Citroen CXperience Concept - Sleek plug-in hybrid making Paris debut

Classic Citroen style and ride quality both promised of the French firm's latest concept

Citroen has revealed details of its Paris motor show star, the CXperience Concept. A powerful plug-in hybrid, the concept suggests sleek, sophisticated styling won’t be the sole preserve of the group’s DS brand.

It also suggests Citroen hasn’t abandoned all aspirations of going toe-to-toe with more established players in the large car market.

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With a fastback body style and 4.85m length, it’s in the same ballpark – albeit a little more substantial – as cars like the BMW 4-series Gran Coupe and Audi A5 Sportback. But at 2m wide and 1.37m high, it’s both wider and lower to the ground than the German pair, and enhanced by the use of 22-inch wheels.

It heralds a new style for Citroen, whose small models are likely to take on a form more like that of the C4 Cactus and recently-unveiled C3, both chunky and almost toy-like. With curvy bodywork, rear-hinged doors and new front and rear end styling – including a C5- and C6-like concave rear window – the CXperience is markedly different.

It’s different inside too, with a citrus yellow colour scheme, echoed on the mesh fabric of the seats and offset by walnut wood on the seat backrests. A dash of classic Citroen is thrown in with the use of a single-spoke steering wheel, while a floating dashboard design has been incorporated to give a sense of space.

Single-spoke steering wheels are all well and good, but a more important Citroen characteristic is comfort – and it’s one the brand intends to grow with its ‘Advanced Comfort’ programme.

A major part of this is a new suspension system Citroen is known to be working on, which should replicate the incredible comfort of its old hydropneumatic setups, albeit with greater cornering prowess thanks to modern electronics. Citroen says it ‘significantly improves the filtration system regardless of the defects in the road.’

From a performance perspective, the concept should be served well by a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain. The engine – of unspecified type and capacity – develops between 148-197bhp, while 80kW of electric assistance lifts maximum output to 296bhp

The battery provides enough juice not only for extra performance but also a certain degree of all-electric range – enough for around 37 miles. No great concept-like claims are made of charging time – ‘less than 2.5 hours’ is the grand proclamation from a 6.6kW charger and 32-amp socket.

The Citroen CXperience Concept makes its debut at the Paris motor show, which takes place from October 1-16, 2016.

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