New 2018 Citroen C5 Aircross SUV makes Shanghai debut

Chunky new Citroen C5 Aircross unveiled at Shanghai, with flagship 300bhp hybrid model on the way Citroen has kick-started its SUV roll-out by revealing the all-new C5 Aircross at the Shanghai Motor Show. With styling inspired by the Aircross concept revealed at the same show in 2015, it sits on the PSA Group's EMP2 platform, which is shared with sister cars the Peugeot 3008 and the DS 7 Crossback, plus Vauxhall's Grandland X. What's more, it features plug-in hybrid technology.

Citroen says that the 2015 concept exhibited a 'colourful' personality in terms of design, and the production C5 Aircross carries over a near identical shape, although some design elements have been toned down for production. The floating roof with 360-degree windows, capped off with the new chrome C-pillar design, has made the cut, alongside flared wheelarches and Airbump-equipped body cladding for a chunky look. In terms of dimensions, it comes in at 4,500mm long, 1,840mm wide and 1,670mm tall, while the wheelbase of 2,730mm means Citroen promises 'best in class' space for passengers, especially those in the rear.

Citroen has applied a new look in the cabin with an interior layout partly inspired by the concept. Up front, the dashboard is matched with a flat, wide centre console. Sitting above it is an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, while a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster finds its place behind the steering wheel. - Best 4x4s and SUVs on sale right now Comfort has been a big focus; double-glazed front windows have been added to reduce road and wind noise, while there is extra engine insulation. The C5 Aircross should come with a ride quality to match the serene environment, too - it debuts Citroen's new 'Progressive Hydraulic Cushion' suspension system, featuring secondary dampers filled with hydraulic fluid.

In terms of driving aids, the Aircross will come with automatic emergency braking alongside adaptive cruise control. Active lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition are part of the package too.†In China, the C5 Aircross gets two petrol options: a 165bhp 1.6-litre and 200bhp 2.0-litre both mated to an EAT6 automatic gearbox. A flagship, four-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid with a petrol engine and two electric motors making a combined 300bhp is on the way, too. It means the C5 Aircross is the most powerful Citroen ever, although it can also travel a claimed 37 miles on battery power alone.

Engines for Europe haven't been confirmed, but the line-up should mirror that of the 3008, with a mix of 1.6 and 2.0 BlueHDi diesels and 1.6 THP petrols. The C5 Aircross will go on sale in China this October, but European customers are in for a wait - the car will arrive in showrooms here in the second half of 2018, priced from around GBP 20,000. Citroen Aircross concept details Debuting at the Shanghai Motor Show in 2015, the Aircross hinted at what we can expect from Citroen's forthcoming Nissan X-Trail and Hyundai Santa Fe rival.

It's not the company's first foray into the family SUV market - that honour goes to the slow-selling C-Crosser - but the car is the first Citroen to feature plug-in hybrid technology. Beneath the Cactus-inspired exterior, 2015's Aircross Concept is powered by a 218bhp 1.6-litre THP petrol engine, paired to a 95bhp rear-mounted electric motor. This enables 31 miles of all-electric driving. The Aircross also promises a 4.5-second 0-62mph time, plus 166mpg economy and CO2 emissions of just 39g/km.

The concept is similar in size to the Santa Fe, measuring 4,580mm long, 2,100mm wide and 1,800mm tall. However, Citroen design director Alexandre Malval told Auto Express that a production version is likely to lose the show car's 22-inch alloys and slightly inflated stance. Familiar Citroen design cues such as the two-tier light structure and chevron design can be seen on the front end, while the floating roof bars have been borrowed from the C4 Cactus. Citroen has also developed a fresh take on the unique honeycomb-style Airbump design from the Cactus for a more rugged SUV.

The Airbumps can been seen on the lower section of the front bumper and sills, with the aluminium foam structure providing protection from nicks and scrapes. The high waistline puts emphasis on the car's exaggerated proportions, while the wraparound cockpit and gradually sloping roofline add a sportier edge. The rear-hinged doors are unlikely to make it any further than the Shanghai stand, but they give access to a cabin that's centred around passenger comfort - highlighted by the four-seat layout inspired by furniture design.

Each cocooning leather seat comes with built-in speakers, which amplify other passengers' voices to make in-car communication easier, while there are two 12-inch HD touchscreens on the dashboard. These relay driving data, plus allow passengers to watch films, use Internet-based apps or program the navigation. Content can be virtually 'passed' between the displays using hand gestures, plus the driver can merge the screens into one. A huge centre console runs through the spine of the cabin, creating more space for those inside as well as more storage compartments. Citroen has added innovative storage cubbies in the dashboard and door panels, too.

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