GENEVA – Citroen quietly introduces its new C4 Aircross, based on the same vehicle architecture as the Peugeot 4008 andOutlander SUVs, without a press conference at the show here.
Compared with the previous C-Crosser, which was a rebadged, the C4 Aircross has considerably more Citroen content. The three compact SUVs have different bodies and interiors.
Some 20 French engineers worked on the project in Japan with Mitsubishi from an early stage, and Japanese engineers came to France. Xavier Bernard, Citroen’s brand project manager, says he traveled to Japan monthly to oversee the project.
Theversions are powered by a direct-injection 115-hp Hdi diesel engine that is tuned to produce just 119 g/km of carbon dioxide in the 2-wheel drive Citroen. Neither Peugeot nor Mitsubishi will offer a 2WD model, Bernard says.
Sales of the C4 Aircross will begin in April in France and then spread across Europe and the rest of Citroen’s markets, including Russia and China. Volume is anticipated at just 20,000 units annually.
In France, Citroen will give a bonus to customers who trade in an 8-year-old car.
The Aircross will be offered with two gasoline and two diesel engines. Prices range from E20,000 ($26,300) for the entry-level 2WD to E37,000 ($48,700) for the top-of-the-line 4WD.
“We don’t want to cannibalize from other cars in the C4 family, the sedan, station wagon and C4 Picasso,” says Bernard. “This completes the offer.”
The compact SUV segment is undergoing rapid growth globally, he adds, and the C4 Aircross was developed to have everything customers expect from the segment along with Citroen style.
Citroen devotes most of its show stand to the DS line, which has met with success in Europe and soon will be introduced in China. The auto maker is showing a DS4 concept race car, DS4 and DS5 Paris Rendez-Vous limited-edition models and DS3 Racing Sebastian Loeb limited edition.