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Citroen celebrates 100th birthday with futuristic 19_19 concept

by Ronan Glon

This is how the French firm sees the future of road-tripping.

The Ami One concept unveiled at the 2019 Geneva auto show illustrated how Paris-based Citroen sees the future of commuting. The firm released a second design study named 19_19 to show how it sees the future of road-tripping. Both concepts were built to celebrate the company's 100th birthday.

The 19_19 wears a striking design that makes it look like what a 22nd century superhero would drive. It's just as futuristic inside, where designers went to great lengths to make the interior feel like a living room -- they even added book shelves.

Autonomous driving technology lets the driver become a passenger when the right conditions are met, though the concept is fitted with a steering wheel and pedals. An augmented-reality head-up display and an artificial intelligence-powered personal assistant help motorists navigate unfamiliar environments without getting lost.

Citroen has never hesitated to inject performance into its line-up, but it has avoided excessive horsepower in recent years. On paper, the 19_19's specifications are impressive. It's powered by an electric drivetrain made up of a 100-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a pair of electric motors. That's par for the course in the EV world. The setup sends 455 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque to the four wheels, enough for a zero-to-62-mph sprint in five seconds flat.

The large battery delivers up to 500 miles of range, according to Citroen. To go further, the 19_19 can be charged on-the-go by wireless charging pads embedded in the asphalt. Clearly, it illustrates a vision of a distant future.

More than anything, the 19_19 concept is a statement of intent built to mark a milestone. There's no indication it will reach production anytime soon.

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