Citroen's new C4 has been revealed for the first time at the Paris motor show.
It will take on the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf with a hi-tech cabin and much-improved fuel economy and CO2 emissions when it hits UK dealers early next year.
The model is described as “brand new” by Citroën but although all of its body panels have changed, it still sits on a modified version of the chassis that underpins the current C4.
The new model is 50mm longer, 20mm wider and 30mm taller. It’s also likely to be lighter, thanks to new construction techniques and the use of laser welding in manufacturing.
The new C4’s styling is a neat evolution of the current car’s. It retains the pronounced curve in the roofline but adopts more C5-like front-end styling, particularly the headlights. In contrast to the outgoing car, which featured a ‘coupé’ version, the new C4 will be available as a five-door only.
It’s clear from this model that Citroën is keen to create a clear distinction between bread-and-butter models and their premium DS-badged stablemates.
A performance variant of the C4 is said to be unlikely, and the gap between this car and the DS4 is expected to be wider than the difference between the C3 and the recently launched DS3.
The engine line-up is likely to remain similar to the current C4’s, although this will be the first production Citroën to get the e-HDi system previewed at the Geneva show earlier this year.
It mates a small electric motor to an as-yet-unspecified diesel engine that’s almost certain to be a 1.6-litre unit. Citroën says the powerplant, along with low-resistance tyres and stop-start, will deliver CO2 emissions of 109g/km at launch and 99g/km on future models.
Citroën is placing increased emphasis on the C4’s interior, which features a 408-litre boot (more than 20 litres larger than a Focus’s) and a number of personalisation options.
Dashboard controls will enable users to change the colour of the backlighting behind the instrument panel, and set polyphonic sound alerts as easily as changing mobile phone ringtones.