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Future models - Citroen - C5 Aircross

No plans to broaden Citroen C5 Aircross range – yet

Engine room: Citroen has secured government approval for a high-output petrol and turbo-diesel engine options in Australia but will keep to the launch line-up for now.

Citroen Oz keeping more engine choices up sleeve while it sticks to minimal variants

19 Jul 2019

CITROEN has left the door open for it to expand the newly launched C5 Aircross mid-size-SUV range in Australia, having secured government approval to introduce another two engine choices should the opportunity arise.


This also makes it possible for the rebooted French brand to test local waters with different specification levels, perhaps added as special editions during the model’s lifecycle.


Citroen launched the C5 Aircross in Australia last week with a 121kW 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine and six-speed automatic transmission but has also homologated versions with 133kW 1.6-litre turbo-petrol and 130kW 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engines.


Both engine alternatives are paired with a new eight-speed automatic transmission that will debut here in GT variants of Peugeot models and makes available radar-based adaptive cruise control on the C5 Aircross, which at launch is a notable omission from an otherwise comprehensive standard equipment list.


These drivetrains also deliver superior towing capacity to the launch model’s 550kg unbraked and 1200kg braked, with the petrol and diesel respectively able to tow 1500kg and 1650kg braked, or 750kg unbraked.


But Citroen Australia product planning manager Justin Narayan told GoAuto the company is “keeping options open” and has no immediate plans to broaden the line-up.


With low sales volumes and even lower consumer awareness in Australia, Citroen must tread a fine line with its product choices in order to avoid customer confusion and complexity for dealerships. At the same time, it must respect the need for its model line-up to mesh, rather than compete, with sister brand Peugeot.


“When you bring a new model to market, it makes sense to homologate a few things and then you can see how things go,” said Mr Narayan.


“Once we start selling cars, we’ll listen to feedback from dealers and customers and if there’s an opportunity to move forward, we can investigate such things.”


For now, Mr Narayan said Citroen Australia is sticking to its philosophy of “offering fewer choices to make it easier to make a choice”.


“If you keep any future options open, you can choose to investigate it, but there are no plans at present. It’s wise to hedge your bets so that you can do things like that,” he said.


Compared with Australia, the C5 Aircross can be specified in Europe with a panoramic glass roof and its part-leather seats can be upgraded to a two-tone combination of premium Nappa leather and ‘leather-effect cloth’. There are also 30 colour-contrast combinations against the seven offered here.


Peugeot Citroen Australia PR and corporate affairs manager Tyson Bowen suggested that special editions could be used to “give us product cadence over the life of the car”.


As an example, Mr Bowen referred to the smaller C3 Aircross that was brought to market with a ‘Launch Edition’ exclusively featuring a sunroof plus an alternative exterior and interior colour scheme.


He admitted that Citroen Australia had learned from prior mistakes of “cramming it all in and having it sit as it is” and could now be more responsive to the market.


“One thing we’ve really come to learn is that our customers are very engaged. Every time we send out an EDM (electronic direct mail), the response and open rates are much, much higher than you see with other brands because these customers really are brand loyalists,” he said.


Mr Narayan added that PCA is “quite involved with the network when it comes to our product, letting them come on the journey and helping them help us”.

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