Citroen Hydropneumatic Suspension to Be Phased Out Together With the Citroen C5

A recent insider report citing sources close to the Peugeot and Citroen conglomerate states that the hydropneumatic suspension invented by Citroen in 1954 will be phased out of production by the time the Citroen C5 kicks the bucket. After 61 years of continuous production and improvements, it also means that Hydractive 3 suspension will be confined to history books and the second-hand market.
Hydropneumatic Suspension 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
Though a spokesman for PSA Peugeot-Citroen declined to comment on this report, AutomotiveNews Europe cites sources within the company. The reason why the French conglomerate wants to get scrap the technology once and for all? Cost-cutting.

The publication tells that the decision is part of a wider batch of cost-cutting measures launched by Carlos Tavares, the Chairman of the Managing Board of PSA Peugeot Citroen. You can all boo and hiss now.

The thing is, this bit of news comes right after the Citroen brand celebrated the 60th anniversary of the original DS and DS became a standalone manufacturer. Despite the irony of it all, "Tavares has made it clear that there are now other systems that can do just as well.” Additionally, "hydropneumatics cost a lot for not much benefit,” the publication has learned from one of its insider sources.

All is not lost though: ”We still aim to be best for comfort," a source said, "but in future we'll do it with technologies other than hydropneumatics." Those technologies can be already seen on the recently facelifted DS5. The C6-replacing flagship model uses preloaded linear valve shock absorbers from ZF.

A rather pressing matter is what will happen to Rolls-Royce after the PSA group will stop making hydropneumatics, as the British automaker uses pneumatic spheres made by PSA. Amid dwindling Citroen C5 sales, this does seem like it’s the end of the road for the Hydractive 3. Citroen’s original system uses nitrogen-filled pneumatic spheres and a big hydraulic pump for ironing out asphaltic imperfections.

The suspension is credited for saving the life of Charles de Gaulle when the presidential DS got its tires punctured by the bullets of Jean-Marie Bastien-Thiry. President de Gaulle praised the abilities of the unarmored DS, which is speaking volumes about hydropneumatics. Here's a trip down memory lane:

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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