Special edition Citroen C5 sedans and wagons are coming to Australia as a final send off to the French brand’s lauded, but ageing, hydropneumatic and Hydractive suspension technology.
Citroen’s mid-size C5 is the last car on sale to feature the innovative system first debuted in the 1954 Citroen Traction Avant, and most famously used in the lightyears-ahead-of-its-time 1955 Citroen DS.
Ten of the last C5s will be fitted with a 133kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine never previously offered in Australia. Unique ‘BlueHDi’ badging and twin tailpipes will distinguish the flagship models, which have already been snapped up by diehard Citroen lovers.
A further 52 final vehicles will come with a 120kW/340Nm 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine. The 62 vehicle total – 25 sedans and 37 wagons – recognises the number of years hydro-pneumatic suspension has been offered.
All of the last Citroen C5s arriving in Oz gain upgraded onboard technology including a bigger, 7-inch touchscreen, digital radio, 16GB of music storage, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink.
Australians have bought almost 10,000 Citroens featuring the iconic suspension technology across models including DS, CX, GS, BX, XM, Xantia, C5 and C6.
Hydro-pneumatic suspension uses fluid-filled and nitrogen-filled systems in tandem to create an incredibly supple suspension with ride height adjustability and superior ride comfort. It was invented by Frenchman Paul Mages who joined Citroen in 1936 at the age of 17.
Other manufacturers – including Rolls-Royce, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz and Peugeot – have recognised the brilliance of the invention and licensed it for their own vehicles over the years.
Six decades of revision and enhancement has managed to keep the technology alive, though in more recent times, it has started to show its age compared to modern air-suspension systems that are quicker to react and more cost effective to manufacture.
“While it’s sad to see both C5 and the hydro-pneumatic suspension system leave Australian shores, Citroen fans should rest assured that comfort will remain a top priority with a range of new vehicles being developed under the Citroen Advanced Comfort program,” said Citroen Australia boss Kai Bruesewitz.
Citroen CEO Linda Jackson warned previously that the landmark suspension had reached the end of its life. “Hydraulic suspension will cease because it is an old technology,” she said, before emphasising Citroen’s commitment to prioritising ride quality in future models.
“Comfort suspension is 100 percent part of our DNA.”