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Would the C6 have sold in higher numbers if they had produced the original 'Lignage ' concept'

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Sun May 26 2013, 06:37pm

Joined: Oct 01 2009
Member No: #1
Location: Northumberland
At the Conservatoire in Paris the C6 Concept car stands next to the last C6 that rolled off the assembly lines at Rennes.

We all know badge 'snobbery' played a part in the lower than expected sales of the C6 but if the accountants hadn't gotten involved and the flush door handles replaced with those from the C4/Pug 307, the front bumper restyled along with the rear lights and interior would it have been more attractive (a bit like the DS back in the 1950's) ?

Concept Video

Sun May 26 2013, 08:24pm
Joined: Sep 30 2012
Member No: #1044
Location: Bonn
Difficult question. But I think the answer is no.

But the concept car's rear lights were a much bolder and better design. The door handles don't bother me. I am so used to them because our Berlingo 3 has got exactly the same

Sun May 26 2013, 10:14pm
Joined: Sep 18 2012
Member No: #1031
Location: Bucharest
Well, it is clear that the Lignage concept had some bits and pieces that didn't make it into the production design. Me, personally, I like some stuff better on the concept, and some stuff better on the production car. For instance, on the concept car I like the door handles and the external rear-view mirrors, the suicide doors and the interior design, as well as the rear light design better than on the production car, but I like the front lights and the engine bonnet, as well as the front bumper and the alloy rims better on the production car.

Overall, I like the production car better - even though the Lignage concept was bolder, I find that most design cues found their way onto the production car, and the front of the production car is waaay better - the concept has a futuristic, but dated feel to it - just like spaceships in an old Star Trek movie - they are futuristic but in an old fashioned way... The production car has more of a timeless feel to it - I mean, I still get asked at gas stations and car wash places if this is the newest model in the range - how many cars from 2005 have that type of visual impact?!?

As for sales, creating suicide doors with inset handles and that interior design would have made it cost close to 100,000 € and if not that many were in a rush to pay 50 to 70,000 €, I doubt it that a higher price tag would have helped, regardless of the extra features or design cues.



I looove the fact that the last built C6 has the Claudia Alezane leather interior, just like my six
Mon May 27 2013, 08:22am
Joined: Sep 13 2010
Member No: #234
Location: Hampshire
smihaialex wrote ...

Well, it is clear that the Lignage concept had some bits and pieces that didn't make it into the production design.

Perhaps it was the very fact that so much of the concept made into production that was the reason for its commercial failure. Most people are (small c) conservative and unadventurous when making big purchases. So, Saab, Volvo, BMW and M-B develop their models generically, to be identifiably of the brand although slightly progressive. Similarly, most people buy dull and conventional houses, and few will invest in something radical.

I suggest that the C6 was so radical, different and modern that many potential purchasers took fright. Company fleet managers were possibly terrified of the end-of-lease residual, and went with the safe German or Swedish alternatives.

Thus the ultimate 'failure' was inherent in the very courage of the design.
Mon May 27 2013, 08:33am
Joined: Apr 18 2012
Member No: #869
Location: Lisbon
The only thing I prefer about the concept is the flush door handles. The current ones are better for the french motorists to open the door to Chirac and Sarkozy

I also like the interior of the production C6, it transpires class and refinement and it's a great place to be in. It's very minimalistic but functional.

These cars never sell in big numbers, everything that is different doesn't sell. Look at the amazing Avantime for example.

Thanks for the pics Dave! It's nice to see them side by side.
Mon May 27 2013, 08:56am
Joined: Sep 15 2011
Member No: #622
Location: Ascot, Berkshire
Well, that was interesting...I have to admit I hadn't seen the C6 Concept...Looking at the clips on Utube, I agree with your comments Sam

Mon May 27 2013, 12:53pm
Joined: Jun 15 2011
Member No: #518
Location: Buckinghamshire
I feel the production car is far more elegant than the concept. The Lignage concept looks like it has a lazy eye, and it's too tail heavy.
Mon May 27 2013, 01:40pm
Joined: Apr 06 2010
Member No: #82
Location: Maidenhead
Wish mine had a tree in it
Mon May 27 2013, 04:10pm
Joined: Sep 18 2012
Member No: #1031
Location: Bucharest
Be carefull what you wish for :D
Mon May 27 2013, 09:20pm
Joined: Sep 20 2010
Member No: #238
Location: Aldeburgh
Well, thanks, Dave! Huh...btw, I agree with Ciao, but I loved the interior of the Lignage.

Tue May 28 2013, 10:25am
Joined: Apr 16 2012
Member No: #868
Location: Harpenden
To answer the question directly, I don't think building the C6 more in the image of the Lignage would have changed the fate of the production car, albeit it might have helped. The concept, probably because it is a concept and has to conform less to production necessities, is a much better resolved, all-of-a-piece design outside, and massively more attractive inside. For example, take the way that, on the rear side flank, the line of the rear lamps joins with the feature line that flows alongside the car, splicing the beautifully elegant hidden door handles, to the front of the car. It's neat and clever and pulls the car tight. It means that the car looks more rakish, smaller and more lithe than the production version; it takes weight out fo the flanks. The front is also sharper and cleaner, and the headlamps much more integrated into the overall shape. The rear has already been discussed, but again looks a little less "fat-bottomed".

The chevroned sun-roof is stunning and brings much needed luminosity to the interior, which itself has a much more bespoke and GT feel. Overall, it's a design that is much closer to the SM and CX than the end car.

You can probably tell, but I fell for the Lignage when it was first shown and was initially disppointed with the production car. It was only when I actually saw the final car on the road and marvelled at what a brave real-world design it was compared with where the rest of the market was at that I fell for its charms. It (the production C6) is a flawed beauty that has suffered in the productionisation process, but that still manages to take people's breath away with its stunning looks as bold statement of how a modern big Cit should look.

I enjoy it for being Citroen's last stand, but still yearn for what it might have been whenever I am taken back to pictures or fim of the Lignage concept
Wed May 29 2013, 10:12am
Joined: Nov 17 2009
Member No: #14
Location: London
C6Dave wrote ...
but if the accountants hadn't gotten involved and the flush door handles replaced with those from the C4/Pug 307, the front bumper restyled along with the rear lights and interior would it have been more attractive (a bit like the DS back in the 1950's) ?

The door handles never bothered me but the interior was a big disappointment. Engineering down to a price is understandable but that ugly instrument panel is unforgivable.

A big Citroën was never going to compete with the Germans, never, but Citroën did it no favours with the dull interior. Such a shame when you see the imagination and flair the company had back in its CX days.
Tue Jun 25 2013, 08:23am
Joined: Feb 13 2013
Member No: #1195
Location: Wiltshire
I can't necessarily agree with the notion that buyers are conservative. There may be short term resistance to 'shocking' or 'radical' design but it rarely lasts long if the product is good. Think of the original Ford Sierra & Ford Focus & the Bangle designed BMW's. Marketing effort in the case of Ford - coupled with class leading dynamics for the time certainly helped Fords case. BMW got away with 'ugly' design due to brand reputation built up over years, quality & dynamics - and to be fair the Bangle cars have aged quite well. Manufacturers need to lead & buyers will follow IF the product is right.

I always get the impression that people avoid large exec cars from the french because the manufacturers don't commit fully to maintaing a presence in that sector & building a reputation & presence. Badge snobbery has nothing to do with it in the long run - perception can be changed with time - think Kia, Hyundai, Skoda in recent years. Consistancy is so important. VW who only really started to make significant progress with the Mk1 Golf. BMW went from Bubble car to 2002's. A consistant marketing message is however critical. How many years now have BMW used the 'Ultimate Driving Machine' strap line - 'Vorsprung Durch Technik' - anyone recognise that?? So - time & commitment combined with product excellence in terms of design, engineering quality, dynamics & refinement are key.

I too prefer the exterior of the production C6. I do feel though that they should have opted for a more conventional suspension system, a truly state of the art gearbox that was less dull-witted than the unit fitted & invested heavily in the bespoke interior. That would have been the real differentiator. Citroen afficionados might love the 'traditional' big citroen oil & gas suspension but 4 buyers out of 5 probably don't give a hoot about it & a conventional suspension system can deliver superb results - step forward Jaguar. If Citroen couldnt nail the suspension in house - they may have been able to tap into Jaguars expertise on the back of the shared engine deal. So - keep teh exterior design, get the reliability right, use a more conventional & robust suspension system so that potential buyers don't have that worry in the back of their head, & invest in a truely unique & beautiful interior with outstanding refinement and then you would have had a real Halo car. And quite possibly a car that may have sold in greater numbers, but we will never know.
Tue Jun 25 2013, 09:29pm
Joined: Apr 18 2012
Member No: #869
Location: Lisbon
Why go for a conventional suspension? That's a big part of what makes the C6 special.

If you don't go after the amazing comfort but want exclusivity you will probably be better on a Lexus GS or Volvo S80.
Tue Jun 25 2013, 10:49pm
Joined: May 18 2010
Member No: #119
Location: Woodbridge
Some interesting comments here. Citroen's history with big cars is littered with early problems damaging reputations, and then later cars being absolutely superb, but then failing to sell. The XM was a classic example of this. So the motor trade now just assumes all big french cars will be brittle, and values them accordingly, based in its perceived view of demand for a large, brittle car that will be expensive to maintain..

I like the hydraulics - the're why I've driven Citroens for 22 years - but don't believe they are quite as well refined/developed on the C6 as they should be - or it could just be they need tuning for the UK's roads - which should be perfectly possible......

I believe the engine/gearbox combo suffers from an inherent issue with AJD-V6/PSA DT17 combined with the compact AWTF-80SC/AM6 front wheel drive automatic gearbox.

Powerful FWD autos from most manufacturers seem to have some fragility/fixed lifespan.

Many 2.7 Jags also suffered from a poor response from standing - which was rectified with the 3.0 uplift with both changed engine characteristics and better integration of the engine and gearbox control units.

I also agree that the interior could have been way better, I'm thinking a little more DS5 with the nice bow-leather seats, but keeping the half-moon door pockets...

Only if there had been a true C6 S2, or even a C6 break, perhaps with the hybrid rear axle..
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