Citroen launched its new C4 compact hatch today at a global online press conference. Motorhub was in France, well in cyber form anyway, to hear CEO Vincent Cobee and other key people at Citroen give us the latest news from the PSA brand.
The C4 is built on an enlarge version of the PSA’s small car platform and not the EMP2 (used on PSA’s mid-sized cars). Economies of scale was quoted by Cobee as one of the reasons for this. The new car has a crossover look with a SUV/coupe like look combined with sturdy flanks with big wheels and wheel arches. The classic hatchback is in decline and Cobee says with new C4 its is trying to combine elegance and the high driving position people now adore to deliver a desirable car. Petrol, diesel and electric versions will be available. Cobee says ICE versions (petrol and diesel) have a global future but Europe is making ICE cars less attractive with stricter emissions regulations.
Inside the cabin gets a simple layout that features the expected flush surfaces and touch screens. The seats are all ready being hyped as super comfortable and it will be no surprise if they are class leading as recent Citroen’s have seats that use thick memory foam to make them super comfy. Progressive adaptive suspension will also help make the C4 ‘perhaps’ the comfiest car in its class.
This year Citroen enters a new phase in its colourful history as it goes ‘Electric for all’. The EC4 is the 100% electric version and it uses the same underpinnings as used in other PSA EVs on sale. Citroen says the car will be the most comfortable in its class and expects it to represent 10% of C4 sales – that is a quite high percentage. The electric motor produces 136hp and has a maximum range of 350km from its 50kW battery pack. A 10 minute fast charge will deliver 100 kilometres of range. Cobee pointed out that the total cost of ownership of an EV/low emission car versus say a diesel car – are now very similar. Cobee says a PHEV plug in hybrid is not planned.
Citroen’s ‘Easy for Life’ technology is another phrase Citroen used to point out how the driver gets information. Displays are positioned to deliver info safely by being close to their eye line. A nice touch in the new C4,and a world first, is a pop-out phone/iPad holder on the passenger’s side of the dashboard. A 380 litre boot (up to 1250 litres) with a split level floor makes the boot quite usable. With the rear seats down the load area can be completely flat. Citroen told us that clean, safe and affordable mobility are its core and the new C4 features up to 20 ADAS features.
Citroen threw a lot of catch phrases, buzz words and tag lines at us: Audacity, comfort and humanity are the brand’s true pillars and its philosophy and at the heart of the new C4. We’ll get to see for ourselves how good a job it has done at the end of the year when the car goes on sale in Europe. The car will be built in Madrid.