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Future models - Citroen - C5 - hatch

Citroen C5 on the way

Coming soon: Citroen Australia will sell petrol and diesel versions of the C5.

Citroen has got the jump on its compatriot Renault, by releasing the C5 in Australia months ahead of the Laguna

27 Apr 2001

THE date has been set. Citroen's all-new prestige C5 hatchback will go on sale in Australia on July 1.

The C5 will replace the ageing Xantia in Citroen's local line-up, although it is actually closer in size to the XM hatchback that went out of production in July last year.

It will be available with a choice of three engines, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit, a 2.0-litre HDi turbo-diesel and a 3.0-litre V6, all engines which are shared with the Peugeot 406.

Both 2.0-litre engines will come in SX specification level, while the V6 will be sold as a higher-spec Exclusive grade.

There is no official word on pricing yet, but expect the SX 2.0-litre petrol model to cost around $40,000, while the Exclusive 3.0-litre V6 version should sit at the top end of the prestige segment between $50,000-$55,000.

That will place the C5 in direct competition with its French rivals, the Renault Laguna - which does not arrive until October - and the 406.

The 2.0-litre petrol engine is has been revised to boost power from 97kW to 102kW. Torque has also increased, up 14Nm to 194Nm. The V6 produces 155kW and 288Nm while the turbo-diesel pumps out 82kW and 255Nm.

There will be a choice of two transmissions - a five-speed manual and an adaptive four-speed automatic with Tiptronic-style manual shift function. The turbo-diesel and V6 models will be only be available with automatic transmissions.

The C5 will be equipped with the third generation of Citroen's Hydractive suspension system, which is claimed to offer an excellent balance between ride and handling.

Citroen has set a sales target of 25 cars per month for the C5, which is well up on the Xantia's recent sales performance where it has averaged just eight units per month over the last year.

Citroen Australia general manager Miles Williams said that was due to supply problems and they are expecting the C5 to perform much better.

He said they anticipate the turbo-diesel model to account for around 20 per cent of C5 sales.

An estate version of the C5 will follow the sedans and arrive around mid-August, as production does not start until one month after the sedan models.

But at this stage it will only be available with the 2.0-litre petrol engine, although a choice of manual or automatic transmissions will be offered.

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