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Future models - Citroen - DS4

Paris show: Citroen set to shift up a gear with DS4

Four with more: The Citroen DS4 is set to arrive in Australia in the third quarter of 2011.

Australia set to get top-flight DS4 turbo, thanks to Citroen auto gearbox expansion

Citroen logo30 Aug 2010

By RON HAMMERTON

CITROEN’S decision to offer a self-shifting gearbox with all engines on its all-new premium small car, the DS4, is set to pave the way for Citroen Australia to import the hot 147kW version of the Audi A3 competitor when it arrives Down Under in the third quarter of next year.

First details of the production DS4 were announced today by the French car-maker ahead of the car’s Paris motor show debut on September 30, just days after the Australian launch of its smaller light-car sibling, the DS3.

Built on the Citroen C4 platform, the four-door, five-seat DS4 is – as forecast – taller (by 70mm), wider (40mm) and therefore more spacious than the donor car that is also destined for Australia next year, but about the same length.

In Europe, the DS4 will be offered with a choice of five four-cylinder engines – two diesels and three petrol.

That line-up will include Citroen’s hot 149kW/240Nm petrol 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder engine – co-developed with BMW for its Mini – that was unveiled in the DS3 Racing at the Geneva motor show in March.

But the news that most pleases Citroen Australia is that all five engines will be offered with Citroen’s ‘robotised’ EGS (electronic gearbox system) – a departure from previous policy – as well as six-speed manual gearboxes.

Citroen Australia public relations manager Edward Rowe said the decision meant top-end petrol engines that would previously be offered only with a manual gearbox would now be on the wish-list for Australia, where many premium car buyers demand self-shifting alternatives.

He said that, while Citroen Australia had not yet decided its powertrain line-up, it most likely would include the top two petrol engines and possibly a diesel.

33 center imageThis means the DS4 would be an all-turbo line-up in Australia, starting with a 115kW/240Nm 1.6-litre petrol engine – codenamed THP 115 and shared with the C4 donor car – before stepping up to the high-performance THP 200, with 147kW and 275NM.

The latter is said to emit 149 grams of CO2 per kilometre and, like all engines in the range, is Euro 5 compliant.

The diesel engine choices are a 1.6-litre 81kW/270Nm 110 HDi that made its debut in the C3, and a range-topping 120kW/340Nm 2.0-litre HDi 160 from the C4.

A more frugal e-HDi variant of the smaller diesel engine will be available in Europe, using technologies such as idle-stop and energy-recovery alternator to trim fuel consumption by 15 per cent in urban driving.

The DS4’s body is true to the original ‘DS High Rider’ concept shown at Geneva, except that rear doors are now evident, albeit with Alfa-style hidden rear door handles, to present a coupe-like profile.

However, Citroen is keeping the full front view of the car under wraps until the show, releasing only rear and side images.

Citroen says the rear bench seat can accommodate three full-sized adults, while the boot can hold 370 litres of luggage.

The rear roofline finishes with a spoiler, while the sculpted wheel arches can accommodate 19-inch wheels.

Visibility for the front-seat occupants is said to be “panoramic”, with Citroen’s now trademark high-brow windscreen adding to the view while also helping to cut noise by application of a damping film in the lamination process.

The conventional front suspension is MacPherson strut while the rear set-up is a flexible transverse beam.

Citroen says personalisation will be a key feature of the DS4, with a broad choice of interior trims and features, plus selectable ambience controls. These include four choices for on-board chimes for various warnings – Classic, Crystal, Symphony, Jungle Fantasy and Urban Rythmik – along with three air-conditioning levels – soft, average and intense.

Among the safety features are front fog lights with cornering illumination and blind-spot monitoring system.

Citroen Australia says the DS4 is schedule to arrive in Australia around the third quarter of 2011, after the C4 hatch.

As well, the French brand is set to rev up the newly arrived DS3 premium light hatch with R3 and WRC variants in 2011.

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