Next-gen Citroen C4 and e-C4 launch

New Citroen C4 with electric drivetrain launches but it remains unclear if any C4 model will come to Australia.

This is the all-new Citroen C4. It’s the first model from the French brand to be offered with the choice of either a conventional petrol or diesel powertrain and a pure-electric powertrain, which will be badged e-C4.

The regular hatchback market has suffered in the wake of the SUV boom, so Citroen took a different approach with the styling of the third-generation C4.

Citroen’s CEO, Vincent Cobée, explained how the C4’s market needed reinventing. “I would agree that the C-segment has been a fairly traditional sector and is probably right for changes,” he said. “One [idea] is to find the proper balance between affordability, versatility and comfort, better access, and better visibility, as there’s probably also a need for more spice in the style.”

The new C4 borrows styling cues from the larger C5 Aircross SUV, as well as the 19_19 concept that was revealed as a preview of the future of Citroen design. The concept’s influence can be seen in the head and tail-light design of the new C4.

Citroen’s press photos also reveal both the petrol and electric versions of the C4 – and the images clearly show that, whichever powertrain buyers choose, the crossover’s styling will be identical, with the exception of blue detailing on the badges of the e-C4.

The new C4 measures 4360 mm long, 1800 mm wide, 1525 mm high, making it noticeably larger than a VW Golf. Citroen claims boot capacity of 380 litres across every model, while wheel sizes range from 16 to 18-inches in diameter.

Citroen’s work in the C4’s cabin is a more gentle redesign of what we can see in today’s C4 Cactus. Most obviously, there’s a new 10-inch infotainment system and digital instrument binnacle, while a new centre console occupies the centre of the cabin. Wireless smartphone charging as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are also included.

Citroen also claims there are 16 storage compartments dotted throughout the cabin that add up to 39 litres of additional storage.

The C4 and e-C4 launches with a total of three petrol, one diesel and one electric powertrain options.

Petrol options include Citroen’s PureTech 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine in three states of tune: 74, 95 or 114kW. All models will be front-wheel drive, while the more powerful versions will be offered with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The only diesel option will be a 75kW 1.5 litre, which can be had with a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic.

The e-C4 makes use of a 50kWh battery that will power an electric motor, developing 101kW, on the front axle. Citroen claims the e-C4 can cover 0-100km/h in 9.7 seconds, hit a top speed of 150km/h and cover 350km on a single charge. Using a 100kW fast charging station will replenish the battery to 80 per cent in 30 minutes, while a domestic 7kW wallbox charger takes a little over seven hours.

Though there’s no indication yet if Australia will take the new C4 and what drivetrains, one thing Citroen has confirmed is that all C4s will have the firm’s new progressive hydraulic suspension set-up. The car’s springs and shock absorbers work with hydraulic compression and rebound stops, which are designed to gradually slow body movement over bumps and potholes.

Luke Wilkinson

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