Special Coverage

Paris
Auto Show

PARIS – Automobiles Citroen will introduce its new DS4 Sept. 30 at the upcoming auto show here, the second car in its series of upscale coupe-like versions of its basic models.

The DS3, a 3-door version of the 5-door C3, has been a hit with buyers, and the auto maker hopes the DS4 will follow on that success. Citroen will move to 3-shift production on the DS3 in September.

The DS4 will share the Citroen stand at Paris with the new C4, a concept car and the Survolt electric race car the auto maker began showing to journalists this summer.

It retains the coupe look, with the rear doors leading to the 3-passenger back seat hiding their hardware and handles until the front doors are open.

The new model also features a higher driving position than the C4, and at 60.2 ins. (153.0 cm) high, it is 1.5 ins. (3.9 cm) taller than the basic C4.

In the interior, Citroen is moving its customers toward ever-greater personalization.

The color of instrument lighting can be changed from white to shades of blue, and four different sounds to be selected as alert or reminder signals: classic, crystal symphony, jungle fantasy and urban “rythmik.”

Drivers also can preset a desired speed for the cruise control while the vehicle is stopped.

Luxury touches include massaging seats in front with adjustable lumbar support and a 3-phase air conditioner (soft, medium and intense).

The windshield wraps back into the roof, giving the driver a chance to look through 45 degrees of landscape.

Designers used a lot of chrome, inside and out, as a status symbol. It surrounds dashboard instruments, as well as the windows.

The car is scheduled to go on sale in the second quarter next year. Production will be at the Mulhouse plant, alongside the C4.

The engines at launch will include several diesels from the C4: the 110-hp Hdi, and the e-Hdi 110 with its stop-start micro hybrid system that includes energy recuperation, and the higher output Hdi 160.

Gasoline engines at launch will be three versions of the 1.6L 4-cyl. developed with BMW AG. The 120-hp and 155-hp versions are shared with the C4, and a new 200-hp version will begin its career in the DS4.

Emissions from the 200-hp version are 149 g/km of carbon dioxide. All the engines can be matched to either a 6-speed manual transmission or automated manual.

In addition to emphasizing low fuel consumption, Citroen is marketing the DS4 as a greener car thanks to its use of recycled materials and natural fibers. Of the 441 lbs. (200 kg) of plastic in the car, Citroen counts 15% as “green material.”

The new C4 is larger in all dimensions than its predecessor, at 170.4 ins. (432.9 cm) long, 70.4 ins. (178.9 cm) wide and 58.7 ins. (149.1 cm) high. The DS4 is more compact than the C4 at 168.1 ins. (427.0 cm) long, although wider at 71.3 ins. (181.0 cm) and higher at 60.2 ins. (153.0 cm).

The C4 received a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating, and the DS4 is likely to achieve the same.

It offers all the electronic stability and braking programs, a blind-spot detection system based on relatively inexpensive ultrasound, and fog lamps that double as turn illuminators. When the turn signal is on or the steering wheel calls for a 60-degree turn, the fog lamps light up the intersection some 75 degrees to the side.

With its DS line, which will be followed by a DS5 cross/utility vehicle before the end of 2012, Citroen hopes to attract buyers from higher-priced segments. On the DS4, for example, Citroen describes its underbody sound insulation as a feature “habitually reserved for premium German vehicles.”