Citroën is confident its new C4 Picasso multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) or people-mover will be another global trendsetter, thereby following in the tracks of the original Xsara Picasso, which was launched to much acclaim in 1999. Initial response to the latest model from the motoring press and buyers in Europe, where it was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year, has been very positive and enthusiastic.
“We announced an aggressive new model introduction policy for Citroën in South Africa at the time of the recent restructuring of our business in terms of the establishment of Peugeot Citroën South Africa” explained PCSA Managing Director Francis Harnie “and this launch of the C4 Picasso MPV is the first step in a programme which will increase the Citroën range of innovative, trend-setting cars.”
Two derivatives of the C4 Picasso have joined the rapidly growing range of Citroën vehicles on sale in South Africa – the Seduction and Intensive – both powered by a 1.6-litre e-HDi 115 turbo diesel engine developing 85kW of power and 270Nm of torque. Power goes to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.
These smooth-running engines offer sparkling performance with a top speed of 189km/h and 11.8 seconds for the 0-100km sprint, while fuel economy is very impressive too, with a consumption of 4litres/100km for the combined cycle with CO2 emissions of only 105g/km.
Pricing of this trending five-seater MPV is very keen, with the Seduction model launching from R325 900 and the even more comprehensively equipped Intensive version from R345 900.
“The first Picasso MPV was a development of the Citroën Xsara hatch, while the latest model is built on brand new underpinnings, known as the EMP2 platform, with EMP standing for Efficient Modular Platform,” said the General Manager – Marketing of PCSA, Grant Bowring.
“This new platform is significantly lighter than the previous version and provides the opportunity to lower the engine, thereby the centre of gravity too, making the car more stable while also providing extra interior space,” added Bowring.
“The design team in France has coined the term ‘Technospace’ for the overall design philosophy behind the spacious new Citroen C4 Picasso as it combines the latest ideas from Citroën’s Créative Technologie division with the design possibilities arising from the use of a new, lightweight platform which uses aluminium and high tensile steel to reduce weight and gain in torsional rigidity.
“Besides the lightweight platform the Picasso also has an aluminium bonnet and composite rear hatch, which together cut 70kg from the car’s mass. A total weight reduction of 140kg compared with its predecessor brings the car’s mass down to 1 298kg, which has significant benefits in terms of fuel economy and performance. Here too improved aerodynamics, with a CdA of 0.71, also plays an important role,” said Bowring.
Travelling becomes a relaxing experience on the new C4 Picasso with the exclusive Lounge Pack comprising front seats with a massage and seat warming function while the front passenger can also stretch his or her legs using the extending seat squab. All the seats are fitted with Relax headrests to provide optimum neck support. It is like travelling Business Class!
Although comfort is always top of the list with the Citroën design and development team they do not stint in terms of driving enjoyment which means outstanding handling and roadholding.
Of course, being a Citroën means the latest C4 Picasso should also be innovative with unusual features, which is the case.
The exterior styling is pacesetting, with bold, modern lines tending towards a futuristic look with a shorter front overhang and wider track giving it an aggressive, road-hugging stance.
Designer Fréderic Soubirou has put his mark on the C4 Picasso in the form of a C shape side signature in chrome that gives the side view its own, chic personality while highlighting the space available for rear seat passengers. It certainly does not look like the average “mom’s taxi.”
The attractive front end features a new look for the trademark Citroën chevrons, while slim, LED daytime running lights extend the line of the grille, sitting just above the very slender headlights. Fog lamps add the finishing touch to this very original Citroën signature in lights.
The 3D styling effect for the LED lights at the rear was inspired by the rear light treatment of the recent Tubik, Survolt and Revolte concept cars displayed at recent motor shows and employed on the Citroen DS3 last year.
The attractive styling of the latest C4 Picasso can be shown off to good effect with a choice of five colours: Polar White, Aluminium Grey, Ruby red, Teles Blue and Shark Grey.
Uniquely-styled alloy wheels are highlights of the exterior styling. The Seduction shows off 16” Viper wheels and the Intensive sports 17” Anaconda rims, both with Michelin tyres.
The Citroën designers and stylists have also been given the opportunity to showcase their ability with an innovative interior for the new C4 Picasso. The overall look and feel tends towards minimalist, with a clean looking facia with few knobs or controls, rather relying on multi-function controls on the chunky steering wheel and a multi-purpose 7” touch screen in the centre of the dashboard and a 12” optional panoramic HD screen. Citroën describes it as a “full digital driving interface”.
The 7” touch screen with its seven touch-sensitive buttons controls all in-car functions including satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control, and an audio system with six speakers, USB connectivity, Bluetooth with media streaming and an additional USB socket all within a finger’s reach. The 12” panoramic HD screen displays essential driving information. Drivers can even display a personal photo as a screen backdrop using a USB key.
HDh There are front park assist sensors on both models while the Intensive model also has front park assist sensors and the Park Assist system for easy parallel parking. Storage spaces abound, including two beneath the floor of the second row of seats.
Seating consists of five individual seats, with the three seats in the second row offering the convenience of occupants being able to adjust the rake of the backrest.
There are a host of convenience items including programmable cruise control and speed limiter, an electronic handbrake with hill start assist, automatic on-off for the headlamps and windscreen wipers, sliding driver’s and passenger’s sun blinds with sun visors and courtesy mirrors, “find my car” feature with illumination by means of the interior lights and flashing hazard warning lights and a “guide me home” headlamp function.
Additional equipment on the Intensive variant includes LED front indicators, kerb lighting (puddle lights in the exterior rear view mirrors), removable and rechargeable boot light/torch, interior mood lighting, integrated, retractable rear side window blinds, rear seat conversation mirror and front fog lamps with a cornering function.
Luggage space is very generous with 537 litres capacity below the parcel shelf which can be enlarged to a very spacious 1851 litres when the rear seat backrests are folded forward. In addition the powered tailgate can be opened remotely by the press of a button.
As one would expect from Citroën there is a vast array of standard safety and security equipment, including ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution (EBD), emergency braking assistance (EBA), electronic stability control (ESC) with intelligent traction control; automatic activation of the hazard warning lights in case of rapid deceleration or impact, six air bags and a deflated tyre indicator.
The Citroën C4 Picasso comes with a 3-year/100 000km warranty, 5-year/100 000km service plan, 3-year 24-hour roadside assistance, with the extra cost option of extending the warranty to 5-years/100 000km. Then there is the option of purchasing Citroën Freedrive, which consists of a 5-year/100 00km warranty and a 5-year/100 000km maintenance plan.
“We are very proud of this latest addition to the Citroën model line-up in South Africa as it is class-leading in many aspects of its specification besides being exceptionally stylish too. We are confident it will be yet another trend-setter from the chevron brand,” concluded PCSA Managing Director Francis Harnie.