Citroen looks set to capitalise on the success of the clever C4 Cactus with a larger model that was previewed by the Citroen Aircross concept at 2015’s Shanghai Motor Show. It’s expected to arrive sometime before the end of 2017 and will compete with models such as the Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe and Nissan X-Trail.
Citroen Aircross styling
The Aircross has plenty of features lifted straight from the Cactus – namely the thin upper headlights, body protecting Airbumps and minimalist interior. It’s noticeably taller than the Cactus, however, and also features a more upright rear end rather than the Cactus’s sloping one. The slim headlights are joined by a grille bar incorporating Citroen’s famous chevron badge and below it sits a deeper grille flanked by a pair of fog lights. Together, they give the Aircross a bluffer face than the Cactus, making it look more masculine and rugged.
Citroen Aircross interior
The Aircross’s cabin must be taken with a pinch of salt – it’s a concept car and many of the design features would be impractical to have on a production model. We expect the cylindrical centre console that runs the length of the car to go, replaced with a design that’s more inline with the current Cactus. Elements such as the screen behind the steering wheel should remain along with the leather strap-like door pulls.
Access to the concept’s back seats is through a set of rear-hinged ‘suicide’ doors – a feature more typical of Rolls-Royces. It’s a system that gives superb access to the rear seats, but we would be very surprised if it makes it to production. What we do expect is that the car will get seven seats to compete with its main rivals.
Citroen Aircross tech specs
Being a high-riding SUV, the Aircross won’t ever handle as well as a regular hatchback, but its high suspension will give the driver an excellent view of the road ahead. Unlike in the Cactus, it is expected to be offered with four-wheel drive for extra grip on slippery roads and some off-road ability. It’s also likely to keep the simple design of the Cactus to keep weight down and aid fuel efficiency.
Citroen Aircross engines
A production version of the Aircross could feature a range of petrol and diesel engines, as well as a hybrid option. The concept, however, features a 218hp 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that combines with a 95hp electric motor on the rear axle for four-wheel drive. As a result, the concept can get from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds, a figure the production version is very unlikely to match.
The brand has also experimented with petrol engines mated to compressed-air generators rather than traditional batteries and electric motors. It’s unclear if this tech is developed enough to feature in a production car, but the Aircross seems like an obvious candidate.
Citroen Aircross price and release date
To compete with rivals, the Aircross could cost from £22,000 rising to just above £30,000 for a top spec model. If Citroen opts to offer a powerful hybrid as seen in the concept, it could cost closer to £40,000. We’d be surprised if the firm didn’t try to get it to market before the end of 2017.
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