Citroen SM: A High-Performance Luxury Coupe with a Porsche 911 Price Tag
Discover the Citroen SM, a Citroen with the price tag of a Porsche 911. If you know the Citroen DS, a four-door relative of the SM, you might question the decision to reduce the doors and increase the cost. With hydro-pneumatic suspension, progressive self-centering power steering, swiveling headlights, and rain sensors, many of the DS's innovations were integrated into the SM. However, it took the acquisition of Maserati in 1968 for Citroen to improve the car's speed, reminiscent of the era when Italians taught the French culinary arts, enhancing French cuisine.
Due to high taxes on engines over 2.8 liters in France, the SM was equipped with a 2.7-liter, 168-horsepower Italian engine, allowing it to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in a respectable 8.5 seconds with a top speed of 135 mph. This made it the fastest front-wheel-drive car of its time.
Aerodynamic Design and Performance: The Economical yet Fast Citroen SM
It's not often that you find the words fastest and economical together, but the SM manages to achieve 19.6 mpg (US) (12l/100km), a competitive fuel consumption for its era. This feat can be attributed to the car's aerodynamic body design. The SM demonstrates classic automotive aerodynamic principles: a streamlined front to reduce drag, rear-wheel skirts to minimize wheel-induced turbulence, a kammback to address pressure drag, and an option to lower ride height to minimize disruption caused by underbody components.
Despite the visual similarities between the SM and the DS, their body designs were created by different designers. Flamino Bertoni and aviation engineer André Lefebvre collaborated on the four-door version, while the two-door flagship car was designed by Robert Opron with assistance from former Buick designer Henry Lauve.
The 12920 lucky buyers that could afford the very hefty 9500$ price tag of an SM or anyone who had a chance to drive one, said that the car is very stable at illegal speeds and that it takes some time getting used to the unique power steering. If you would like to verify that, better increase your velocity in doing so because the price of this Citroen is growing faster than mold on Holiday leftovers.
However there are some notes to be aware of: USA version did not have the swivelling headlights because it was illegal at the time, thus these Citroens loose the trademark transparent nose. Models with fuel injection have been reported igniting with no warning. It is also not recommended to go bragging about the Citroens aerodynamic coefficient in a bar, because although it's claimed by the manufacturer to be a very impressive 0.26, according to newer data it should be closer to 0.32. For comparison: its relative the Citroen DS scores 0.36, the competitor GT 1969 Ferrari Dyno managed 0.37. Never the less the claimed clever aero is definitely there - in 1987 “SM World” installed a turbocharger and successfully reached a speed of 202.3 mph(328km/h)! Add the Citroen SM victory in 1971 Morocco Rally and one might start to understand the genius behind the engineering of this car. Definitely a very unique vehicle inside - out
The Futuristic 1972 Citroën SM | Jay Leno's Garage