Timing is everything. As the kids head back to class, the new Citroën Tubik Concept arrives to turn the routine of the daily school run into a fun-packed adventure.

The Citroën Tubik Concept will make its debut at Frankfurt next week and it's being billed as a "high-tech executive shuttle". The word "shuttle" always has dreary airport runway connotations for me, but Citroën's latest addition to the Multicity project is aiming to put the fun back into travel.

On a historical note, the Citroën Tubik Concept owes a debt to the classic Citroën TUB (it stands for Traction Utilitaire Basse), which later morphed into the Citroën TUC van and then the bestselling Type H.

Measuring 4.80m long, 2.08m wide and 2.05m tall, the Citroën Tubik Concept is a nine-seater, with a "lounge-style cocoon" that's designed for group road trips. The modular seats offer lots of flexibility and the gadgets include a huge semi-circular screen with surround sound. It sounds as though trips to the cinema would be almost redundant. You could just stay in the cocoon with your mates and enjoy the big screen experience for free.

Inside you can luxuriate in felt seats, silken backrests and even a leather floor (?), but as you can see, it's also pretty eye-catching on the outside. Two large doors are almost seamlessly integrated into that two-tone exterior -- metallic grey with pearlescent white at either end.

While the kids are glued to the big screen, the driver will be stuck in what the designers have dubbed the "cyclotron". This is a module that incorporates the seat, steering wheel, pedal assembly and curved head-up display in one super-sleek circular form.

Despite its tub-like shape, the Citroën Tubik Concept doesn't aspire to being a big old gas guzzler. Utilising Citroën’s innovative Hybrid4 technology, and with optimised aerodynamics, this vehicle maintains CO2 emissions at a level comparable to a regular saloon.

With its 22-inch wheels, low rolling resistance tyres and Hydractive suspension technology the Citroën Tubik Concept works very hard to overcome its less than alluring shape.

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