The 1980 Citroën Karin Reimagines The Car As Futuristic Sci-Fi Masterpiece
Freed from any concerns about market demands, Fiore had license to reimagine the car as sci-fi masterpiece, with the driver at the center flanked by two slightly recessed seats on either side. “The highly functional fascia has every control at the driver’s fingertips,” writes Flavien Dachet. “It includes an inboard computer with a screen displaying information about the car and the road. Small pop-up computers were also integrated into the door panels, ahead of the grab handle. Finally additional controls were mounted on each side of the pod so that the driver can adjust audio settings when listening to their Giorgio Moroder cassette.”
With its butterfly doors and roof the size of a sheet of ledger paper, the weird exterior design reflects the futurism of the times, but its control layout looks forward to the infotainment systems of 21st century models. The only one of its kind, the Karin was only invented because Citroën had no new models to reveal at the time, and the concept model was not actually drivable. But, like later concepts such as the Volkswagen Project Orbit, it promised to bring the imaginative vehicle designs of futuristic science fiction in the real world.