Citroen has unveiled a concept version of the new DS4 Crossback that features real granite as a trim material. The stone is used for the rearview mirror casings, the spoke facings on the wheels and as an insert on the roof bars.
The model also uses a very fine semi-aniline leather for the interior, including the seats, door panels and the entire dashboard.
Sources told Autocar that they expected to see the stone trim offered in production models 'within two or three years'. The stone is a flexible veneer less than 1mm thick and can be supplied by only one French-based company.
The leather used for the interior is especially soft and naturally textured, which Citroen says references traditional luxury goods and is intended to stand part from the very highly finished leather that is more common in luxury cars.
An insider also revealed that the company was developing a new type of wood-covered dashboard. "Around 75% of the dash facing will be made of real wood. We know that customers do not like huge areas of plastic in the interior, so we are working a fresh new ways of trimming the cabin. We think customers are willing to pay for this kind of innovation."
Five new DS models will be launched by 2020, creating a six-model line-up. The popular DS3 hatchback will replaced in "just over two years".
The brand is also looking to pick up a higher proportion of female buyers. In China 30% of DS buyers are women, compared with just 10-15% in Europe. In the ‘C-premium’ segment in Europe, 30% of buyers are female, but just 20% of DS4 sales are to women drivers.