THE PERFECT CAR

2 cars 600x600 THE PERFECT CAR

The Challenge: take the two most beautiful cars ever made, the sexiest babes on wheels that ever happened to roam the planet, and put them together, literally. If this sounds totally crazy to you, it’s because it is. Nobody attempted something so complicated, before. The technical challenges are enormous even to the most skilled team of mechanics and nobody, it must be said, ever dared to touch these holy icons of design, two sweethearts which rank in the top 5 Car of the Century, a hall of fame where Ferdinand Porsche, no less, figures as the first and foremost Car Engineer of the Century. Citroen DS, designed in 1955 by italian designer and sculptor Flaminio Bertoni, is still considered today the most advanced car ever produced, for the amount of innovation it had in every detail.

citroen hydropneumatic suspension explained 49954 1 600x458 THE PERFECT CAR

The two cars are totally different in weight, shape and dynamics, not to mention horsepower, and you can’t simply cut and glue them together. Nevertheless, we decided to give it a go anyway and, before getting started, we invited for a beer Stewart Johnson, a former engineer from Inter Box Mechanics, and probably one of the most regarded experts in the field. After a quick look at our drawings and scale models, he dryly asked: “where are you going to place the engine?”. Good question, we thought. Carried away by our own enthusiasm, we totally forgot that to fit a Porsche 911 engine into the rear bonnet of a Citroen DS is as easy as squeezing a pumpkin into a pea pod. “If you shift the engine 90° horizontally,” Stewart suggested, “and slide the backseat 10 inches forward, you get enough room. You want a lower center of gravity on a car that’s going to be longer and higher than a regular 911.”. Our question to Stewart Johnson, at that point, was quite obvious: “would you consider to be the project leader?”. Stewart accepted, at one condition: to be the first to drive the 911DS.

sketch 01 600x399 THE PERFECT CAR

Above: one of Brandpowder’s preliminary sketches before the cut-and-weld phase. Below: the cars’ overlap view showing matching touchpoints for potential assembly.

comparative dimensions 600x563 THE PERFECT CAR

911 engine cross section 600x472 THE PERFECT CAR

Above: the 911 block with its classic ‘flat-chest’ boxer shape: an engineer’s dream and a masterpiece in design. Below: model cars were adopted for an initial assessment of weight’s distribution, aerodynamics and maneuverability. We soon realized, though, the only way to crack down on problems was to go full scale on the real thing.

brandpowder model cars 600x538 THE PERFECT CAR

drawing board ok THE PERFECT CAR

Above: Jim Lurpak, concept designer at Brandpowder, sketching a first draft for the 911 DS. Jim’s talent has been fundamental in streamlining not only two separate bodies but to harmonize two worlds into one.

BRANDPOWDER wirecut ds small 600x353 THE PERFECT CAR

Above: 3D was essential to build virtual models of the joining parts. Merging the original shapes of both cars into one was the hardest part. The task was not just technical. We did our best to preserve each car’s distinct, individual personality.

johnson1 600x428 THE PERFECT CAR

Above: Stewart Johnson, checking the overmatching of the welded parts. This is the only picture where we caught him smiling.

brandpowder porsche cut 600x348 THE PERFECT CAR

The 911, cut and stripped off everything, waiting for assembly. The body has been painted with a coat of Hempel, anti corrosion primer. In the end, we opted for a custom made aluminum chassis as a flatbed to hold the two cars together.

autoleftside final11 600x406 THE PERFECT CAR

Above and below: front and rear view of the stunning 911 DS: the first ‘Porsche Citroen’ ever made. Ralph Klein, a British test pilot we called for an opinion, at the end of a full-day drive, couldn’t hold his enthusiasm:”Guys! It’s like I’ve been drinking German Champagne!”.

autowelded11 600x382 THE PERFECT CAR

porsche citroen back11 600x450 THE PERFECT CAR

Above: seen from behind, the 911DS looks rather inconspicuous. Nobody can imagine a turbocharged 3000 cc, 260hp rests under the bonnet. This engine is known for its exhilarating acceleration coupled with challenging handling characteristics and extreme turbo lag. The air cooled system has been replaced with a forced water cooling pipeline. The solution of extra large tyres and an extremely rigid chassis guarantee exceptional stability. At high speed, though, the acoustic comfort is far from the silent luxury of a Citroen DS but this is, after all, a sportscar.

Below: to a less expert eye the front view of 911DS looks just like the original 911. Porsche enthusiasts might be disappointed by the higher windshield, but this was a necessary trade off in order to reach the right attack angle with the Citroen DS’ body part.

porsche citroen front11 600x450 THE PERFECT CAR

Once presented to the press, the 911DS caused a stir. The car has been under the media bull’s eye since day one. Not all the press has been favorable. Quite the opposite: 911DS’ personality is so strong to split opinions in two. Among a few enthusiasts, we received a lot of criticism. Below: Car Mag compares, not without a bit of sarcasm, the 911DS to a German Champagne.

car mag 600x759 THE PERFECT CAR

This magazine gave us a great idea, so we invited Mrs Angela Merkel and monsieur Francois Hollande to see our car. After all, the 911DS represents the effort of two Countries, a genuine attempt to join their energy and talent into one thing. We hope Germany and France will be inspired by Brandpowder’s story, as a metaphor for a better and greater Europe.

016056156 30300 600x337 THE PERFECT CAR

Angela Merkel showed great interest for our project but didn’t like the idea to drive the 911DS: “I’m not much into racing,” she told us. ” This is boys’ stuff.” Francois Hollande couldn’t resist the thrill but didn’t take the driver’s seat. He kindly asked his chauffeur to take him for a short drive around the Hockenheimring circuit. We celebrated the historic moment with a bottle of Keller Riesling 2005. We were delighted to discover, by the way, that Germany produces one of the finest Champagne in the world. Cheers!

The Brandpowder Team

About brandpowder

112 comments

  1. Great stuff. The Porsche team should have thought of this before inventing Panamera….much better this one. And you have the DS trunk much more spacious. Are you planning for the 7 seats diesel version and do you produce original roofbars ? Thanks mate.

  2. Too bad the photo’s of the guy sketching and the modelcars on the pictures are photoshopped.
    Makes it unreal and fake.

    • Thanks a lot for your comment, Manuel.
      Just some food for thought: isn’t life itself photoshopped, nowadays?
      Best Wishes,
      The Brandpowder Team

  3. Interresting idea! I doubt it will work… You’ll need to stretch the front wing of the 911 at the bottem. I’ve measured the 1:18 models and the front wing is 3 mm shorter. That is about 9%.

    If you want to give it a go, you are welcome in my workshop!
    http://www.modelcarworkshop.nl/UK/Gallery/Porsche_911_Targe_Elfenbein_Weiss.html

  4. Good job gentlemen!!!
    But the perfect car need an engine….. where is it? ;-)

    • Hello Pierre,

      the engine is our enthusiasm. :) And we keep it under the bonnet.

      The Brandpowder Team

      • Michael Thomas San Antonio TX

        I love it!! I rode in a DS when my dad was stationed in Germany (66-69) and have a friend that has a 911. What I’d like to have seen is the inside and the motor compartment…other than that GREAT JOB!

        • Hello Michael,

          thank you for your message. We’ll try to add some pictures of our project. You are not the only one asking for more technical details.
          Best from all of us.

          The Brandpowder Team

  5. Kevin Blunckhouse

    I can’t wait until the new issue of “car mag” shows up on my doorstep. I’m looking forward to the review of the new Ford Mondeo, which isn’t sold in the U.S. under that nameplate (it’s the Fusion here), even though the accompanying photo is of the Ford Evos concept.

    Of course, that is assuming that there’s anything remotely real on this page. If you want to go viral with any modicum of credibility, you have to sweat the details.

    • Thank you very much Kevin,

      for your feedback. We’ll keep your suggestions in mind. And now, let’s go back to work!

      The Brandpowder Team

  6. let the purists winge. unique idea, brilliantly executed. well done, boys. my only question is:
    what do you have in store for the halves of the two cars you didn’t use?

    • Hallo Klee,

      thank you for your question.The other halves have been auctioned to car fetish enthusiasts in Germany.

      The Brandpowder Team

  7. What a horrible waste of a good DS.

  8. heya team,
    since I have not found any e-mail address of you, I ask in this way:

    may i blog your photos of the Perfect Car on my Blog (http://www.lordmat.de), please? With your Credits of course :-)

    thanks!

    cheers
    mat

  9. It’s a shame it’s not real in some ways, but then again I suppose the grand purpose of creating something like this in actuality would be fairly fruitless. The concept looks quite nice, but awkward – perhaps not as great as the sum of its parts.

  10. Very clever, BP – and, actually, I’ve always believed Porsche modeled the 911′s schnoz after the DS’s natty nose. I’ve reposted your piece at http://zzoottland.blogspot.com/.

    • Hello Zzoott,

      your articles are very zzoott and we like your unconventional approach to topics. Thanks a zzoott lot for publishing our story on your pages!

      A big zzoott from the Brandpowder Team

  11. Hey guys,

    may we publish your story and pictures on motor-talk.de?

    Regards, Constantin

  12. How about a 2CV-Beetle mash-up next?

    • Thanks Dave,

      may be we can do that in the future and if we’ll do it, we’ll mention you for sure.

      Best from the Brandpowder Team

  13. brilliant idea !! , …. I don t know what people expect :))) this is stylish , cool , classy and different , … very nice , ….. porsche enthusiasts feel violated ??? , open your mind , nobody is trying to steel your myth :)))) .

    • Hello Luc Best,

      we do our best (pun not intendend) to provide people with nice stories. We apologize with all Porsche and Citroen purists for our attempt. We really love these cars.

      The Brandpowder Team

  14. Love it the car, incredible quality pictures and I love how you’ve written the story, I just WANT to believe it. Shared the pictures on our facebookpage with a link to this page. Kudos to the geniuses!

  15. Long time Citroeniste here. I rather like it- a definite twist on an old idea. For the engine and driveline, could it be installed to the front? The original DS concept was to have a flat six, so dropping a Porsche motor and trans in up front is not beyond the pale.

    I would love to do the electrical system on that.

    • Hello Bill from Hotrodelectric,

      electric details are fairly simple in old cars, compared to new ones where electronics command everything, even the driving, like in the case of the last Mercedes S-series and some top BMW prototypes, not to mention the Google self-driving cars we see almost regularly roaming on California roads, with a geek on the passenger seat checking the vehicle’s behavior on a keyboard, probably connected to satellite gps, sensors and mambo-jumbo software.
      Our job was complicated on several technical tasks, mostly on matching two design into one, without incurring into something arrogant or ugly. We received contrasting feedback. The purists feel outraged. With reason, probably. But many people gave us a lot of fuel with their enthusiasm and participation. You are one of them. Thanks for writing.

      The Brandpowder Team

  16. So, no engine details? The original DS was designed with a flat six aircooled engine forward of the massive transaxle with the giant inboard disks. Sadly, the development was not along far enough when production was scheduled, so they stuck the old agricultural four in it, making room for it to stick between the front passengers’ feet. Did Ferry Porsche have a nice boxer six in 1955? If so, it would be great to see it in a cutaway of the DS911.
    Thirsting for something really odd? My pages show my Steam Citroen, but I did not realize it was culturally permissible to include Porsche parts.

    • Dear Mr Petersen,

      the Steam Citroen is a masterpiece of poetry and design. It must have been an impossible task, in the beginning. We bow to that. Given the great attention we received for our project, we are going to publish further details soon. Thank you fro writing and sharing your story with us.

      Best Regards,

      The Brandpowder Team

  17. Now, you’got to add the Porsche’s back with the DS’s front, to have a great Citrorsche with two engines! A push-pull monstre! :-)

    • Dear Pedro,

      somebody did it, after looking at our car. Lutz Valdeig was probably really inspired by our 911DS, because the end result is not bad at all. You can see his work here

      Thanks for writing us,

      The Brandpowder Team

  18. Good job gentlemen!!!
    But the perfect car need an engine….. where is it? ;-)

    • Dear Caroline,

      thank you for your comment and your smiley. The car engine’s is placed, shifted 90° on the vertical axes, in the rear bonnet. It’s too big to fit in a picture. But the main engine is our enthusiasm and passion, and we hope you had a glimpse at least at this one. :)
      Best from the Brandpowder Team

  19. Guys, do you have eyes?
    How did you imagine that will look an elegant body as DS with some wide tires like buldozer tracks? I can tell yo how: Stupid!
    Ad how in the name of god you imagine that will look some brushed aluminum, as the rims are, next to chrome details as DS have on handles, lights, windows ornaments and so on? Not to mention the design of those rims. You don’t see that the rear axle is half hidden under cars body? Those spokes are not fitting into that look, it needs some plain design as a disk or much smaller spokes as bycicle has. Not those ugly big ones that are half hidden under body. But after i have seen your choice of combining brushed aluminum with fine chrome details this is a “small detail”.

    Sorry guys, you are not designers, you are mechanics!

    • Thank you for your comment, Denvarel!

      Your words are like melted iron. They are charged with outraged disgust and disappointment. They reveal your set of values and your sensitivity in aesthetics. We like this passion, the vehemence, even the insults. Yes, we definitely want to hear more people like you. Nasty but honest.
      A big hug from all of us.

      The Brandpowder Team

  20. Why didn’t you make a second car with the DS nose and 911 tail?

    • Hello Mattew,

      somebody did it, after looking at our car. Lutz Valdeig was probably really inspired by our 911DS, because the end result is not bad at all. You can see his work here

      Best Regards,

      The Brandpowder Team

  21. Dear Brandpowder Team,

    as a Franco-German I have to say: Dis wars á Nice itea!

    You have my full admiration for your Renderings. Those show that not only two cars were blended but at least 8: 2 for the front shots, 2 for the rear shots, and another two each for the left and the right side.

    Great idea to use Doorhandles with the size of big Cucumbers on the near side. I like the 4 convertible Headrests (DS-sized from the drivers side view, Porsche-sized from the near side) as well as the changeable sets of taillights (Orange/Red and Red) and the to Sets of backup lights. Even the muffler is flippable within its own axis between two Photos, this is awesome too.

    The two frames of the rear window should not go unmentioned as well as those of the two front doors…

    I could go on like this forever, but I have to get back to my own Photoshop Disasters now – they are waiting to be finalized.

    I am sure you will excuse my bad English, as it is of likely quality as your knowledge of these two famous German and French cars.

    Best wishes for your next coup

    Edward

    • Thank you Edward,

      you have a keen eye for cars. We appreciated your comments and yes, you’re right. We are rookies, and far from being perfect.

      All the best,

      The Brandpowder Team

  22. I believe this to be a hoax but nevertheless, why not also an SM/Panamera?

    http://citrotech.se/temp/fy_fan.jpg

  23. Hi again,

    this is my humble composition of a european dream car. Citroen SM 4 Door Sedan. I just turbo charged the Maserati engine to make it competitive to your 911 DS.

    http://tinyurl.com/oj8hopf

    Kind regards and salut

    Edward

  24. Impressive!
    As if the DS wasn’t Avant-Garde enough.
    Well done.
    Matt
    France

    • thank you Viktor for submitting this fine picture. May be it was separated at birth by our 911DS :)
      Happy New Year from the Brandpowder Team.

  25. Thank you nineelevenophilia for your nice words!
    We like your name, full of passion and a drop of irony. Well done!

    The Brandpowder Team.

  26. Thank you Bangorama!

    The Brandpowder Team

  27. We agree, my friend,

    what we did is not 100% respectful of these cars. Take it as an experiment.

    Thank you for your comment.

    The Brandpowder Team

  28. Queridos amigos,

    muchisimas gracias por su articulo publicado en anunciosdecoches.net. Nuestro espanol no es demasiado bueno ma vamos a contestar en su lengua porque ès muy linda.
    Estamos buscando uno sponsor para realizar el coche de verdad. Nuestro experimento logrò, hasta hora, mucho interès desde mucha gente, incluidos expertos que trabajan para estas oficinas. Nos agredeceria tener contactos con vosotros por el porvenir. Disculpe los errores.

    Hasta luego,

    The Brandpowder Team

  29. Dear Automobilemag,

    Thank you for your cover article.

    The Brandpowder Team

  30. Danke Motor-talk.de!

    Das Brandpowder Team

  31. Thank you for your article, auto-mania. We translated it with google’s instant translator. Very interesting indeed the other version of the DS you showed at the end of your post.

    The Brandpowder Team

  32. Cheri Laboiteverte,

    we like your website. Full of inspiring material, digital and anagogic, online and offline. Great stuff. Thanks for publishing our car.

    The Brandpowder Team

  33. Danke 1000, lordmat.de,

    Sorry we don’t speak any German, but it’s a privilege to receive attention from the Country that gave the world the beautiful 911!

    Best Wishes from the Brandpowder Team

  34. Hello Ausmotive,

    we like your comment on storytelling and you definitely got it right. You might be surprised to know, on the other hand, we are currently in touch with sponsors who are interested in giving this prototype the chance to come to life. Sometimes the borders between imagination and reality are blurred.

    Thanks for posting 911DS in your pages. We’ll keep you updated.

    The Brandpowder Team

  35. Dear Quatro Rodas,

    muchas gracias para su articulo. Nuestro proyecto de 911 DS serà realizado pronto, gracias a sponsor que no podemos revelar para ahora.
    Nos tendremos os informados. hasta pronto,

    El Brandpowder Team

  36. Hello Michihisa,

    thank you for posting on your website. You have pretty good stuff on display, and interesting links.

    Best Regards,

    The Brandpowder Team

  37. Dear Capitaine Courageux,

    you might be right in what you said, and you’ve got a point on your nice article about the heritage of this beautiful car. Also the Citroen Maserati raised, back in the Seventies, some controversy. Nevertheless, we think it’s still a beautiful, original car. The history of design is also constellated by irreverent and rule-breaking ideas. Thank you fro writing us,

    The Brandpowder Team

  38. Thank you for posting our car,
    may we bring to your attention that the source is not, as you mention, diseno-art.com, but brandpowder.com.

    Kind Regards,

    The Brandpowder Team

  39. Merci beaucoup, Antoine!

    and that’s about all the French we know, but this is just to show you we appreciated your post.

    Kind Regards an…a bien tot!

    The Brandpowder Team

  40. Thanks for writing us. Merry Christmas and an Orange New Year!

    The Brandpowder Team

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