Citroën has revealed the European version of its flagship New C5 Aircross SUV featuring the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme, Progressive Hydraulic Cushions® suspension and Advanced Comfort seats.
The car also boasts ‘unrivalled modularity’ with three individual sliding, folding and reclining rear seats, and best-in-class boot space of 580 litres to 720 litres (depending on second row seat position).
It is equipped with 20 driver assistance systems and six connectivity technologies. It will launch in Europe at the end of 2018 and will be the first Citroën with a plug-in hybrid powertrain at the end of 2019.
This is the French manufacturer’s move into the C-SUV segment – a growing market sector in Europe, and one that already accounts for a quarter of car sales worldwide.
Following the resounding success of C3 Aircross in the B-SUV segment, which has already sold more than 80,000 units since its launch late last year, Citroën is continuing its SUV offensive with the European reveal of the new C5 Aircross, which has already sold over 40,000 units in China.
At 4.50m long, the new model looks muscular and powerful, its flowing shape punctuated with Airbump® panels.
The cabin gives an impression of space, with a large horizontal dashboard, enveloping seats, a road-dominating ride height and a wide central console.
Citroën’s Advanced Comfort® programme features two innovations: a new suspension with Progressive Hydraulic Cushions® and Advanced Comfort seats which, say the makers, ‘offer peerless ride comfort’.
There’s a 12.3-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) digital instrument cluster and an 8-inch touchscreen, plus driver assistance technologies that include Highway Driver Assist, and advanced connectivity.
Powered by petrol and diesel engines ranging from 130hp to 180hp and the Citroën brand’s new EAT8 automatic gearbox, the C5 Aircross will be the first Citroën available with plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology at the end of 2019.
“I am very proud to present today New C5 Aircross SUV, produced in the French plant of Rennes and intended to be sold in 92 countries around the world. A next generation SUV that complements the recently renewed Citroën range and addresses the crucial SUV segment with all the identity of the brand: design, comfort, modularity. New C5 Aircross SUV is Citroën’s new flagship and a key lever for the international growth of the brand,” says Linda Jackson, Citroën CEO.
The front end is classic Citroën with two-tier full-LED lights and an assertive grille. The upper light units are the daytime running lights and indicators, which extend out from the iconic chevrons that stretch across the entire width of the vehicle.
The new model is topped by a floating roof, with the glazed area wrapping 360° around the vehicle, thanks to gloss black A and B pillars and quarter-lights.
The raised rear lights have four 3D LED modules on each side of the vehicle, while the vents in the rear bumper and the spoiler on the tailgate ’emphasise the aerodynamics of the body design’.
Inside, the selected driving information is located directly within the driver’s field of vision, and in the centre, the air vents and 8-inch touchscreen form an integrated unit.
The wide central armrest has a butterfly opening into a large cooled storage space. There are also backlit cup holders and a designated area for smartphone charging.
There’s a broad choice of interior trims, ranging from cloth to Nappa leather, and a total of 30 exterior colour combinations, allowing customers to create a car in their own image.
Three Colour Packs are also available: Silver, White and Red. These restrained touches of colour contrast with the body paint, subtly underlining the Airbump® panels on the lower part of the front doors, the front bumper and the roof bars.
Four alloy wheel designs, either 17, 18 or 19-inch are also available, so no two cars are likely to look exactly the same.
All versions of the car are equipped with Citroën’s Progressive Hydraulic Cushions® suspension – a Citroën innovation that will feature widely across the range in the future – and which the makers say “marks the culmination of Citroën’s expertise in terms of ride comfort”.
Around 20 patents were filed in the development of the new suspension system. The way it works is quite simple: while conventional suspension systems have shock absorbers, springs and mechanical stops, the Progressive Hydraulic Cushions® system adds two hydraulic stops, one for compression and the other for decompression. The suspension therefore works in two stages to match the surface of the road.
For light compression and decompression, the springs and shock absorbers control vertical movements together, without needing assistance from the hydraulic stops. However, the presence of the hydraulic stops gave the engineers greater freedom to tune the suspension setup to provide a ‘magic carpet ride’ effect and the impression that the car is gliding over uneven ground.
During major impacts, the springs and shock absorbers work together with the hydraulic compression or decompression stops, which gradually slow the movement to avoid jerks at either end of the range. Unlike a traditional mechanical stop that transmits energy, the hydraulic stops absorb and dissipate that energy.
The seats, too, have been engineered for ride comfort, with thicker structured foam on the surface combined with a high-density layer in the centre of the seat and broad seat squabs and seat backs with reinforced support, height adjustable front seats, and height and reach adjustable front headrests. The driver’s seat can be equipped with eight electrical settings with memory positions.
The front seats can also be fitted with a multipoint massaging system that uses eight pneumatic pockets located in the seat back: the driver and front passenger can select one of five programmes combining lumbar, back and shoulder massages.
The individual sliding, folding and reclining rear seats can slide back and forth to transform the cabin and boot space; they also incline in five positions (from 19° through to 26.5°) and can be folded down to provide a perfectly flat load area.
Powered by the latest-generation Euro 6.2 engines, the car is equipped with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or 8-speed EAT8 automatic transmission. There are two petrol versions: PureTech 130 S&S 6-speed manual and PureTech 180 S&S EAT8 and three diesels: BlueHDi S&S 130 6-speed manual, BlueHDi 130 S&S EAT8 and BlueHDi 180 S&S EAT8
Towards the end of 2019 the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) drivetrain will be introduced with low CO2 emissions and a range of 37 miles (60 km) in ZEV mode.
Prices will be released closer to the launch date, but are expected to be around €26,000.