Concept sketches of the next-generation Citroen C5 Aircross suggest the French brand’s medium-sized sedan will soon transform into an SUV.
Citroen has released sketches of the new model ahead of its debut at April’s 2017 Shanghai motor show – the same venue where it was first teased as the Aircross Concept two years ago.
The drawings exaggerate the proportions and styling of the model that will take the C5 badge from the medium sedan that was discontinued in some markets (including Australia) in 2016 and will take on contenders such as the Mazda CX-5 from 2018 onwards.
The styling of the C5 Aircross, as with the 2015 concept, is inspired by the brand’s C4 Cactus model. Overall length should come in at roughly 4.6 metres long – similar in size to the CX-5 – if it retains the concept’s dimensions.
Citroen’s Aircross concept was powered by a hybrid drivetrain combining a 160kW turbocharged petrol engine and 70kW electric motor, which was good for 0-100km/h acceleration of 4.5 seconds and fuel consumption of just 1.7 litres per 100km.
Though production powertrains are yet to be confirmed, the C5 Aircross is expected to become Citroen’s first plug-in hybrid model with engine choices including petrol and diesel engines from the Peugeot-Citroen Group (PSA).
It’s also expected to utilise PSA’s modular EMP2 platform, which underpins Peugeot’s new 5008 SUV – though the Citroen won’t necessarily share that model’s seven-seater layout.
Citroen is following its sister company’s move to broaden its line-up of SUVs by reimagining current models. Peugeot has turned the original 3008 and 5008 models from MPV body styles to the vastly more popular SUV format, and Citroen’s C-Aircross Concept shown at this month’s Geneva motor show points to how the C3 Picasso will make a similar move.
An expanded range of SUVs will mark a dramatic change for both PSA brands, which took belated and tentative steps into the segment with rebadged and re-nosed Mitsubishi models in recent years.