Citroën’s Answer To The ’70s GT

The Citroën SM is one of the most elegant and bizarre sports cars ever made. The origin of the ‘SM’ portion of the name isn’t fully agreed on, but some speculations suggest that the ‘S’ stands for sports and the ‘M’ may stand for Maserati, pointing to the Maserati engine.

Other enthusiasts have said that ‘SM’ stands for Serie Maserati or Sa Majeste, which translates to ‘Her Majesty’, a lofty title for a deserving vehicle.


Starting in the early 1960s, Citroën started considering potential variations of the DS with a prototype called ‘S’. Then in ‘68 Citroën, acquired Maserati and with the company came their exclusive Italian sports engines.


The ‘S’ was given a Maserati heart and the ‘SM’ was born. In 1970, the new car was presented at the Geneva Motor Show.


The company wanted to join the GT car market. Jaguar, Chevrolet, Aston Martin and Ford were all pumping out beastly machines with elegant designs, and Citroën wanted to demonstrate that they could do the same in their own  specific way.


For France, the SM became a symbol of progress and design. Its body was developed in a wind tunnel (which was new automotive technology in the ‘70s), it had air conditioning and was fully loaded with comfort amenities inside the cabin.


Unlike other GTs at the time, the SM featured hydraulic-powered self-leveling suspension, self-centering steeringand of course the 170hp V6 Maserati engine under the hood.


Unfortunately, only 12,920 SMs were produced in the ‘70s. Well-liked, elegant, and powerful for the time, the Citroën SM is one of the best.

Sara Ryan
Instagram: pockowokosara



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The Citroen SM was also very successful in rallying. Yes, this luxury GT felt at home on african rally stages :)


Beautiful shots and beautiful write up. The grain in the shots of the brown (tan?) car make this article. Cheers.


And this is easily one of the best cars ever made


Lol I needed a laugh today


You Americans are so dumb


I'll bet that ANSA exhaust sounds sweet. Had that on my 1973 V6 Capri....


I remember seeing one in a television show in the mid to late 70's, if anyone remembers the name I'd be grateful.


Back when Citroen was Citroen. Shame they became restyled, rebadged Peugeots.

These things are said to have the most comfortable ride of just about any car in the world. I hope I'll get to ride one at some point. It's on my to-do list right next to 'cornering a Citroen 2CV at full speed'. :^)


I love this era of Citroen design. Such beautiful and unique cars, and I have never seen or heard of the SM. Thanks for the great article and photos!


unique yes, beautiful, mmmmmm I disagree. And how did you never hear of the SM? It's one of the most famous of them and I don't even like citroen


And I thought the Pontiac Aztec was ugly.


You wouldn't be saying that if you saw one in person. I saw one couple of years ago, really is a beautiful looking car.


In 1970 it was futuristic and classy design. It can't be compared to a cheap, post 2000 family van


A car that one can change a blown tyre without using a lifter jack.

Thank you for the great article and superb photos!


Off topic, but have you thought about upgrading your site to HTTPS?


The DS was a much nicer car. Both esthetically and comfort wise. I've owned 2


Back when french manufacturers had the balls to show the world some innovations. Even in today's standards the mono-skope steering wheel and these couches like seats are a thing of special.


Still one the best looking cars ever made, although the headlights on the red one are not nice.