Citroen purchased Maserati in 1968, intending to take advantage of the high-performance experience and engine technology of the famed Italian carmaker. Citroen planned to design a GT car that featured both Citroen’s highly advanced hydropneumatic suspension system and Maserati’s powerful V-6 engine. What resulted was the Citroen SM, first introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 1970 and a car that would be Citroen’s flagship for the next five years as well as one of the most distinctive cars of the 1970s. The automotive press was hugely impressed with its blend of speed, braking, handling and luxury. The SM was simply unlike anything else on the road at the time, and it was even the first non-American car to win Motor Trend’s Car of the Year Award.
The Maserati V-6 that powered the SM displaced 2,670 cc and breathed through three Weber downdraft carbs. For 1973 and later cars, this was enlarged to 2,965 cc. The SM was available with either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission and featured disc brakes front and rear. Suspension was of course by Citroen’s remarkable self-leveling hydropneumatic system that was carried over from the DS, braking was by discs at both ends with inboard units at the front, and steering was by a new type of variable power assist system that Citroen dubbed DIRAVI. The bodywork, meanwhile, was penned by in-house chief designer Robert Opron. Not only was it both distinctive and attractive, it was also quite aerodynamic with a drag coefficient of just 0.26. With Maserati power and a sleek shape, the SM was the world’s fastest front-wheel drive automobile in its day at 140 miles per hour.
This 1972 Citroen SM is finished in blue and has a brown leather interior, power steering, power brakes, Bridgestone tires, AM/FM radio, air conditioning, power windows and a five-speed manual gearbox shifted through Citroen’s unmistakable and stylish chrome gate. Under the hood, it features the later, more powerful 2,965 cc version of the Maserati V-6 engine that arrived in 1973. A well-presented and attractive example, this SM has importantly had its complex systems and features all fully sorted and it runs and drives very well thanks to its advanced and sophisticated drivetrain, suspension and brakes. The paint, chrome and interior are all very good, and the attractive, honest engine bay has been nicely cleaned up. Many of these cars are in less than stellar condition and have numerous needs, so this example is a standout that will make a fun, attractive and rewarding classic that can be enjoyed on a regular basis without the headaches that can often come with less thoroughly maintained examples.