Citroën unveiled its new concept car that is made of cardboard and has a futuristic SUV look. The cardboard used is of a specialized honeycomb format reinforced with a plastic coating on each side to make it strong enough. It can be stood on without buckling. Instead of steel parts, cardboard has been used.
In a world of limited or no resources, the cardboard concept could be implemented. The concept car just went ahead to the future utilizing much better raw materials for the making of a car. It was developed in partnership with German chemical giant BASF. This and a vertical windscreen designed to reduce the amount of glass needed and save weight make the electric Citroën “Oli” concept car look like a futuristic SUV.
During the Soviet era, a common, erroneous, urban myth held that the Trabant, a small two-stroke engine car produced in former East Germany, had a body made of reinforced cardboard – and if it rained hard enough you could punch a hole in it.
In fact, the Trabant was made of “duroplast”, plastic reinforced with recycled cotton waste from the former Soviet Union. Citroën, which is part of world No. 4 carmaker Stellantis, and BASF have succeeded in turning popular legend into reality. “It’s more than just a concept car like you’re used to seeing,” Citroën director of future products Anne Laliron told Reuters. “It’s almost an expression of new lifestyles.”
Designers at Dacia, the low-cost brand of Renault, have also tried their hand at this exercise, coming up with the “Manifesto” concept car. Unveiled in mid-September, it also seems to have come out of a “Mad Max” movie, set in a post-apocalypse world where oil is worth more than gold. Dacia’s off-roader is a bare-bones vehicle focused on the basics, including a cork dashboard where you can pin a good old-fashioned paper road map in the event there is no signal for GPS navigation. To account for the possible effects of climate change and component shortages, the Citroën Oli weighs under 1 tonne (1,000 kg) and cannot exceed 110 kilometers (68 miles) per hour.
Wire harnesses have been removed from the door panels – which only have eight parts versus an average of 35 in today’s cars – the key lock has returned and the dashboard uses information from the driver’s mobile phone for communication or entertainment. The windows open manually and the vertical windscreen – which also cuts the impact of solar radiation inside the vehicle and thus reduces the need for air conditioning – means a vent must be fitted on the hood to recreate a windscreen’s effect on vehicle aerodynamics.