See the future now

This is Citroën’s vision of how we’ll “escape”cities in the future.

Called the 19_19 Concept, Citroën call it “an unconventional expression of the future.”

I’ll say it is! At 4655mm (15ft 4in) long, 2240mm (7ft 4in wide), and an incredible 3100mm (10ft 1in) high it’s more like a small bus than a car.

But don’t worry, you don’t have to drive unless you really want to. Being autonomous, it’ll drive itself.

Here’s what Citroën say: “Its spectacular, suspended and transparent capsule design is inspired by the world of aviation.

“Taking comfort to a new level, with a cabin like a true living room on wheels, it plunges each occupant into a cocoon, in which each seat is a unique experience of absolute comfort.

“A full-electric concept car with a range of 497 miles, a magic carpet ride, and a pro-active ‘Personal Assistant’ that interacts seamlessly with everyone on board, it offers a whole new experience of in-car travel.

“Occupants enjoy a true ‘mental detox’ experience for maximum travelling pleasure, total relaxation, calmness and well-being.”

That’s all very well, but what about those wheels? They look guaranteed to make it ride like a brick.

Far from it. Designed and developed in partnership with Goodyear, they’re oversized 30-inch wheels, with a three feet diameter.

Unlike normal wheels, made of a rim and a tyre, they’re one-piece and, say Citroën: “Give the impression of a vehicle moving forward on independent spheres.”

They add: “With a porous texture that reduces noise like a natural sponge, the tread acts as a padded filter between the road and the cabin and as a noise-suppressing wall.”

At sea

Citroën have gone on to write another bible of words about the 19_19 Concept, but most of it takes the reader into fairy tale land, except that it’s true.

If the driver did want to take control, which I doubt will be allowed by the time this becomes reality, the 4WD 19_19 is powered by two 100kWh batteries (front and rear), which produce 456hp and 800Nm (592lb) of torque to give it a top speed of 124mph and 0-62mph in 5.0s.

Quick charging technology means it recovers 370 miles of its 497-mile range in 20 minutes. Oh, and it charges directly when driving … “where the road infrastructure permits,” say Citroën.

That’s why it’ll be a while before we see it for real.

The 19_19 Concept will be revealed in a world premiere at VivaTech in Paris on 16 May 2019.