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In 1961, Citroën began work on 'Project S' — a sports variant of the revolutionary Citroën DS. As was customary for the firm, many running concept vehicles were developed, increasingly complex and upmarket from the DS. Citroën purchased Maserati in 1968 with the intention of harnessing Maserati's high-performance engine technology to produce a true Gran Turismo car, combining the sophisticated Citroën suspension with a Maserati V6.
The result was the Citroën SM first shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1970. It finally went on sale in France in September of that year. All produced were left-hand-drive, although three official RHD conversions were done in the UK, and recently also Australia.
The origin of the model name 'SM' is not clear. The 'S' may derive from the Project 'S' designation, the aim of which was to produce what is essentially a sports variant of the Citroën DS, and the 'M' perhaps refers to Maserati, hence SM is often assumed to stand for 'Sports Maserati'. Another common alternative is Série Maserati, but others have suggested it is short for 'Sa Majesté' (Her Majesty in French), which aligns with the common DS model's
left-hand-drive citroen sm 72 red air-con manual power-steering rhd television v6 1972 french