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Citroen Grand C4 Picasso goes techno

Grand daddy: Citroen’s Grand C4 Picasso maintains the same length but has more interior space than the outgoing model.

Citroen’s Grand C4 Picasso is lighter, more efficient, and set for Oz next year

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Citroen logo27 Jun 2013

By TIM NICHOLSON

CITROEN’S next-generation C4 Grand Picasso people-mover has just the thing for weary mums and dads — massaging seats.

The French car maker today revealed its latest version of the seven-seat family transporter, showing a vehicle that is now lighter, more spacious and more technologically advanced.

A highlight for parents, though, has to be the inclusion of an options pack that adds a massage function to both front seats.

The seven-seat people mover looks set to arrive in Australian showrooms in the first half of next year and features a striking new look previewed by the futuristic-looking Technospace concept at the Geneva motor show earlier this year.

The concept’s design has carried over with few changes to the smaller, five-seat C4 Picasso unveiled in April.

The seven-seat version has the same rounded front as the Technospace, with the brand’s twin chevrons curving out to the quarter panels where they incorporate slim-line LED daytime running lights.

Unlike the Tehcnospace, the people-mover features individual 3D-effect LED tail-lights.

The Grand C4 Picasso’s side profile emphasizes its length, and Citroen says it has increased cabin and cargo space without stretching the length of the new version, which remains at 4590mm.

However, moving to a platform that it will share with the Peugeot 308 hatchback has allowed Citroen to extend the wheelbase by 110mm to 2840mm, which it says is the longest in its segment.

The extra wheelbase has resulted in 217mm of extra knee room in the second row, and 108mm in the third row, which Citroen claims is also best in segment.

Moving the rear wheels back by 55mm compared with the five-seat C4 Picasso has improved access to the removable third row of seating, it says.

Luggage space is up by 69 litres over the previous model, to 645L with five seats up, and more than 700L with the second row stowed.

Honda’s Odyssey people-mover can swallow 708L with the third row down, but both pale in comparison with the top-selling Kia Grand Carnival, which can carry 912L with all seats up and 2380L with the third row down.

Citroen also claims the Grand C4 Picasso has the widest boot in its category, with 1170mm of space between the wheel arches.

The people-mover has lost as much as 100kg through the use of aluminuim and other light-weight composite materials as part of PSA’s EMP2 platform that underpins it.

Powertrains on offer in Europe include a 67kW turbo-diesel 1.6-litre engine – or “e-HDi 90 Airdream” as Citroen calls it – that when mated to a six-speed clutchless gearbox, can achieve a Toyota Prius-beating average fuel use of 3.8 litres per 100 kilometres while emitting just 98g/km of CO2.

A second 1.6-litre diesel engine, the e-HDi 115, sips 4.0L/100km and emits 104g/km of CO2, while the Euro 6-compliant 2.0-litre BlueHDi 150 produces 112kW of power and 110g/km CO2, which Citroen claims is the lowest in its class at that power level.

This engine features an exhaust-based catalytic converter that reduces the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 90 per cent over the outgoing model, while idle-stop helps reduce fuel use while stopped in traffic.

As well as the clutchless manual, the Grand C4 Picasso will be available with a new six-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual gearbox, depending on the engine choice.

Citroen says the loft-inspired interior gets an all-new dash design, LED interior lighting, two-tone dash, door inserts and leather upholstery, and satin chrome and black highlights.

Asymmetrically designed front seats give the appearance of a sofa-like bench, while second-row seats are all independent with adjustable bases and backs.

A 12-inch panoramic screen dominates the centre of the dash and displays all essential driving information.

A seven-inch touchscreen sits in the middle of the centre stack, and controls the satellite navigation, air-conditioning, audio and telephone functions.

An optional ‘Lounge Pack’ features front massaging seats, luxury head-rests on all seats, a “Relax” front passenger seat that opens up acres of legroom, and a multimedia pack that fits a pair of screens into the front seat backs.

Citroen has upped the safety features for the Grand C4 Picasso, including active cruise control, blind-spot and anti-collision warnings, and the usual array of safety gear.

Other tech features include a park assist function that can automatically find and steer the vehicle into a space, and Citroen’s 360 Vision system that uses four cameras around the car to give the driver a bird’s-eye view when reversing or moving out of a tight space.

Speaking with GoAuto in April, Citroen Automobiles Australia general manager John Startari ruled out bringing the five-seat C4 Picasso to Australia, but a spokesperson confirmed that Citroen’s local arm is now looking into it.

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