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Future models - Citroen - C4 Aircross

First look: Citroen C4 gets air

Crossed-up: Citroen’s all-new ASX-based Aircross soft-roader is just a year away.

All-wheel drive C4 Aircross soft-roader could finally make Citroen relevant in Oz

30 Sep 2011

CITROEN has revealed an all-new compact crossover that could finally see the quirky French marque become more than a boutique brand in Australia.

The historic Parisian car-maker has sold just 959 vehicles here so far this year, representing a larger 7.3 per cent sales decline than the overall market, but the C4 Aircross will be Citroen’s first entrant in Australia’s booming SUV sector.

Although it will arrive too late to prevent Australian importer Ateco Automotive falling monumentally short of its stated target of no fewer than 10,000 Citroen sales in 2012, the Aircross has been confirmed for local release late next year.

Like sister company Peugeot’s 4008, which was announced simultaneously with the C4 Aircross and is due here up to six months earlier in the second quarter of 2012, Citroen's all-new city-SUV is based on Mitsubishi's ASX, rather than the C4 hatchback.

Citroen’s latest small hatch was launched a year ago in Europe, where more than 100,000 examples have already been sold, and will hit showrooms in two weeks.

Not to be confused with Citroen’s uniquely styled, high-riding DS4, which should arrive here in January, the C4 Aircross will follow the mid-2012 launch of the C5-based DS5 in Australia.

33 center imageIn the absence of Citroen's Mitsubishi Outlander-based C-Crosser in Australia, where the closely related Peugeot Peugeot 4007 has been on sale for about two years, the C4 Aircross will not only be Citroen’s first SUV here, but the French brand’s first all-wheel drive C4 derivative.

However, like the ASX, it will also be available in front-wheel drive form, potentially giving Citroen a competitively priced entrant in the compact SUV segment, Australia’s third-largest vehicle category.

Taking some styling cues from the Hypnos concept car first seen in 2008 - particularly the design of the 18-inch wheels and tail-lights – the five-seat C4 Aircross features a panoramic glass sunroof that is illuminated by integrated LED lights at night.

Other unique design cues include vertically integrated LEDs at the front, indicator repeaters in the door mirrors and light guides in the rear light clusters.

The Aircross measures 4340mm long, 1800mm wide and 1630mm high, while cargo capacity is 442 litres and the turning circle is a tight 10.6 metres.

Available only in 2WD configuration in Europe will be an entry-level 85kW/152Nm 1.6-litre petrol engine matched with a five-speed manual transmission, while 82kW/270Nm 1.6-litre and 110kW/300Nm 1.8-litre HDi turbo-diesel engines will be available there in both 4x2 and 4x4 guises, matched only with a six-speed manual.

While all three of these engines will be Euro 5 emissions-compliant, outside Europe the Aircross will be sold with a Euro 4 113kW/198Nm 2.0-litre petrol engine with five-speed manual and continuously variable transmissions in both 2WD and 4WD form.

The Aircross's on-demand AWD system will have three modes: 2WD, Automatic and Lock, but so far there is no sign of the hybrid drive system that Citroen has promised will power all of its models by 2015.

Available equipment will include touchscreen satellite-navigation, an integrated reversing camera, keyless entry/starting and Bluetooth/USB connectivity for portable audio devices.

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