The hydraulic suspension was once one of the main features of the iconic Citroen DS limousines, but its appeal doesn’t seem to be enough anymore – with sources reporting the automaker will scrap its use as part of the drive to lower overall costs.
PSA Peugeot Citroen has the technology manufactured at a Peugeot factory in northern France for use of the Citroen brand, and according to persons that are close to the French automaker, the feature will not be offered after the current Citroen C5 sedan is replaced with a new generation. The Citroen suspension system used a hydraulic pump with nitrogen-filled pneumatic spheres, and ushered an almost impossible to match level of comfort back in 1955, adding to the space-age panache attributed to the iconic DS model officially unveiled that year. The technology could also have its place in the history of France, being credited with helping save the life of General Charles de Gaulle when he was ambushed in an assassination seven years later, with the presidential DS able to escape even with two of its tires shot and destroyed.
Today, numerous alternatives exist at rivals, especially electronically controlled adaptive suspension systems that have gained an edge over Citroen’s hydraulic system (actually a hydropneumatic system), being better at handling duties and cheaper. Under chief executive officer Carlos Tavares, PSA has started cutting costs everywhere – from inventory, headcount to production and components. Ironically, the recently independent premium DS brand, which aims to connect owners with the famous lineage, has no model using the hydropneumatic suspension, with the top of the line DS5 using a “preloaded linear valve” system sourced from Germany’s ZF Friedrichshafen.