At a time when drive-time is more important than distance, the Tubik concept car aims to put the fun back in travelling.
With Tubik, Citroën has risen to the challenge of offering a nine-seater vehicle that picks up the prestige styling cues of a modern saloon. Drawing inspiration from the famous Citroën Type H van, fondly nicknamed “the TUB”, Citroën’s design team have blended quirky styling with materials meeting the highest standards of sophistication and comfort.
Tubik goes even further: it cocoons passengers in a lounge-like space designed for relaxation, with modular seats that can be arranged in different configurations, including semi-reclining and face to face. With Tubik, the journey is just as important as the destination.
Tubik’s lines are a nod to “the TUB”. Shaped like its legendary predecessor, Tubik is generously proportioned (2.08 m wide, 2.05m high and 4.80m long) to carry up to nine passengers.
The ribs on the front end and the two windscreen pillars hark back to the corrugated iron cladding of the Citroën Type H. To make Tubik look even more protective, Citroën’s designers have blended two contrasting colours, with the metal grey of the bodyshell enveloping the pearlescent white at either end.
The simple, attractive exterior all but conceals a wide one-way panoramic window that gives access to the cabin. The driver’s door is rear-opening while the side door swings upwards to free up the entire side of the vehicle.
The passenger living area is a lounge-style cocoon featuring materials taken from the worlds of architecture and interior design: felt for the seats, silk for the backrests and door panels and leather for the floor.
To allow the occupants to see without being seen, a moucharaby and the wide one-way panoramic window offer them exceptional visibility while shielding them from outside gazes.
Passengers can arrange the three rows of seats as they wish, for maximum comfort. The middle row can be converted into a small table, folded onto the last row to free up an area of almost 2 sq.m., or unfolded completely to create a meridienne-style seat.
This configuration is perfect for relaxation, allowing passengers to become spectators and enjoy the wide multimedia screen from a semi-reclining position.
Tubik’s onboard technology, including a giant semi-circular screen and high-definition surround sound, turn the cabin into an area for living and sharing.
When the driver gets behind the wheel, he/she enters an uber-high tech world built entirely around the driving position. The focal point is what Citroën’s designers call the “cyclotron”, which combines the driving seat, pedal assembly, steering wheel and head-up display in a single circular sweep.
Once in the seat, the driver is identified by a fingerprint recognition system. Around him/her, all the information needed for navigation is shown on the head-up display and the screen in the centre of the steering wheel. Another screen, connected to the reversing and rearview cameras, shows what is happening behind the vehicle.
By adopting Hybrid4 technology, Tubik keeps CO2 emission levels close to those of a conventional saloon. The full-hybrid diesel drive train increases the vehicle’s range compared with an internal combustion engine and also maximises traction with its four-wheel drive mode (the front wheels are driven by the combustion engine, the rear wheels by the electric motor).
Tubik is fitted with 22-inch wheels equipped with tall, narrow tyres with very low rolling resistance to optimise fuel consumption. For a better tradeoff between comfort and roadholding, Tubik features hydractive suspension, which controls vehicle height in real time and keeps its constant. At high speed, the car is automatically lowered to enhance aerodynamic performance and contribute to cutting fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.