Citroën is preparing a comprehensive update of its current C4 Picasso MPV before an all-new version, co-developed with General Motors, is launched in the middle of the decade.

Autocar sources have revealed that the first models under the tie-up between PSA Peugeot-Citroën and GM will be a range of MPVs. These will include replacements for the Vauxhall Zafira, Peugeot 5008 and C4 Picasso range. 

GM’s Bochum plant in Germany is expected to close when Zafira production ends in 2015/16, so the timing is right for the Zafira’s replacement to be manufactured in a PSA plant alongside its siblings. This would offer financial and capacity benefits for both firms.

Development of those cars remains at the embryonic stage, but the disguised C4 Picasso mule spied testing here in Spain shows that Citroën is preparing a thorough reworking of the car for sale in mid-2013, after a likely Geneva show debut in the spring.

Underpinning the new C4 Picasso will be the latest version of the PSA ‘PF2’ platform, which is used on the current C4 and DS4 hatchbacks in its latest guise.

Expect the MacPherson strut front, torsion beam rear suspension set-up to tweaked to deliver greater refinement.

The engine range will be familiar from today’s car and include 1.6 petrols and 1.6 and 2.0 diesels. Citroën may offer the all-wheel-drive diesel-electric Hybrid4 drivetrain, too.

The main changes will be to the exterior styling, and the quality and design of the interior. Expect DS influences in the exterior look, including a more distinctive front end.

Much of the latest C4’s interior is likely to carry over to the updated five-seat C4 Picasso, resulting in a more premium look and feel.

The bigger seven-seat C4 Grand Picasso is also due to receive similar updates at the same time.