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Future models - Citroen - C4 Picasso

Citroen C4 Picasso here soon

French quarter: The C4 Picasso will join its popular seven-seat Grand Picasso sibling in the local Citroen line-up next year.

Five-seat C4 Picasso on the way as Citroen’s new model plans ramp up a gear

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Citroen logo6 Oct 2014

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

CITROEN’S five-seat C4 Picasso will debut in Australia in the first quarter of next year, adding yet another model line to the company’s growing armada of vehicle choices.

To sell alongside the seven-seater Grand C4 Picasso that launched back in February, the five-seat version features a shorter wheelbase and different bodywork aft of the B-pillar to the larger MPV.

According to Sime Darby Group Australia marketing manager Dimitri Andreatidis, Australian consumers are ready for a practical and attractive five-seater Euro wagon.

“We’re very excited about the Picasso,” he told GoAuto at the Peugeot 308 launch in Spain last week. “The Grand Picasso has been very well received in Australia. The dealers and consumers have responded very positively. It is being well supported.”

It will be the third model after its bigger brother and the 308 to use PSA Peugeot/Citroen’s all-new EMP2 modular platform.

While drivetrain and variant configurations have yet to be confirmed, it is believed that the smaller car will offer a 1.6-litre THP four-cylinder turbo petrol engine.

Driving the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission, it should produce around 120kW of power, while idle stop technology should help the keep fuel economy at a respectable level.

In contrast the Grand C4 Picasso is a diesel-only affair, powered by a 110kW/370Nm 2.0-litre HDi engine that is also matched with a six-speed automatic transmission.

The main competitors are likely to be more conventional station wagons such as the Mazda6, Ford Mondeo and Hyundai i40 Tourer, though buyers of upmarket hatchbacks such as the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer are also on Citroen’s watch-list as potential conquests.

Mr Andreatidis believes the C4 Picasso’s offbeat design and innovative interior layout will soon garner a substantial following among smaller families as well as Europhiles in Australia.

“It’s also a brand halo vehicle for us, in that it brings to life our brand signature of creative technology,” he said. “It has been designed for families.

The only difference between the Grand and regular Picasso is the number of seats.”

The C4 Picasso will kick off a busy year for Citroen, with the facelifted DS3 and a new-generation C3 light car due in the first half of next year, as well as the long-awaited Cactus small crossover.

With its myriad personalisation options, the latter is expected to appeal to the same sort of younger buyer as the Mini, though its asking price is expected to be in the lower $20,000 mark.

Sime Darby is confident that the upcoming C4 Picasso will find its niche in this country, since the Grand version has become one of the brand’s best-selling models.

Since launching earlier in the year, it is only a few sales behind the Berlingo panel van series as Citroen’s most popular model.

The French seven-seater is well off the pace of the market leaders in the people-mover class – Honda’s newly redesigned Odyssey and the Kia Carnival.

The C4 is the third generation of Citroen multi-purpose wagon to brandish the Picasso name. The first – the Xsara Picasso of 1999 – was built on the same platform as the iconic Peugeot 306.

Though it was not released in Australia, that first version gained a strong following in Europe, prompting its maker to branch out with a ‘Grand’ seven-seater iteration (as the C4) from 2006.

Citroen began imports of that particular vehicle in 2007.

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