Yes, it’s a C4 with a boot. The Chinese market demands saloon cars and so Citroen has started production of this C-Triomphe there, having shown it at Shenzhen.
Citroen posted a 34 per cent increase in sales to 100,000 cars in China in 2005 and so is determined on further rapid expansion there. For comparison, VW and its affiliates sold 570,000 vehicles in 2005. But the market grew by 26 per cent to 3.3m units in 2005; Citroen knows it needs new models to keep pace. Three-box designs take over 80 per cent of sales, so this is a key model.
The C-Triomphe is a C4 with a stretched wheelbase. There is a huge boot, which takes the length to slightly over that of a C5 at 4.8m. Citroen's current large locally-made saloon, the Elysée, is based on a platform similar to that of the Berlingo and Picasso, whereas the C-Triomphe has an up-to-date Platform 2 basis.
It is no poverty-spec model: air con is standard, with a vent to that commodious rear cabin. A speed limiter and cruise control are standard, as are xenon swivelling headlamps. There’s even a coolable glovebox, an air freshener and a rear sunblind.
There are the usual C4 fitments of ABS, ESP (from the second level of trim upwards), brakeforce distribution and a fair complement of airbags. Forward motion comes from a 2.0-litre 150bhp petrol, which has variable valve timing.
There’s no word on pricing yet. The car will be made at Citroen’s Wuhan plant, which opened in 1997, and will be on sale by midsummer. The total Chinese car market was just 717,000 units in 2001.