It is an unwritten rule that a concept car with a terrible name will, in real life, be terrible. Much like Newton’s laws of gravity, it’s just one of those things that can’t really be argued – basically everybody accepts it to be true. The Ford Synus, for example, was atrocious. The Chrysler Expresso was similarly abysmal. The Changfeng Rhombus R-6 actually defies explanation. I would tell you to spend five minutes googling these cars, but then again that would be five minutes you’ll never get back. They are positively awful in every sense, not worth your attention, and quite frankly should be collectively packed full of military-grade TNT and blown back to hell.
So obviously when Citroen announced the imminent unveiling of the Citroen DS Wild Rubis Concept I was quite nervous. This garbled mouthful of Frenglish translates to ‘wild ruby’, a name that is simultaneously the height of pretension and yet also completely nonsensical (Citroen take note: the ruby is not ‘wild’ – it is a solid, rock-like mineral).
On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the Tang Hua Detroit Fish, universally recognised as the worst concept car in the history of humanity), I was expecting the DS Wild Rubis Concept to land somewhere in the 8-9 range. After all, Citroen has a miserable track record when it comes to concept cars. The 2001 Citroen C-Crosser caused you to become physically ill just by looking at it. The 2009 Citroen REVOLTe was REVOLT-ing. And the 2007 Citroen C-Cactus? The name aside, I would hazard a guess that most prospective buyers would rather consume an actual cactus, you know, with spikes, over driving that abomination.
Most concept cars are positively awful in every sense, not worth your attention, and quite frankly should be collectively packed full of military-grade TNT and blown back to hell.
And so, upon seeing the Citroen DS Wild Rubis, I nearly fell out of my chair. The pictures speak for themselves. While it is definitely not pretty in the classical sense, there is no doubting the Citroen DS Wild Rubis is a striking car, from really any angle. Clean, sharp lines sweep from the front to the rear, complemented by dramatic chrome detailing. The beautifully designed rear lights are outdone only by the striking full-LED headlights. Citroen have given the traditional SUV the DS treatment, with spectacular results.
Riding on 21in wheels, the Wild Rubis has a Mercedes ML-class-sized footprint, but is lower than a conventional soft-roader, standing only 1.59m tall. The Citroen DS Wild Rubis was launched recently at the Shanghai Auto Show, which tellingly reveals the target market for this DS model.
Citroen haven’t released any specs, nor any interior images, but the Citroen DS Wild Rubis will likely feature the powertrain first revealed in the Numero 9 Concept, the car upon which this concept is based. The Wild Rubis will likely be a plug-in hybrid, with a 52kW/200Nm electric motor with a lithium-ion battery coupled to a 165kW/275Nm petrol engine. This combined 217kW power output will likely propel the DS Wild Rubis from 0-100km in slightly over 5.4 seconds. These numbers are ballpark figures only, but will be confirmed by Citroen at a later date.
Citroen have built a truly alluring SUV, something that Bentley spectacularly failed at with the EXP 9 F concept. This is what the Bentley SUV should have been. Being a French vehicle, there is of course the distinct possibility that this car will be a mechanical fiasco, but I’m not concerned with that right now.
The Citroen DS Wild Rubis should be immediately put into production. Citroen, please do not change anything.
Oh, and as for the rest of those concepts listed in throughout this article? Well, I suppose that, much like Newton’s laws of gravity, we can all live on in the vain hope the someday, somehow, those vehicles and their designers might legitimately float away.
This article originally appeared in Autosleek Magazine