The Citroën Traction Avant was produced from 1934-1957. Citroën pioneered not only the world's first mass-produced front-wheel drive, independent-suspension car, but also as one of the first cars to feature a welded unitary body with no chassis frame holding the mechanical components.
This method of construction was viewed with great suspicion in many quarters, with doubts about its strength. A crash test in the form of driving the car off a cliff was used to illustrate its inherent resilience.
The term 'Traction Avant' means front-wheel drive and was used by Citroën to distinguish the new models from the models still in production with the same fiscal horse power, but rear wheel drive.
The front wheels were independently sprung, using a torsion bar and wishbone suspension arrangement, where most contemporaries used live axle and cart-type leaf spring designs. The rear suspension was a simple steel beam axle and a Panhard rod, trailing arms and torsion bars attached to a 75-millimetre (3 in) steel tube, which in turn was bolted to the main platform.