Citroën appears to have started work on a new crossover-style SUV, judging by these early spy shots.
This modified C4 Picasso is running a slightly wider track front and rear and relatively large wheels and tyres.
The company’s big MPV could provide an ideal basis for an SUV because it is already built around a platform with a high windscreen base and a raised seating position.
Citroën – like sister company Peugeot and rival Renault – has been very slow to embrace the SUV and crossover boom. In 2007 Peugeot and Citroën launched a rebadged version of Mitsubishi’s Outlander crossover, which was manufactured by Nedcar in the Netherlands.
Citroën also launched a compact crossover called the C4 Aircross in the Chinese market, but the car is not currently scheduled to be sold in Europe.
Autocar has seen figures for the western European new car market which show that the market for traditional MPVs is fading as the SUV sector booms.
It’s not yet known whether crash-strapped Citroën will produce a car with a completely fresh body or, like the Peugeot 2008, simply apply the ‘crossover’ treatment to the existing Picasso family.
Alternatively, it could kill two birds with one stone by making the next-generation five-seat Picasso more of a crossover and then keeping the Grand Picasso as a conventional family MPV.
In any case, judging by this very early engineering prototype, any new model is probably 24 months from the showroom.
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