Pictures: Nick Williams
Its arguable that the German car industry have a lot to answer for. The likes of Mercedes, BMW Audi et al have seemingly swept all before them in the executive/luxury car sector and the general car buying public seemingly believes that any car of this genre must follow the German template. There are exceptions of course (Notably Jaguar at the lower end of the sector, with Maserati and Rolls-Royce at the higher end of the price range), but when it comes to affordably-priced executive saloons most will not look beyond, Stuttgart, Munich, Ingolstadt.
But there was a time when the French car industry were supreme in this sector, most particularly Citroën. The likes of the CX, SM and the inimitable DS were a uniquely French take on the species; graceful, supple, elegant. This Gallic bloodline hasn't entirely disappeared however; while the C6 was never a true competitor for the likes of the 5 series, E-Class or A6, it has an poise, a bearing that the German cars just don't have in their vocabulary. It doesn't matter that they are better in most measurable ways (ride apart, thanks to the famous hydropneumatics) or that they outsold it 100-1, if you're driving a C6, you're already standing out from the crowd.
That said, even a modern-day demigoddess can be improved. This C6 Pallas is a one off built by Citroën UK for their stand at the 2008 British Motor Show. As well as a little lowering (a flick of a switch with this type of suspension), 19" Lenso S73 HS alloys and a repaint in House Of Kolor Black is all this car needs, look-wise.
While a C6 interior is a pretty nice place to be in standard form, the two-tone leather and walnut paneling elevate the cabin to a whole new level; its's harder to pull off light colours without looking tacky and I feel Autokit have pulled it off. While some may think the Darren Horton airbrushed art on the door panels is rather outré, I like the fact that they celebrate iconic images from Citroën's colourful history; the car was after all built to make a statement on a motor show stand.
The fun doesn't stop there; the C6 features a computer system by In-CarPC, with twin touch sensitive displays mounted in the rear headrests. The system also features a fingerprint recognition system (with the fingerprint reader trimmed into the rear central armrest), a custom iPod dock, 3G internet connectivity and their Centrafuse software interface.
But personally, Citroen had me at the looks; I'd probably still buy one even if it had the engine and running gear from a cement mixer.