The new Citroen Berlingo special van model "2CV Berlingo Fourgonnette" is inspired by the iconic 2CV Fourgonnette AU (U for "Utility"), which debuted in 1951 and retained a loyal following with its many offshoots until 1987. The Citroen 2CV Berlingo Fourgonnette is a modern interpretation of this, with all of the current Berlingo assets in terms of architecture, payload capacity, adaptability, cutting-edge connection, and driving behavior.
"We are delighted that Caselani has revived our best-selling Citroen Berlingo, inspired by the classic 2CV Fourgonnette that left its stamp on Citroen history and the automobile industry." The design began in the workshops of coachbuilder Caselani, and we then collaborated. Our designers have maintained a careful eye on the work to ensure that the original 2CV Fourgonnette is not overly literalized, but that the result truly embodies Citroen DNA," Citroen design chief Pierre Leclercq explains.
Caselani rode the vintage wave, deeply rooted in Italian and French automobile culture. This trend can be observed in both passenger and commercial cars; it gives new life to a classic model from the past while adding modern technology and excellent performance to a current vehicle.
The Berlingo conversion, in particular, is a reinterpretation based on the success of a legendary van and the success of the Berlingo commercial vehicle itself, which has been a key player in Europe since its inception in 1996. Since 1996, all three Citroen Berlingo commercial vehicle versions have been sold over 1.8 million times. It was the second most successful vehicle in its segment in Europe at the end of August 2022, with a 17% market share. The Berlingo was a highly adaptable model that offered various innovations such as the three-front seat configuration, the automatic parking brake, and, more recently, the overload indicator in the third generation.
Caselani commissioned David Obendorfer to create the Berlingo 2CV Fourgonnette, who had previously designed the Type H based on the Citroen Jumper in 2017 and the updated Type HG for Jumpy/SpaceTourer in 2020.
"The design brief did not call for merely replicating the outlines of the old transporter in the narrowest sense. Rather, it was about traveling back in time and translating its particular character to a 21st-century vehicle. The Citroen Berlingo, a distant descendant, was created purely to tribute to the Citroen 2CV of the 1950s. Because the original transporter had radically different proportions, this was an intriguing task. It had a very low front overhang, a long bonnet, and a visually identifiable cargo space - all quite different from the Berlingo of today. So I concentrated on the general appearance of the original vehicle rather than the specific design aspects to make it look like the 2CV Fourgonnette," Caselani designer David Obendorfer explains.
The Citroen Berlingo 2CV Fourgonnette is a modern "lifestyle" version of the renowned 2CV AU, which debuted in 1951 and sold around 1,247,000 copies.
Berlingo's front end has been redesigned to reflect the elements distinctive from the previous 2CV. The grille, bumper, and wheel arches have all been replaced with new fiberglass components that match the frame and include clips and bolts for attachment. Caselani's workshops in Lombardy, northern Italy, assemble all these components. In contrast to the original headlights, which were entirely separate, the round headlights are separated from the bonnet and meld into it towards the rear—a more modern interpretation with components consistent with the rest of the car.
The fiberglass sides, rear doors, and roof pay homage to the 2CV's unique corrugated iron coating. However, on this vehicle, they are entirely cosmetic and serve as a "second skin" over the standard Berlingo sheet metal elements. The corrugated iron pieces were initially designed to stabilize the overall construction. Those knurled components and reworked - raised - roof are a conscious attempt to create a style that distinguishes the passenger compartment from the cargo area. The historic transporter already has this feature.
Because of its aesthetics and performance at the time, the 2CV Fourgonnette generated quite a sensation in its segment. With a usable volume of 1.88 m3, the Citroen van could travel at speeds ranging from 40 to 50 km/h and transport up to 250 kg of cargo.
The two-cylinder engine's noise has been minimized, as has the hole in the grille for the crank. Of course, the Citroen Berlingo 2CV Fourgonnette represents the pinnacle of comfort, space, adaptability, and safety. Its loading capacity has quadrupled (it can now transport up to one ton), and its practical volume has nearly tripled (4.4 m3). Despite its tiny size, which makes it handy and convenient, it has a lot of capacity on board, making this commercial vehicle an excellent partner for tradespeople and craftspeople. The Extenso cab allows the vehicle's helpful length to be increased to 3.09 m (length M) by repositioning the front passenger seat.
The Citroen Berlingo commercial vehicle includes 18 driver assistance systems and the newest connection technology to make driving, loading, and maneuvering easier. The features include a color head-up display, keyless entry and start, overload warning, all-around rear vision, Active Safety Brake, Grip Control with Hill Assist Descent, and blind spot monitoring system.
The Citroen Berlingo commercial vehicle is available with a 1.5 BlueHDi diesel engine, a 1.2 PureTech petrol engine, and an EAT8 automatic transmission. The Berlingo electric version has a range of up to 275 kilometers per day and eliminates noise and vibration. It has the same useable volume as the previous model, and the battery can be charged to 80% in 30 minutes at a public charging station. The Citroen e-Berlingo van offers a delayed charging option, and the passenger compartment temperature can be controlled.
Regarding design modification, the technology is the same across all three Citroen vans. GRP replaces body elements in the front (bonnet, bumpers, and wheel arches). Panels connected directly to the body cover the sides, back, and roof. Round headlights are employed instead of those on modern commercial vehicles to complete the historical look and give them the robust personality of the Type H or 2CV Fourgonnette.
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