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Citroen Unveils its Most Powerful Production car – The C5 Aircross Hybrid

AFP Relaxnews

Updated: April 19, 2017, 9:18 AM IST
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Citroen Unveils its Most Powerful Production car – The C5 Aircross Hybrid
The Citroen C5 Aircross. (Photo: AFP Relaxnews)

As well as being the marque's first ever full-size SUV, the new C5 Aircross promises to be the most comfortable and powerful production car in Citroen's history when it goes on sale following its Shanghai reveal.

Two years after unveiling a fun full-size SUV concept, Citroen has returned to Auto Shanghai with a full production version of the C5 Aircross. And the good news for fans of the company's historically singular take on automotive design is that from the external air bumps and short overhangs to oversized alloys, Citroen has stuck to the script in turning the idea into a reality.

"[It is] faithful to the Aircross Concept," said Citroen Design Director, Alexandre Malval. "It is a powerful, modern vehicle whose unique stance sets it apart in the SUV market."

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Citroen has been bringing a crossover aesthetic to its existing range, but the C5 Aircross is a huge step into the SUV market and although its design will help it get noticed, it is going to need more than visual quirks to convert interest into investment.

"[This car] is the first practical illustration of our offensive on the SUV market, illustrating our ability to approach it in our own way, with greater emphasis on character, comfort and on-board well-being," said Linda Jackson, Citroen CEO.

The C5 Aircross shows Citroen's team believes people want everyday comfort, huge amounts of luggage space plus performance, but without becoming environmentally irresponsible.

In terms of comfort, the 4.5-meter-long car promises to offer class-leading cabin and storage space -- the trunk offers 482 litres of capacity and rear passengers have 201mm of legroom.

Then there are the sofa-inspired seats that are huge, welcoming and leather-trimmed. They offer massages to those sitting in the front and 27 degrees of recline in the rear.

But it's the car's suspension that is its real USP. It adds a hydraulic cushion at either end of a traditional spring, shock absorber and bump-stop suspension set-up so that it's potentially impossible to experience a jolt in this car, even if it bangs down into a pothole. These extra cushions also mean that the wheels have more travel up and down before they hit their limits and start interfering with the car's ride and handling.

Citroen made its name in suspension technology, so the system doesn't come as a surprise. However, what does is that when this car goes on sale initially in China (and Europe in 2018), it will be the most potent production car in the marque's 100-year+ history. When ordered in PHEV e-AWD guise it will offer a 200hp gasoline engine plus two electric motors driving the front wheels for a combined 300hp plus all-wheel grip and all-terrain stability systems.

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