Citroen has unveiled its Aircross concept car, marking the arrival of the brand’s new family of crossovers as well as showing off how the looks of the C4 Cactus will be used by all of its models by 2020. The Aircross is built on the EMP2 scalable platform, which is also used on the entire lineup of PSA Peugeot Citroen’s mid to large offerings.
The concept car has these dimensions: length of 4.58m long, width of 2.1m, and height of 1.8m. This means that it is comparable to a Land Rover Discovery Sport except for its width, which is an aspect that concept car designers want to amplify the most. It is believed that the concept cars’ looks may be adapted for use on a crossover family that can range from a vehicle that goes up against a Mini Countryman to a bigger, seven-seat SUV.
Citroen has plenty of reasons to roll out its new look quickly over the next 5 years. The company hopes to have its own identity among PSA’s DS and Peugeot brands and so far, Cactus sales have only been referred to as “encouraging.” Citroen boss Linda Jackson said that the brand has to return to what it has built its reputation on --- “design.”
She mentioned some of Citroen’s daring products, including the 2CV, CX and SM, as having the qualities that the brand wants to have back. She added that Citroen’s designs make the owner feel at home with its preference for comfort over sportiness. She added that the changes that the company will make are meant to make its cars more easily identified and to entice buyers to have an opinion about the cars- whether it’s hate or love.
She explained that the business can’t be sustained when the brand is the third choice and it has to give discounts to bring in buyers. However, she realizes that it will take time to achieve its goals. She said that the next-gen Citroens will be a “leap forward.” Powering the Aircross is a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. It features an electric motor with an output of 95bhp and 148lb ft on the rear axle.
It works with a front-mounted 1.6-litre petrol engine that develops 218bhp and 203lb ft. A lithium ion battery pack is used to power the electric motor. Recharging takes only 3.5 hours with the use of a domestic socket. It is claimed that the car can go 31 miles all-electric for urban trips. It can then switch between the electric motor and internal combustion engine for trips that require regular acceleration and deceleration.
The petrol engine is used exclusively on the motorway. In addition, the Aircross has a boost function that activates the combined 313bhp of the electric motor and petrol engine when there’s heavy acceleration. As a result, the car can go from zero to 62mph in 4.5sec. It posts CO2 emissions of 39g/km and claim a fuel economy of 166mpg. One of the most prominent changes is seen on the headlights.
Similar to that of the Cactus, the thin headlights are linked to the logo. Every Citroen car has this design but the area under it will change depending on bodystyle. The “mouth” of the Aircross is wider and is more open than the one on the Cactus. The brand is deviating from what’s trendy with German premium makers and isn’t so keen on chrome.
The cabin of its cars has very few chrome accents. Instead, it uses materials such as Teflon coating and brushed aluminium, which are durable but tactile. The interior is comfortable and inviting, something that the company describes as “sofa spirit.”
The Airbumps have evolved. The Alloy Bumps are set low to play up the more aggressive SUV stance and are built using honeycomb aluminium castings encompassed by hard rubber.
On the production versions, they’re not expected to be as intricate or heavy. It’s believed though that there will be an evolution of the Airbump concept on various vehicle types.
Of course, the production versions won’t likely have these exaggerated features such as those done on the wheels and tires or even its width. But it’s a different story when it comes to functionality. It may retain the ‘Air Signs’ (chrome-finished signatures that frame the rear window) and ‘Air Curtains’ (intakes at the car’s front) that improve aerodynamics).