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First look: Paris stunner heralds hybrid future

On the wild side: Citroen's C-Metisse is a striking show-stopper.

Citroen to reveal its next-gen hybrid drivetrain at its home motor show

13 Sep 2006

CITROEN’S wild C-Metisse concept, previewed last week ahead of its Paris motor show debut late this month, will be the star of the French maker’s home auto show – for all the wrong reasons.

Look beyond the gullwing doors, directional LED headlights and striking interior with roof-mounted head restraints, and it is clear Citroen’s four-door/three-seat Paris show stopper is all about a brand-new hybrid drivetrain.

Likely to emerge in the recently-released C6 sedan flagship and the next-generation C5 sedan – in line with Citroen’s commitment to offer a hybrid version of every model, starting with the C4 – the diesel hybrid system attempts to demonstrate that "pleasure and performance can go hand in hand with care for the environment".

The C-Metisse differs from the C4 HDi hybrid, revealed by Citroen early this year, by featuring electric motors that are installed within its rear wheels.

Curiously, the company that builds only front-drive models said: “This configuration is coherent with vehicle performance and optimises traction.

"Perfectly suited to the character of C-Metisse, the design reflects Citroen’s expertise in the various hybrid architectures, as well as demonstrating its commitment to cutting fuel consumption and CO2 emissions."

33 center imageFor the record, C-Metisse is a sizeable 4740mm long, an imposing 2000mm wide and just 1240mm high. It rides on a three-metre wheelbase and offers just three white leather-clad seats within a cavernous interior, each affording limousine-style knee room. Aiding its efficiency is a low 0.30Cd aerodynamic drag co-efficient and light-weight materials to produce a gross weight of 1400kg (including batteries).

At the business end, however, is a new 150kW diesel V6 with a particulate filter system, dubbed HDi DPFS, which drives the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. Two electric motors, each developing 15kW and 400Nm of torque, are positioned in the rear wheels.

Citroen claims that in the city in all-electric, completely silent ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) mode, the C-Metisse will run for 3km at 30km/h. The diesel V6 kicks in on roads requiring repeated acceleration and deceleration, but still returns average EU combined cycle fuel consumption of 6.5L/100km and CO2 emissions of 174g/km.

More importantly, Citroen claims "no sacrifices have been made in terms of driving pleasure, which remains a key priority for motorists". C-Metisse offers claimed 0-100km/h acceleration in a spritely 6.2 seconds and drives all four wheels both when the V6 is employed and when low-traction conditions are detected by its stability control sensors.

More on Picasso
CITROEN has announced more details of its compact C4 Picasso people-mover ahead of its official Paris motor show debut later this month and its Australian premiere at the Sydney motor show in October.

Due on sale here in early 2007, the new Picasso is 4590mm long, 1830mm wide and 1660mm high. Featuring interior lighting from Citroen’s C-Sportlounge (Geneva show) concept, it will offer seating for up to seven occupants, a new six-speed "electronic gearbox system" (plus conventional manual and auto transmissions), pneumatic rear suspension, "class-beating" interior and cargo space, improved comfort and quality and "outstanding thermal, acoustic and odour-exclusion comfort".

Full local specifications will not be available until launch, but in Europe the new Picasso will be available with four Euro IV emissions-compliant engines: 95kW 1.8i 16V and 107kW 2.0i 16V petrol fours and two particulate filter-equipped diesels in the HDi 110 DPFS and the HDi 138 DPFS.

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