Citroen SM Rally
There’s nothing we like better than odd, rare racing cars and homologation specials. And the rally version of the Citroen SM is particularly odd, rare and special.
Conceived as a flagship for the performance potential of the Citroen/Maserati collaboration, the car was raced to victory in its first ever race appearance – the 1971 Rally of Morocco. It wasn’t until later that the shorter breadvanned version of the car appeared.
The ‘cool car’ chops of the production SM are undeniable. There’s that low-slung modernism styled by Robert Opron, complete with asymmetrical footprint and an incredibly low drag coefficient of 0.26. And the exterior design of the car was augmented by the cutting-edge materials from which the car was made.
Then there was the was that blisteringly lean bespoke V6 designed by Maserati engineering guru Giulio Alfieri, as well as a super-futuristic and beautifully rendered cabin. There were of course things like swivelling headlights and electric assistance in everything – the sort of things that Citroen had used as a motif of excellence since the earliest days of the DS.
With the shorter wheelbase the design, for us, wasn’t compromised. On the contrary, in fact it’s as if the shortened tail hammered home the concept of the design even harder than the production model. That truncated rear end would have improved handling and shed a good few kilos, leading to what must have been an incredible driving experience.
And by all accounts, it could fly.
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