Love it or loath it, few can ignore Citroën’s glorious grand tourer for the 1970s, the majestic Maserati V6-powered SM. Well now, 50 years on from its launch, there’s a new one.
Launched to gasps of astonishment and awe at the 1970 Geneva Salon, the avant-garde SM encapsulated all that made Citroën different and exceptional half-a-century ago; a sublimely individual and advanced motorised conveyance to waft four people in supreme comfort, style and speed as France’s last true grand routier, following that nation’s previous kings of the road wearing Bugatti, Delage, Talbot-Lago and Delahaye badges.
To mark the 50th anniversary of Citroën’s supreme SM, Paris-based vehicle and industrial designer Jean-Louis Bui is back again, having previously created his modern take on the iconic Citroën DS in 2015 for that model’s 60th anniversary.
Now Bui has taken inspiration from the 1970 V6 original to pay tribute to the high-performance Gallic coupe with a modern reinterpretation, made more relevant to the needs and desires of the 21st century motorist, with a fully-electric motor replacing the original GT’s thirsty front-wheel-driven Maserati V6.
In reimagining the short-lived SM, plus other mythical models from the 1970s, Bui has carefully applied retro ‘70s shades and colours of the era to his electric creation, commenting that the legendary Citroën coupe is the car that marked the “historical highpoint of automotive design with its innovations and its aerodynamic design that were extremely futuristic for the time”.