At this year's Geneva Motor Show, Citroën will focus much of its attention on the launch of its new SpaceTourer minivan, but it'll also meet its odd-ball concept car quota with the SpaceTourer Hyphen. Designed to explore the middle ground between MPV and SUV, the Hyphen combines a high-clearance 4WD build with a colorful, pop music-inspired motif.
Ever since we saw the Toyota Sienna UUV travel all over North America, we've been kind of intrigued by the idea of combining the spacious cabin of a minivan with the all-terrain grit of an SUV. Without a truck platform or aftermarket off-road equipment, the SpaceTourer Hyphen leans very much towards the "soccer mom minivan" side of the equation, but the new SU-MPV still packs a sense of adventure and boundlessness.
With help from a bespoke on-demand 4x4 system developed in conjunction with Dangel – the guys behind the Fiat Ducato 4x4 camper van – Hyphen's BlueHDI 150 S&S diesel engine sends power to all four wheels. Citroën says the 4WD system adds all-terrain traction without compromising the handling characteristics or comfort of the base SpaceTourer. The Hyphen rides on a set of 19-in matte black alloy wheels and offers more ground clearance than the standard SpaceTourer.
Sounds like a pretty normal concept car so far, right? Well, there's still plenty of Citroën weirdness to be found.
If you were asked to create a more rugged, all-terrain minivan, one of the last things on earth you'd probably do during the creative process is invite a pop music group in to help you splash bright oranges and greens all over it. But you're not Citroën. In a move it calls "only natural," it partnered with French electronic rock group Hyphen Hyphen to give the concept a "supercharged" design.
The parties settled on an iridescent green body fading into an orange rear matched to the orange highlights around the exterior. The front bumper design, wheel arch trim and sill protectors are inspired by last year's Aircross concept.
Look closely at the tires and you'll notice they're wrapped with elastomer strips you'd never want to actually drive on. Since it's just a show car, though, the strips are practical enough, helping emphasize the concept's improved, 4WD traction.
The interior is where Citroën and Hyphen Hyphen really had fun, livening things up with a very bright multi-colored design around the seats, dashboard, doors and ceiling. Materials include Nappa leather on the seats and wool in the floor mats. Citroën says the vibrant design is meant to convey fun, freedom and unlimited adventure, but we think any kind of "unlimited" experience in that cabin might leave us with little more than a pounding headache.
Next month's Geneva Motor Show will host the world debut of the Citroën SpaceTourer Hyphen, along with the new production SpaceTourer. Gizmag will be on the floor to bring you all the latest news.