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Citroen Lacoste concept shows 8-bit is the new 16-valve

The Citroen Lacoste Concept is a real vision of the future -- where cars have no doors, roofs or windscreens, and have interiors inspired by retro arcade games.

Rory Reid

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Clothing company Lacoste is set to produce a mode of transport that isn't loafers. The firm, famous for its green crocodile logo, has teamed up with fellow Frenchmen Citroen to produce a concept car.

The car, simply dubbed the Citroen Lacoste concept, is a real vision of the future -- a future where cars have no doors, roofs or windscreens, and have interiors inspired by retro arcade games. Sign us up -- that's the kind of world we want to live in.

Inside, an enormous display spans nearly the entire width of the dashboard. This shows driving information such as speed, directional cues, remaining fuel and so on, and relies on oversize icons to indicate messages -- a definite nod to 8-bit video games.

The resolution isn't very impressive -- the vertical column appears to be just seven pixels high -- but it seems perfectly capable of displaying all the important messages you'd need while driving and looks incredibly cool to boot.

The Citroen Lacoste's exterior is arguably as mad as its interior. The car's windscreen can be lowered completely out of sight to "create a more harmonious waistline" (there are no windows) and it doesn't have any front doors. Or a roof.

Instead, it has a T-shaped structure that connects the front to the rear -- rather like a backbone -- and uses an automatically inflatable hood that deploys to form a soft-top roof. It's pretty clever, but don't park it near troublesome kids or lowlife adults -- the temptation to climb in and pop the thing like a balloon may be too much to resist.

Despite its space-age looks, the Citroen Lacoste concept isn't an electric car. Instead, it'll use a small three-cylinder petrol engine Citroen reckons will provide more than enough power for a vehicle measuring just 3.45m in length and 1.8m across. No performance or emissions figures have been released.

We think it's pretty funky. It's totally impractical and not particularly secure, but it shows that not all concept vehicles have to be snarling, aggressive road hogs and we seriously applaud the novel 8-bit dashboard display.

Click through the photo gallery above for some more images and check back for more info -- direct from the 2010 Paris Motor Show -- in just a few weeks.

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The single, elongated display serves as a dashboard.
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The steering wheel can be folded back against the dashboard to create more space for entering or exiting the vehicle -- handy if you're extremely fat.
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Citroen hasn't bothered putting any doors on the car -- replacing them with "broad cut-outs". That's holes where doors should be, in other words.
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The Citroen Lacoste concept doesn't have a roof. Instead, it has a metal spine running from the front to the rear. A self-inflating panel protects against the elements (though not against kids with sharp objects).
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Citroen says the lack of a roof helps passengers get in and out of the car more easily.
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At this stage, Citroen's engineers had a feeling they'd forgotten something, though they couldn't quite put their fingers on it.
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Here's a close-up of the dashboard display. It's low-res but incredibly cool.
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We'll have more info on the car during the 2010 Paris Motor Show.

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