The rise of floating roofs

Citroen DS3

Cars with contrasting roofs have become big business. This article for Car Design News looked at the trend and its adoption by three modern brands in particular: Mini, Range Rover and Citroën.

All three have a strong connection with contrast coloured or floating roofs in the past. The original Austin Cooper variant of the Mini was sold with a two-tone paint scheme in the early 1960s. The first Range Rover featured a bolt-on roof and its rear pillars were covered with vinyl from 1973, leading to a the familiar floating roof look. And similarly the early Citroën DS19 was produced with a fibreglass roof panel painted a different colour to the rest of the bodywork.

The story included some explanation from Citroën designer Andy Cowell about why a contrasting roof is such a useful design feature.

Key quote
“As soon as we start cutting the vehicle up into different colours, we can make changes to the perception of the mass”
Andrew Cowell, project design director, Citroën