87th Geneva International Motor Show87th Geneva International Motor Show
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10.03.2017 - News Citroen C-Aircross

The Citroen C-Aircross concept unveiled at the Geneva motor show is a compact (4150mm long, 1740mm wide, 1630mm wide) concept that previews the C3 Picasso replacement, which is said to go on sale in early 2018.

Citroen’s certainly been on a winning streak lately, with innovative designs in the form of the C4 Cactus and the new C3 – the C-Aircross shares a platform with the latter – showcasing a product design aesthetic that steers the company away from its competitors in the segment, particularly with regard to its interiors.

At the front, the thin, high mounted DRLs are linked with the thin grille – a strong visual identifier that incorporates the brand’s signature double chevrons high on the front face. The location of the main headlamps beneath these follows on from (and brings the car in line with) the C4 Cactus, but it was first seen on the C4 Picasso over a decade ago. It’s a neat trick too – it serves to make the car look wider and more assertive from a distance.

From the side, the rounded volumes of the surfaces have a calming effect, which is underscored by robust, protective cladding around the wheel arches and rocker area. The triangular pattern within this cladding adds to the car’s overall playful demeanor – it’s a car that can take on the rugged daily challenges but doesn’t take itself too seriously.

There are interesting details to the exterior design too: A floating D-pillar element is a nice decoration and the wheels have a beautiful oblong pattern integrated into their spokes – it’s a pattern that’s seen repeated on the lower section of the doors, which recalls the now characteristic Airbumps that have found their way onto Citroen’s recent production vehicles.

The rear end, meanwhile, features a 3D graphic within its taillamps that draws the eye in. It’s a treatment we’ve seen on other recent Citroen concepts and we’re pleased to see the company sticking with it.

Unfortunately the concept on show was devoid of an interior, which looked extremely inviting and functional in the press sketches issued before its debut at the show. Accessed via two conventional opening front and two rear-hinged doors, it conveyed an expansive feeling of space thanks to the concept’s horizontal instrument panel and suspended seats. It’s a shame it wasn’t displayed.

The consistent unveiling of show cars and production vehicles that feature the brand’s new authentic, purposeful but non-aggressive form language is testimony to a clear, cohesive design identity that makes the brand unique from first read at a distance. The Citroen C-Aircross concept is yet another step in the right direction for the French brand.

Eric Gallina / formtrends.com