Top 10 Reasons the Citroën DS Was the Most Revolutionary Car Ever [Video]

Citroën DS
Pneumatic suspension, manumatic transmission, disc brakes — the engineering firsts inside a Citroën DS will blow your mind. [photo: TFLcar]

This Citroën DS Was Decades Ahead of Its Time

Ted Ax of Boulder, Colorado is a mechanic and lover of France’s most sophisticated luxury sedan, the Citroën DS. As TFLcar’s Tommy Mica shows us, there’s good reason engineers and mechanics speak reverently about this classic car built between 1955 and 1976. Among the highlights:

  • The car can drive on three wheels (two front, one rear) thanks to the suspension. Even in a tire blowout, the sedan will remain serenely stable.
  • Speaking of the hydromatic suspension. It’s akin to driving on a cloud, and the car’s height can be manually adjusted to best match your driving surface and speed.
  • It has a hemi engine!
  • The advanced dual headlamps worked in concert. The interior lamp swiveled with the steering wheel up to almost 90 degrees and pointed down to account for body roll. The larger, outer lamp self-leveled.
  • The disc brakes (standard in an era of drum brakes) were gigantic and were activated with a button on the floor, not a brake pedal. A dial on the instrument cluster told you the car’s braking distance depending on brake pressure and speed.
  • The body used far out (for the 50s) materials including molded plastic dashboards and a fiberglass roof.
  • The Citroën DS’s Citromatic transmission was an elegant, if complex, mechanical precursor to the manumatic transmissions of today.

But don’t take my word for it. See Ted’s beautifully restored DS in action for yourself.