When incoming French president Francois Hollande arrives at his inauguration on May 15, it will be in an eco-friendly car from Citroen, a brand with ties to the occasion going back to the 1950s.
"It's an honour and much pride to have a president of the Republic pick one of our cars," a Citroen spokesman told AFP on Wednesday.
The Socialist Hollande, who secured his spot as the Elysee Palace's newest resident in Sunday's election win over President Nicolas Sarkozy, will ride in a metallic-gray DS5 hybrid boasting an electric and diesel engine.
But the standard model sold in stores will be jazzed up with a sunroof for the drive down the Champs-Elysees, allowing Hollande to wave to supporters.
The first French president to opt for a Citroen vehicle was the centre-right Rene Coty, who in 1954 chose the Traction 15/6 H, a symbol of the French Resistance during the war.
But it was Charles de Gaulle who brought celebrity to the brand when he escaped an assassination attempt aboard a Citroen DS in 1962 -- two tyres were punctured by bullets but the president left unharmed.
The outgoing Sarkozy arrived at his 2007 inauguration in a Peugeot 607 Paladine -- a dark, sleek vehicle with a folding hardtop.
Source: AFP Global Edition