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1972 Citroën SM

1972 Citroën SM


Combining Citröen's advanced chassis technology and Maserati's engine know-how, the SM (Série Maserati) featured DS-style hydro-pneumatic suspension, power-assisted, all-around load-sensitive disc brakes and fully-powered, self-centering steering that allowed the car to be set up with zero caster, thereby keeping the tires in full contact with the road at all times. Citröen had acquired Maserati in 1968, principally to acquire the latter's engine technology for its new top-of-the-range Gran Turismo Coupe, and the Italian firm responded to the brief with remarkable speed by the simple expedient of chopping two cylinders off its Indy four-cam 90-degree V-8 to create the required V-6. The styling of the SM was straight out of a 1970s' science fiction movie. The long sleek fastback body, with loads of glass and unadorned flanks, looked like some alien spaceship as it glided along on its self-levelling suspension with skirts over the rear wheels, hydraulically adjustable and swiveling headlamps under curved heated glass, and an asymmetric air intake on the bonnet.

Citröen was the world leader in passenger car aerodynamics at the time, and the SM's class-leading drag coefficient enabled it to reach 140 mph, making it the fastest front-wheel-drive car ever at that time. Fondly remembered, these technically advanced and functionally beautiful cars remain highly sought after today.

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