Headlining what Citroën trumpet is a new positioning of the Gallic brand at this year’s Geneva Motor Show at the start of March, we will be looking at the New Citroën C4 Cactus, an addition to the C5 range (the Citroën C5 CrossTourer), a concept model of the C4 Cactus Aventure, existing cars that are already best sellers (the New Citroën C4 Picasso and New Grand C4 Picasso), the launch of the Citroën DS 5LS, the racing beauty that is the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC, and new technology when it comes to engines for both petrol and diesel.
The question is: Once you get to the Citroën Stand at the Geneva Motor Show, will you ever want to leave?
THE NEW CITROËN C4 CACTUS: NEW WORLD, NEW IDEAS
With the New C4 Cactus, Citroën has listened to its customers, heard what they had to say and what it is they want in a car – and acted upon it, with the Cactus “offering a real alternative to the traditional compact hatchback.”
With its striking design, Citroën believe that it starts to stand out right from the start – and that’s before you check out what else it has to offer in the way of useful (as opposed to superfluous) technology.
For a start there is an exclusive to Citroën in the shape of Airbump® technology which is fitted to the sides of the car and the bumpers, not only adding more structure to the bodyline of the New Citroën C4 Cactus but also doing what it says on the tin and adding protection thanks to the supple TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) skin with air capsules absorbing impacts.
And then inside, as you sit back on the wide front seat cushions that were designed with a sofa in mind, you can take the opportunity to look at the completely digital intuitive driving interface, the Citroën Multicity Connect application portal, fully controllable from the 7” touchscreen fitted as standard.
Look up, and there is not only a panoramic sunroof with thermally insulated glass, but also the unique ‘Airbag In Roof’ technology where the passenger airbag is in the roof ready to deploy itself over the windscreen. For the passenger this means the same protection with more room and storage space.
And finally there’s the environmental impact of the car; an important issue these days in the minds of car drivers and customers. There are no worries here with the New C4 Cactus, thanks to efficient engines of the latest generation and a weight loss (in comparison to the Citroën C4) of 200kg, offering up 91.1mpg and CO2 emissions of just 82 g/km for the diesel version and 100 g/km for the petrol.
Visitors to the Geneva Motor Show will be able to see the New Citroën C4 Cactus only as an “Adventure” concept, but the full idea behind the car will be there in the body of that concept.
CITROËN C5 CROSSTOURER
The C5 CrossTourer is an “all roads” version of the The Citroën C5 has already sold more than 530,000 examples worldwide; and now there is a new addition to the family – the C5 CrossTourer (an “all roads” version of the C5.)
It certainly has an assertive personality demonstrated by its special wheel arch extensions, matt grey longitudinal roof bars, 18’’ matt grey diamond-pattern alloy wheels, chrome door mirror shells and brushed aluminium protectors on the front and rear bumpers. And the driver will feel assertive too as the ride height has been lifted up by 15 mm and controlled by the Hydractive III+ suspension that “adapts according to the demands from the driver and the profile of the road for an optimum level of comfort and body control.” This automatic lowering of the ride height at high speed actually improves the aerodynamics of the car.
Useful technologies are also included into the C5 CrossTourer, and this includes the Intelligent Traction Control which improves handling on snow or mud-covered roads, and the eMyWay navigation system combined with a reversing camera makes for easier manoeuvres.
THE NEW CITROËN C4 PICASSO AND NEW GRAND C4 PICASSO
72,000 down and counting: that’s the New Citroën C4 Picasso and New Grand C4 Picasso with greater comfort, style and space than their predecessors. Both contain only useful technology such as a 100% touch driving interface and other innovations to make driving easier such as the 360 VISION system, and both offer impressive economy with up to 74.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 98 g/km.
One of the main reasons for showing these two already popular models off at the Geneva Motor Show is probably because they can, but also to show off the fact that both the New Citroën C4 Picasso and New Grand C4 Picasso can also be fitted with the new Euro 6 emissions standard BlueHDi 150 engine that gives maximum power of 150hp for CO2 emissions of just 110 g/km for the manual version, and 117 g/km with the latest generation automatic gearbox.
THE CITROËN DS 5LS: A POWERFUL AND REFINED HATCHBACK
From the off, the silhouette of the DS 5LS screams luxury, voluptuousness and quality. With its new front end identity characterised by the sculpted grille, chrome signature all along the side and exclusive LED lamps, it’s a hard car to resist if quality is your thing.
And no better is this emphasised than in the interior of the car where hi-grade authentic materials such as metals, wood and semi-aniline leather are in use. Both passengers and driver become part of a spacious and sophisticated world – and don’t they know it! Comfort is almost a byword for the DS 5LS with massaging front seats, rear seats with backrests angled at 29°, and aircraft type head restraints, all ensconced in a purified atmosphere created by the air ioniser and created by the audio system.
For the driver alone there is ease of driving with keyless entry and starting, blind spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera and a complete telematics package the comprises of colour touch screen, DVD player, and the emergency calls technology.
The Citroën DS 5LS goes on sale in China in March.
DS3 CABRIO RACING
Citroën are also renowned for their participation in racing programmes with some of the influences filtering down into consumer cars – which is where the chic and sporty Citroën DS3 Cabrio Racing comes in as it combines all the characteristics of DS3 Racing with the ultimate pleasure that you can get with driving a DS3 Cabrio with the top down.
Available in a new Moondark matt grey body colour that is coupled with not only a black roof but 18’’ Nemesis gloss black wheels, the Citroën DS3 Cabrio Racing with its 1.6 litre engine, developed by Citroën Racing, producing 207hp, takes its style from the DS3 Cabrio but adds in some of those little touches that racing cars enjoy; like an air diffuser, dual chrome exhaust tailpipes and a real carbon fibre finish on many parts of the bodywork.
Just so that people looking and admiring the car know exactly what it is, the Citroën DS3 Cabrio Racing uses a Carmin Red colour that is specific to DS line for the centre wheel caps that carry the DS logo, has a Citroën Racing signature on the backrests of the front seats and a numbered identification plate on the gear lever surround.
Did I mention that the exclusivity is enhanced by the fact that there are only 100 of these cars available?
THE CITROËN DS5: UPGRADES TO COMFORT AND DRIVING ENJOYMENT
The Citroën DS5 now boasts a new powerful and environmentally considerate BlueHDi engine under the bonnet as well as some significant changes to the suspension, meaning that even more than before the car can combine comfort with dynamism.
The suspension has been updated with new dampers that not only iron out imperfections in the road surface, but in doing so also help reduce vibration in the cabin to make sure that the journey is as smooth as possible with no reduction in the dynamic performance.
That performance itself is improved with the addition of the BlueHDi 180 engine that benefits from the new generation six-speed automatic gearbox with Stop&Start, all with complete consideration for the environment (CO2 emissions are just 114g/km) and fuel economy (64.2mpg).
And if you choose the Hybrid4 of the Citroën DS5 version, you’ll find that there is no loss of efficiency, ease of driving or performance (200hp with four-wheel drive), but there is a loss of emissions with an attainable 85 g/km. And you won’t be alone in choosing the DS5 Hybrid4 as it represents more than a third of sales of DS5 in Europe.
ENGINE TECHNOLOGY OFFENSIVE
Not only have Citroën added the new generation of Euro 6 standard BlueHDi Diesel engines to the DS5 in the BlueHDi 120 and BlueHDi 180 versions, but they are also there in the New Citroën C4 Cactus in the BlueHDi 100 version.
BlueHDi engines combine high power output with low fuel consumption, and the technology involved (SCR: (Selective Catalytic Reduction) is the only technology able to sharply reduce NOx emissions (-90%) by converting NOx into harmless water vapour and nitrogen while at the same time reducing CO2 emissions.
And then there is the new addition to the PureTech family of petrol engines: the C.
PureTech engines are “innovative, efficient and economical and now more powerful and ecological than ever before with 15% more power and up to 25% lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to the previous generations” and, following the launch of the new three-cylinder petrol engine (1.0 litre 68hp and 1.2 litre 82hp), the e-THP is the first of the family to be fitted with a turbocharger.
AS you would expect from Citroën, the e-THP 130 engine meets the Euro 6 standard and the Citroën C4 will be the first Citroën model to benefit from the maximum power of 130hp at 5,500 rpm and maximum torque of 230 Nm at 1,750 rpm.
With all that power you would expect the environment and fuel economy to suffer, but CO2 emissions of just 110 g/km and economy of 58.9mpg on the combined cycle say otherwise, and plans to use the new engine on other cars are on the planning table thanks not only to these figures but also down to the weight and size of the engine.
CITROËN C-ELYSÉE WTCC
And finally, we mentioned earlier Citroën’s involvement in racing, and Citroën are getting involved with international closed-circuit racing for the first time as the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC will be competing in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (FIA WTCC) which starts with the first race in Marrakech, in Morocco on 12-13 April.
Already holders of five Rallye Raid world cups and eight WRC titles, Citroën Racing, with drivers Sébastien Loeb, Yvan Muller and José-Maria López, are certainly excited about the challenges ahead, and in the Citroën C-Elysée they have a car designed to compete.
A three-box body makes the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC ideal for aerodynamics, and driving on 18” wheels with an aerodynamic lip on the bumper, widened front and rear (with a rear wing to help hold the car down, 1.6-litre direct injection turbo engine (the same as the DS3 WRC) and turbocharger, the car is certainly geared up to compete.