Citro�n C Crab

PhotoEssay: Car design at the RCA

See what second-year students on the world's top car design course at the Royal College of Art came up with on a Citroën and EXA-sponsored project to design an electric car.

Car brands such as Citroën have spied an opportunity in small cars growing in size and the electric quadricycle increasing in popularity: their plan is to explore super-compact electric cars. Such a vehicle would be informed by aerodynamics to reduce energy consumption and ensure stability at speed. Some second year students discuss their designs.

  1. 'The Citroën Communicate aims to be anti-invader, sitting peacefully alongside pedestrians and cyclists. Its inner workings and simplicity proudly communicate its electric core. The interior rises while the top shell reflects the environment. The car changes stance and lighting, reflecting speed and behaviour.' Adam Kerr Phillips
  2. 'The Boite represents honesty and simplicity. Electric cars mean a new paradigm in vehicle architecture. Suspended from the structure, the body appears to float. A symbolic severance from the irrelevant, overly masculine, aggressive and complex car architecture that mirrors the industry.' James Brooks
  3. 'Flexible seating and a transparent canapé means the user is creating a vehicle that isn't socially separating. The car is constructed with Fibrolon, an injection mouldable bio-plastic constructed of natural fibres. The design reduced aesthetic attempts to get the most out of as little material as possible.' Richard Bone
  4. 'The current vanguard of automotive design expresses clichéd proportions and aggressive form language that subversively distributes the idea of personal superiority and dominance. The Mono uses a flat/organic form language with anthropometric proportions that engage and excite users with the electric revolution.' James Harness
  5. 'The Citroën C Crab explores the benefits of moving to an electric era. Electric drive train offers possibilities to experience the vehicle in a new way. A small and nimble car dribbling through the city is the key idea of this concept. I wanted to keep the design simple and unified to create new vehicle proportions.' Juha Rautio
  6. 'The Citroën Cyto is a vehicle that bridges the trust gap between user and the electric car. Visualising energy flow inside the car helps to acquire more efficient driving habits. The Cyto takes into consideration the unique characteristics of electricity, like intangibility and various renewable sources.' Ido Baruchin
  7. 'Electric cars are often scrutinised and questioned for their distinct lack of beauty. The project was the opportunity to challenge this. The Citroën Fashionita is derived from a personality in the female demographic – the fashionista. It is a single seat collectible car, which takes advantage of electric vehicle architecture to create an accessory for the female customer.' Hitesh Panchal

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