The Citroën Traction Avant is the world’s first unibody front-wheel-drive car. A range of mostly 4-door saloons and executive cars, were made with four or six-cylinder engines, produced by the French manufacturer Citroën from 1934 to 1957. Approximately 760,000 units were produced.
Whilst front-wheel drive and four-wheel independent suspension had been established in the mass market by Auto Union and subsequently others some years before, the Traction Avant pioneered integrating these into a mass-production, crash resistant, unitary, monocoque body. Additionally, the car was also an early adopter of rack and pinion steering.
Although the car’s name emphasized its front-wheel drive power delivery (“Traction Avant” literally means “front traction”), the car stood out at least as much by its much lower profile and stance – made possible by the absence of a separate chassis under the car’s unitary body – sharply distinguishing it visually from its contemporaries.