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The Complete Citroën Experience: C42 Seasonal Exhibitions & the Social Club

You don’t have to be a car fanatic to visit Citroën’s phenomenal flagship showroom - the C42. Soaring 30 metres high above the world-famous Champs-Élysées, you will be stunned by the grandeur and beauty of this six-storey megastructure. The geometric glass exterior allows sunlight to pour into the display areas whilst the huge chevrons assert the Citroën identity. On entering, visitors will encounter a vertical column of eight vehicles, all of which can be seen whilst ascending the stairs. But there’s more than just the cars to see. The Citroën Social Club, Seasonal Exhibitions and 4D Cinema are just as important for experiencing this iconic French brand. 

The Shrine of Citroën: 100 Years of Motoring History

Citroën keeps it innovative vision very much alive in the restoration of its original showroom. The modern building designed by Manuelle Gautrand is a bold statement. Supported by 86 tons of glass latticework, the structure seems to soar out of the ground, like a monolith. This daring and vigorous architecture reflects the company’s creativity and originality. It is designed to evoke a sense of openness and approachability in order to welcome an international audience. Laid out over six-floors, visitors can view the exhibits and installations using a spiralling walkway with the cars displayed in a central column. The glass façade of the 30-metre high showroom overlooks the Champs-Élysées, welcoming those walking down the avenue. Gautrand has succeeded in constructing an eye-catching venue that stands out from its traditional surroundings.

The original showroom first opened its doors in 1927. The building was a marvel of style and elegance before becoming a chain restaurant in the 1980s. The following decades saw the original building overshadowed by its surroundings, with Gauntrand controversially calling the venue a ‘hollow tooth’ on the Champs-Élysées. But it’s these layers of iconic history and alterations that attracted her to the restoration project.

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Citroen concept © car Supermac1961|CC License

Seasonal Exhibitions: The Adventures of Citroën

As an interactive automobile exhibition, the C42 stands for joie de vivre and diversity. The display area presents numerous shows on specific topics voted by Citroën fans on Facebook. As a result, exhibits change on a regular basis and you will always find something new to discover.

Next season C42 will be dedicated to honouring the adventures of Citroën. To celebrate Citroën taking up their new challenge in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, the showroom will be displaying the most adventurous of all its vehicles, as well as footage of the races that have marked the history of the brand since its inception. Among the seven exhibits are the 1922 B2 half-track vehicle, the ZX Rallye Raid, C- Élysée and C4 Cactus Avent concept car.
In the past, the venue has seen its interiors filled with the Citroën cars of ‘Now Future’, an incredible show presenting several concept cars. In addition to uber-athletic, iconic vehicles such as the dazzling C-Métisse, Revolte, Survolt and GT, the exhibits included the extraordinary technical achievement of the Citroën Hypnos, unveiled at the 2008 Paris Motor Show.

Paris 20130807 Citroën Showroom Champs Élysées 530 X 350
Citroën Showroom © Martin Robson| CC License

The Citroën Social Club

The Citroën Social Club features a wall on the fourth floor with a stream that captures all #Citroen mentions on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Vimeo, FlickR and much more. You can post directly using the interface below the four screens. Citroën recently created a website dedicated to collecting its social coverage: Citroën Live. The installation features a ‘social map’ that allows you to find the social media stream for a specific country.

You can also visit the third floor’s Instagram Booth to take a couple of photos to post on Citroën’s Instagram page. The images are edited using other pictures from the brand’s social presence. Citroën has clearly taken social retail to a new level, with its international audience as the instigator.

4D Audience

A White-Knuckle Experience of 4D Racing

On level -1, you can enjoy a full-on experience of WRC racing with a 4D cinema show that puts you in the co-driver’s seat alongside Sébastien Loeb. The auditorium simulates speed with high-tech moving seats, which shake from side-to-side, up and down and rock backwards and forwards, and are synchronised with the car’s movements. Other effects include fog, gusts of air and water sprays to create the weather and scenes on screen.

The C42 Giant Slide 

Last summer, Citroën’s international showcase reinstalled its renowned giant slide. Visitors enjoyed a dizzying descent at an average speed of 4 metres per second for a thrilling ride. This season looks set to launch a few surprises and may likely see the return of the plummeting attraction.

Champs-Elysées (Campos Elíseos) © Cristian Martinez  Resized

Citroen concept © car Supermac1961|CC License Resized

Citroën Showroom © Martin Robson | CC License Cropped and Resized