19 also had the same gearbox and clutch, manually operated. In the 1970s a five-speed manual and 3-speed fully-automatic were introduced, in addition to the original four-speed unit.

The DS and ID powerplants evolved throughout its 20 year production life. The car was underpowered and faced constant mechanical changes to boost the performance of the four-cylinder engine. The initial 1911 cc 3 main bearing engine (carried forward from the Traction Avant) of the DS 19 was replaced in 1965 with the 1985 cc 5 bearing motor of the DS 19a (called DS20 from September 1969).

The DS 21 was also introduced for model year 1965. This was a 2175 cc, 5 main bearing engine. This engine received a substantial increase in power with the introduction of Bosch electronic fuel injection for 1970, making the DS one of the first mass-market cars to use electronic fuel injection.

Lastly, 1973 saw the introduction of the 2347 cc engine of the DS 23 in both carbureted and fuel injected forms. The DS 23 with electronic fuel injection was the most powerful production model, producing 141 horsepower.

IDs and their variants went through a similar evolution, generally lagging the DS by about one year. ID models never received the DS 23 engine or fuel injection. The DS was offered with a number of transmission options, including the "Hydraulique" 4-speed semi-automatic, 4-speed and 5-speed manuals and a 3-speed Borg-Warner full-automatic. The full-automatic transmissions were intended for the US market, but as Citroën withdrew from the US in 1972, the year of highest US sales, due to constrictive road rules, most automatic DSs, being the DS 23 EFI sedans with air conditioning, were sold in Australia.