Citroen is poised to debut the C-Aircross concept at the forthcoming Geneva motor show. The compact (4150mm long, 1740mm wide, 1630mm wide) concept previews the C3 Picasso replacement, which is said to go on sale in early 2018.
Citroen’s certainly been on a winning streak lately, with innovative designs in the form of the C4 Cactus and the new C3 – the C-Aircross shares a platform with the latter – showcasing a product design aesthetic that steers the company away from its competitors in the segment, particularly with regard to its interiors.
At the front, the thin, high mounted DRLs are linked with the thin grille – a strong visual identifier that incorporates the brand’s signature double chevrons high on the front face. The location of the main headlamps beneath these follows on from (and brings the car in line with) the C4 Cactus, but it was first seen on the C4 Picasso over a decade ago. It’s a neat trick too – it serves to make the car look wider and more assertive from a distance.
From the side, the rounded volumes of the surfaces have a calming effect, which is underscored by robust, protective cladding around the wheel arches and rocker area. The triangular pattern within this cladding adds to the car’s overall playful demeanor – it’s a car that can take on the rugged daily challenges but doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The rear end, meanwhile, features a 3D graphic within its taillamps that draws the eye in. It’s a treatment we’ve seen on other recent Citroen concepts and we’re pleased to see the company sticking with it.
Access to the inviting interior is provided via two conventional opening front and two rear-hinged doors. Once inside, there is an immediate feeling of space, thanks to the concept’s horizontal IP and suspended seats.
The overall theme is one of simplicity, with three simple colors adorning the comfortable, fabric-covered elements. Everything within the interior appears to have been placed there for an intended reason, not as superfluous add-ons. Even the high-tech digital driver’s gauges and center stack screen blend in with the surrounding elements to give the impression of fluidity and modernity.
Citroen designers also integrated several clever storage solutions into the concept’s interior. Some of the highlights include a double drawer with handles (a reference to the world of travel and luggage) up front; seats equipped with inbuilt storage bags in the side panels and seatbacks; and a space for storing large bags out of sight below the wireless induction charging equipped center console.
The consistent unveiling of show cars and production vehicles that feature the brand’s new authentic, purposeful but non-aggressive form language is testimony to a clear, cohesive design identity that makes the brand unique from first read at a distance, while the interior design aesthetic plays on a more high-tech, functional but no less playful character.
The Citroen C-Aircross concept is yet another step in the right direction for the brand and one we’re looking forward to seeing in the metal at the Geneva show next month.