The first fruits of the wedding between Citroen and Maserati were the awesome Citroen SM of 1970, a standing GT car making use of the best from the both corporations. Power came from a smaller V6 version of Maserati’s long lived quad cam V8 which, at 2.7 liters, came in just under the punitive French tax laws that penalized engines of over 2.8 liters capacity. Like the DS, the SM possessed a front wheel drive, with the gearbox/ transaxle slung out ahead of the compact engine. The power output of 170 bhp through the front wheels was handled by Citroen’s predictable and well tried hydro pneumatic self leveling suspension, interconnected with the four wheel disc brakes (inboard up front) and ultra quick power steering. Fast and refined with excellent handling once the driver had mastered a sensitive touch with the steering and brakes, the SM was an extremely impressive long distance GT. It was the shape, though, the captured enthusiasts’ hears. Styled inside Citroen, it was dramatic and purposeful with a broad, fully flared in glass nose, and a tapering tail that was as slippery and aerodynamic as it looked. Sales were initially strong, but the love affair was to be short lived.
The fuel crisis hit in 1973, making all the various big 18 mpg (15.8 liters/ 100 km) super-cars somewhat unpractical. Citroen went on to further improve the car with fuel injection, a bigger 3 liter version and an automatic option, but it was to no real avail. Manufacturing stopped in 1975, 13,000 cars down the line.