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Citroen C5 and hydro-pneumatic suspension say ‘Au revoir’

By Jez Spinks, 08 Jul 2016 Car News

Citroen C5

It’s the end of the road for not just the C5 after constantly falling sales, but also for Citroen’s once-revolutionary hyrdro-pneumatic suspension platform, as cost pressures bite.

The Citroen C5 is being axed in Australia –along with its once-pioneering hydro-pneumatic suspension that has been around for six decades. 

Citroen Australia has announced it will offer just 62 more units of the mid-sized car, which was cut from the UK market in May owing to poor sales.

 The local importer says 10 BlueHDi editions of the C5, featuring a 133kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo diesel, have been allocated to long-time Citroen customers in Australia. The remaining mix of sedans and wagons will be offer a less-powerful 120kW/340Nm version of the engine, priced from $47,990. 

Citroen C5 rear side

Standard equipment includes 7-inch touchscreen, digital radio, navigation, sunroof (panoramic on the Touring wagon), heated seats, and massage function for the driver’s seat. 

Sales of the C5 have dwindled from their modest peak of 410 in 2009 when the second-generation version launched locally, and just 35 units have been sold here so far in 2016. 

The global future of the C5 seems doomed, with Citroen expected to discontinue the model in favour of focusing on the SUVs and crossovers today’s buyers seem to prefer over sedans and wagons. 

Citroen C5 interior

Regardless of whether there’s a new C5, the current model heralds the end of the brand’s renowned hydro-pneumatic suspension – which debuted in 1954 on the Traction Avant (or Big 15) before being popularised across two decades in the famous DS. 

The technology incorporated nitrogen-filled pneumatic spheres, and a hydraulic bump to provide near-unrivalled levels of ride comfort. 

Citroen has abandoned the clever but expensive suspension system on the grounds of cost-cutting, according to reports. The company this year announced it was developing new in-house suspension systems, based around progressive hydraulic cushions designed to achieve excellent bump absorption and body control.