07/09/2011 Citroën Tubik concept: Revival of the H-Van
One could be forgiven for raising an eyebrow at Classic Driver covering a Citroën van. But, when said vehicle is a modern interpretation of the cult icon that is the H-Van, perhaps we can be forgiven.
The original H-Vans were sold for 34 years between 1947 and 1981, with almost half a million models produced. They were easily recognisable by their distinctive nose and corrugated bodywork, which provided additional strength without adding weight.
Its spiritual successor – named the Tubik – takes its design cues from the H-Van as well as the Gran Turismo concept car. The H-Van’s corrugated bodywork is represented in the Tubik’s grille, and the windscreen pillars are also a nod to the iconic classic.
Two large doors offer entry to the van, but not in a conventional manner. On the nearside, a huge ‘cabin door’ opens the whole side of the vehicle, allowing access to the ‘lounge’ seating area with its ambient lighting, felt seats and leather floor.
The nine-seat Tubik has a modular interior layout, which allows many different layout options within the ‘cocoon’. The cosy, private atmosphere is sustained by a one-way panoramic window on one side and a 'moucharaby' (an Islamic-influenced design device where a tightly interlaced grille, rather than glass, is used as screening) on the other.
Unfortunately, due to its dramatic concept styling, the Tubik is likely to remain only a spiritual tribute to the H-Van. If it ever does reach the showrooms, it will lose the majority of its unique features. Look out for it at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, alongside a host of other important cars to be revealed at the show.