FRANKFURT – Automobiles Citroen introduces its C-SportLounge at the international auto show here without fanfare or a press conference, but with a definite eye to the future.

Claude Satinet, brand general manager, indicates the low, sleek 4-seat concept car could herald a new vehicle that would be smaller than the Citroen C6. The Citroen C5, which replaced the Xantia in 2001, is scheduled for replacement in 2008.

The concept is a fluid 4-seat GT meant for the road, says Mark Lloyd, who was head of the car’s advance design team before his recent promotion as head of Citroen's design department.

With a drag coefficient of 0.26, the C-SportLounge fits with Citroen's aerodynamic image, at least with its larger cars.

The large windshield flows into the sunroof, allowing a splash of light into what amounts to a surprising interior, where plush, quilted leather-covered seats are a counter-trend to the thin, space-gaining seats in most concepts at the show.

"While many interiors are inspired by modern furniture or fashion, this is an automotive interior," says Lloyd. "We've gone back to basics," adding that, for him, a 4-seat grand tourer "is the ultimate object in the automotive sphere."

The C-Airdream (2002) and C-Airlounge (2003) concept cars were realistic heralds for the luxury level and look of the Citroen C6, presented at the Geneva auto show in March.