You either love it or hate it.
Just as funky as the new C3 supermini but with extra ground clearance, the C-Aircross concept is a sign of things to come in terms of a C3 Picasso replacement. While the outgoing model is more MPV than crossover, the new generation will lose most of the people carrier traits to adopt a more SUV shape in order to capitalize on the segment’s immense popularity.
Citroën will preview the production model next month in Geneva where it will bring this polarizing C-Aircross set to feature suicide doors and cameras instead of conventional mirrors. Also noticeable is the absence of a B-pillar, thus providing an easy access inside the cabin where there are a lot of orange accents to match those on the outside.
Like with most concepts nowadays, the C-Aircross has received oversized alloy wheels, in this case an 18-inch set. Citroën mentions the eccentric design is more than just for show as aerodynamics also played an important role when elaborating the design. Case in point, the rear quarter windows feature louvres to improve airflow, while front air inlets and a rear diffuser have been added further increase aerodynamics. Citroën’s so-called “Airbumps” have also been installed to provide body protection at low-speed collisions and you will likely see these on the production model as well taking into account the C3 has them.
Stepping inside the cabin, the C-Aircross concept adopts a minimalist layout with very few physical buttons and knobs. Instead, there’s a large 12-inch touchscreen from where the driver controls most of the vehicle’s functions. A large head-up display reduces distractions behind the single-spoke steering wheel, while support for induction charging eliminates the hassle of having to use cables to charge a smartphone.
Details about what powers the concept have not been disclosed, but obviously the production model will borrow the engines from the C3 supermini. PSA’s Grip Control system has been implemented in the C-Aircross concept to provide extra traction necessary for tackling different types of terrain, but at the end of the day it’s still a front-wheel-drive crossover.
Citroën will have the C-Aircross concept on display next month, with the production version likely to arrive in 2018.
Gallery: 2017 Citroen C-Aircross concept
C-AIRCROSS CONCEPT: THE COMPACT SUV BY CITROËN
Today, Citroën has revealed C-Aircross Concept, a concept car with strong identity which offers a new vision of compact SUV and embodies Citroën's capacity to be different, whatever the segment. Its design with a unique morphology adds to the dynamic attitude of the SUV, the fluidity of aerodynamic lines and the freshness of its color scheme. On board, it reflects a new step in the Citroën Advanced Comfort®programme with its light and airy cabin, including warm materials, and technology that makes life easier. With its world premiere set for the Geneva Auto Show on 7 March, C-Aircross Concept heralds Citroën's global offensive on the compact SUV segment.
Citroën has revealed a daring car concept with a colourful and strong identity in a world premiere. Citroën’s interpretation of a compact SUV, C-Aircross Concept marks a new stage for Citroën in the deployment of its product strategy. With its internationally-oriented body style, the brand confirms its offensive on the SUV segment, started with Aircross Concept. Its unique identity is based on the state of mind of the New C3, adapted to a new segment :
- DESIGN - an assertive SUV: C-Aircross Concept marks its difference into the world of SUVs with its totally strong, original and fresh attitude. It has a unique morphology and a right balance between protection and fluidity of lines. Its modern body style comprises generous shaped parts which contrast with strong graphic features and splashes of colour. Its also suggests an impression of space on board, where colours and materials creates a both technical and relaxed atmosphere in a very stripped back style.
- COMFORT - a modern SUV: the opposing opening doors of the C-Aircross Concept open onto a spacious cabin, an invitation to embark on adventures with complete peace of mind. The concept offers space, wide quilt-effect seats, and plenty of light, owing to its panoramic sunroof. Inside the car the foundations of the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme can be seen, and technology serves to improve ease of use, for example: the colour head-up display an aesthetic blade in continuity of the instrument cluster, single spoke steering wheel with intuitive commands, rear view camera vision and wireless induction charging for smartphones.
"The showcar C-Aircross demonstrates Citroën's pursuit of its international product offensive. Based on the state of mind of New C3, it illustrates a different vision of compact SUVs, full of confidence and boldness. This concept embodies also completely the ambitions of the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme with its interior space source of well-being."
Linda Jackson - Citroën Brand CEO
01 – DESIGN: AN ASSERTIVE SUV
Confident and relaxed
Staunchly optimistic, the C-Aircross Concept sports an assertive and singular personality in the world of SUVs. Its highly modern design is based on a unique morphology which gives it at the same time a feeling of robustness and energy. It has an impressive relaxed and non-aggressive presence. In terms of posture, the C-Aircross Concept stands out at first glance for its short and high-positioned bonnet and its sturdy - but not aggressive - front, an unexplored artistic territory in the highly standardised world of the SUV. This front style brings a horizontal and solid overall balance, covering fluid and muscular shapes. Its reassuring lines and its extremely generous moulded bodywork further accentuate its attitude and give it confidence and strength.
Through C-Aircross Concept, the Citroën Style teams have cleverly combined seamless lines with the features of an SUV, on a compact body (lenght: 4.15m, width: 1.74m, height: 1.63m). Its body style is visually enhanced by guards that surround the lower part of the body. Set for the adventure, the C-Aircross Concept is equipped with protective front and back wheel clamps in Glossy Black, wheel arch guards with restyled stealthy camouflage, and body side protection moulding on the lower part. And to further emphasise its go-anywhere nature, the concept is based on diamond-effect 18-inch wheels featuring a creative and statuesque design, which suggest a tall driving position and off-road capabilities.
In line with the Brand identity, the C-Aircross Concept inherits a beautifully curved front panel with bags of confidence, and a bright signature over two stages. The daytime running lights attached to the upper part of the radiator are separated from the main lighting function of the lower part. The execution of the rear side, pure and graphic, is just as assertive in terms of style. The C-Aircross Concept has prominent shoulders which on both sides of the vehicle highlight the 3D rear lights comprising 3 advanced technology floating lights.
These floating lights are also found on the decoration of the rear quarter windows and the ceiling. True concept signatures, the two highly graphically contrasting floating backlit rear quarter windows have been designed as aerodynamic louvered shutters, while the ceiling is crowned by a panoramic glass roof, creating multiple sources of light. Stylised and in line with the concept, the Fluorescent Coral rear quarter windows conceal the vehicle's interior, without preventing light from entering. The large glass surface area and generous cabin reinforce the unique character of this concept which gives the impression of a spacious and light cabin.
Based on the Product and Style markers featured on the New C3, the C-Aircross Concept alternates smooth surfaces with graphic contrasts which are brought to life with splashes of colour. The Blue colour elegantly covers the whole body and contrasts with the Fluorescent Coral colour used for each of the splashes of colour which bring out the "fun" attitude of this concept designed for recreation. These orange-coloured personalisation elements include: the edges of the headlights, the wheel hubcaps, the side guards and the roof racks which incorporate LED lighting on their tips.
Another key element in the development of this concept is the consideration of aerodynamics. This is first and foremost reflected in the shaped parts of the concept and its overall balance. Each surface has been designed taking into account the air flow produced. Moreover, to improve its efficiency, the concept is equipped with air inlets located in the front fascia, "air breather" air inlets built into the side door guards, and a rear diffuser to increase aerodynamics.
A sleek and graphic cabin
The C-Aircross Concept features opposing opening doors for better on board accessibility, a kinematic element to increase comfort reminiscent of the Aircross and CXperience car concepts. A true invitation to travel, C-Aircross Concept shows a functional cabin, with space and invigorating atmosphere.
On board, the Citroën designers have opted for an airy sleek dashboard, and for suspended seats - an interior architecture dominated by a horizontal balance which gives a visual impression of fluidity, modernity and space.
In addition to a single spoke steering wheel with intuitive commands, a nod to the Brand's history, the
fabric-covered dashboard has a tinted "head-up vision" board positioning all instrumentation in the driver's field of vision. Information is displayed in colours with match the strong colour scheme of this SUV perfectly. In the middle of the dashboard a wide 12-inch touch screen takes centre stage, in line with the specific graphic scheme, displaying different driving and infotainment information. On the lower part, it leads to a wide central console which extends from the front seats to the back seats and showcases the useful storage features.
Entirely designed in a combination of Light Grey and Vitamin-rich Orange and in the form of a floating strip, the dashboard, through which the many storage spaces can be seen, plays with contrast right down to the inner doors. A large object holder stretches all the way along the dashboard and is used for decoration, enhanced by its orange colour. The C-Aircross Concept offers splashes of colour on the ventilators and the seatbelt buckles. The Fluorescent Coral colour that dominates the floor and carpeting creates a lovely tone-on-tone effect.
This warm and colourful combination also features on the seat upholstery, which is covered with thick, soft fabric. The sofa-style seats also feature this shaded grey and orange toned scheme lengthways. Their "Colours and Materials" design, in harmony with that of the dashboard, and overall horizontal look, reinforce the graphic and unique style of the C-Aircross Concept.
02 – COMFORT: A MODERN SUV
Just like on board the New C3, the concept C-Aircross is fully in line with the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme. Spacious and designed to be a real cocoon and living space for its driver and passengers, it is equipped with a number of features conducive to physical and mental well-being.
Seats as an invitation to travel
As soon as you enter inside, you experience a real feeling of visual well-being. The C-Aircross Concept produces an immediate feeling of comfort which is reflected in four smoothly-shaped, enveloping seats. Both in the front and in the back, the wide and enticing sofa-style seats are covered in warm and high-tech quilt-effect embossed alcantara. In addition to their high-quality manufacture, both natural and enhanced, they offer unique hold, inspired by the world of bedding. Adapting to the body's position, they ensure that those on board will experience the road differently.
Numerous and clever storages
In the quest for everyday practicality and functionality, the cabin of the C-Aircross Concept contains a large number of spacious, dedicated and visible storage spaces. Up front, the driver and passengers benefit from an original storage area which runs along the entire dashboard. A storage, whose nooks, a nod to the C4 Cactus, stop objects from sliding. Moreover, a double drawer equipped with handles, once again a reference to the world of travel and luggage, also acts as useful storage space up front. There are other clever spaces that make life easier - large glove compartments in the doors and the area for storing handbags out of sight under the central console. The designers have also designed seats equipped with inbuilt storage bags, concealed on the back of the seats and in their side panels. Lastly, the central console is equipped with a very deep storage space and a first compartment dedicated to wireless induction charging up front. This same console continues and has a second storage area for smartphones accessible to passengers in the back. They can also place their mobile tablet in the back of a seat to watch a film or slide it into the discrete compartment in the middle of the seat bench to protect it.
A true bath of light
For a pleasant journey with complete peace of mind, the C-Aircross Concept has worked on the relationship to the outside environment to ensure that plenty of light enters into the cabin. Its large glazed side surface area and its innovative and stylish rear quarter windows let light in through the louvered shutters effect. Its large panoramic glazed roof also lets daylight easily into the entire vehicle. These many sources of light reinforce the impression of space and well-being. They contribute directly to the everyday comfort of the vehicle's occupants and to giving them a true "Feel Good" experience.
Technologies dedicated to the driving experience
On board C-Aircross Concept, and in line with the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme, cutting-edge technology at the service of convenience also makes life easier on board. Useful, intuitive and in keeping with the times, this technology benefits all of the vehicle's occupants.
To streamline the driving experience the steering wheel controls are intuitive and useful driving information for the driver is displayed within its field of vision. Stripped down using specific graphics, the instrumentation is displayed on a wide glass board. The C-Aircross Concept enhances this "head-up vision" and the "high-tech rear vision" function. Two side cameras take the place of the traditional exterior rear-view mirrors. The images are transposed instead of the inside rear-view mirror. Moreover, for an optimal view of what's going on around the vehicle, the concept is also equipped with a rear camera positioned in the centre of the roof spoiler.
The C-Aircross Concept is equipped with a smart and intuitive Human-Machine interface. Drivers and passengers have access to an array of functionalities via the 12-inch central touch screen. At the heart of the car's control centre, it makes using the vehicle easier and reinforces the aesthetic impression of length and spaciousness that prevails on board. The positioning of the infotainment means that everyone can access journey information using the 3D connected navigation system with voice recognition, Citroën Connect Nav. Moreover, everyone can choose their own music or watch their favourite film. Depending on the on board experience desired, an array of configurations are possible: 1/3 -2/3, 2/3 -1/3 or full screen. As such, passengers are as active in the journey as the driver is.
To stay connected and in interaction with the outside world the concept Citroën C-Aircross is also equipped, at the heart of its central console, with a compartment especially designed for charging your smartphone via wireless induction charging.
The C-Aircross Concept also comes with the Share with U application installed. This new service offers entertainment for all passengers inside the car. It functions via the wifi spot of the vehicle and enables everyone to share their media files (games, music and videos) easily with their travelling companions and to enjoy them on board.
Citroën ConnectedCAM™, the on-board HD camera launched on the New C3 combines ease of use and peace of mind. Positioned just behind the interior rear-view mirror, it records what the driver sees outside and enables them to share their photos and videos on social networks with one simple click.
For true acoustic comfort, the designers also paid particular attention to the sound spatialisation in the cabin. The front and rear headrests are equipped with built-in speakers and microphones, creating on board the C-Aircross Concept true "sound experience" audio bubbles. As such, everyone can choose to communicate with the other passengers or to keep to themselves.
Another smart and cutting-edge technology, which enables C-Aircross Concept to think outside the box is the Grip Control. Engineered to improve driveability, this function perfectly adapted to the C-Aircross Concept nature brings to this go-anywhere car for both urban settings and the great outdoors a true driving comfort, whatever the terrain. Equipped for both everyday urban journeys and mountain and coastal getaways, as a family or among friends, C-Aircross Concept is playing versatility card. A real asset to this ambitious SUV focused on leisure s and escape.
C-Aircross Concept which heralds Citroën's global offensive on the SUV segment invites you to come along to Citroën Brand stand at the Geneva Show on 7 and 8 March (press days) and 9 to 19 March (public days).