Citroen is gearing up to reveal a new large family car that’ll be based on the Cxperience concept shown in 2016
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- Rival to the BMW 3 Series
- Gets distinct styling inside and out
- Features rear ‘suicide’ doors
- Will get electric and hybrid power
- To feature autonomous driving tech
- Set to be launched in 2019
Likely to be called the C6, Citroen hopes the new car’s exterior and interior styling, focus on comfort and practical hatchback boot opening will appeal to people looking for a change from the more conservative German opposition.
To get a flavour of what to expect from a new large Citroen you only have to take a look at the Cxperience concept (pictured) that was first shown by the company in 2016 and is said to form the design direction of the new model.
If that holds true, then you can expect something radically different from saloons offered by BMW, Audi and Mercedes. In short, the Cxperience looks like it may have been built in space rather than France. Its long, flowing lines are nothing like what the competition offers and there are some clear nods to the classic Citroen DS in the car’s muscular front wheel wells and sloping rear end.
Look past the eccentric styling though, and you’ll see some interesting design features such as suicide rear doors. They hinge from the back rather than the front meaning there’s no pillar behind the front seats – allowing for obstruction-free access to both the front and the back seats.
Another interesting feature is the car’s hatchback boot that would be unique to the class. It would make the C6 more practical than saloon-style cars such as the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4 thanks to its taller shaped boot and larger boot opening.
The C6’s interior will focus very much on comfort using the Advanced Comfort features previewed in the new Citroen C4 Cactus. As a result, you can expect the larger C6 to get lots of sound deadening, plenty of interior storage space for smaller items – to minimise clutter – and a variation of the C4’s super-comfy, dual-foam seats.
The new C6 is likely to get a swoopy dashboard design that’s dominated by large infotainment screens that cut down on conventional buttons. Velour upholstery and wood trims – rather than the leather interiors and chrome pieces offered in executive German cars from Mercedes, BMW and Audi – would also mark it out from the crowd.
In terms of space, the C6 is likely to be a little bit bigger than a BMW 3 Series. As a result, it should have more rear-seat room and, if the Cxperience concept is anything to go by, offer individual rear seats that will give maximum comfort to two people rather than compromising to accommodate three.
The larger dimensions mean you can also expect the C6’s boot to be bigger than the 480-litre load bay offered in the BMW 3 Series.
To match the comfortable interior, the new C6 is set provide an extremely relaxing driving experience thanks to suspension that is tuned to soak up bumps rather than sharpen handling.
That said, it’s unlikely to get the system – that uses three springs per wheel – that’s fitted to the new C4, instead going for a more complexed computer-controlled setup that will be even more comfortable.
Autonomous driving is also likely to be a big feature on the new model and Citroen has already developed a system that can drive the car autonomously on the motorway at speeds of up to 81mph. Expect the new C6 to also be available with self park and night vision that’ll help the driver see pedestrians at night.
The new C6 will be based on Citroen’s new e-CMP platform that was jointly developed with Chinese car builder Dongfeng Motors. The high-tech chassis means the C6 will be available with a range of petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric powertrains.
It’s the latter that will be most important for a car that’ll face stiff emissions legislation when it launches in three years’ time. A possible powertrain would be a more powerful version of the 115hp electric motor that the company previewed in 2016. It comes complete with a 50KW lithium-ion battery that would give the car a range of up to 280 miles and could charge at a rate of 7.2 miles per minute.
The Plug-in Hybrid, meanwhile, is likely to use two 80KW electric motors front and back – for grippy four-wheel drive – with a 150-200hp petrol engine at the front that can power the car directly or act as a generator that charges the battery.
Petrol and diesel engines are set to be turbocharged and no more than 2.0-litre in capacity. They’ll likely remain the best choice if you have a high annual mileage.
Price and release date
The new Citroen C6 is expected to go on sale in 2019, with the car set to go on show to the public at the Paris Motor Show in 2018. Prices are likely to range from about £22-32,000.