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Geneva show: PSA vans a chance for Aus

French flair: Peugeot's version of the van trio is called the Traveller and it might end up in Australian showrooms.

Toyota says no but PSA Peugeot Citroen vans could make it Down Under


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11 Feb 2016

PSA Peugeot Citroen has detailed its van project that was co-developed with Toyota ahead of its official debut at the Geneva motor show this month, and the load-lugger is under consideration for the Australian market.

In Europe, the trio will be sold as a Peugeot Traveller, Citroen Spacetourer and a Toyota Proace from the first half of 2016, shortly after their Geneva unveiling.

While Toyota Australia has ruled out introducing the Proace Down Under, saying they have “no plans to augment our already broad van line-up in Australia”, Peugeot and Citroen distributor Sime Darby Motors Group said that both versions “are currently being studied for potential Australian introduction”.

So far the three car-makers have shown images of the passenger van version, but there will also be light-commercial vehicle, shuttle and 'combi' variants down the track.

Early last year Sime Darby announced it had discontinued sales of its Peugeot commercial van range that included the Partner light van and the Expert mid-sizer, leaving Citroen with the sole offering in the form of its Berlingo.

At the time, the company said the focus of the Peugeot brand and its network was more on retail and less on commercial vehicle customers, which would require significant investment to implement at a dealer level.

It is unclear if Sime Darby would introduce both models or choose one, but if the focus has shifted away from commercial vans under Peugeot, then it could arrive wearing Citroen badges.

It is not the first time the French firm has teamed up with the Japanese automotive giant. In 2014 the three brands launched their own versions of the same tiny city car that was marketed in Europe as the Citroen C1, Peugeot 108 and the Toyota Aygo.

European-spec vans from the three brands will share powertrains, of which there are five diesel BlueHDi units ranging in power from 70kW to 132kW.

It is built on a version of the EMP2 platform that underpins the Peugeot 308 and Citroen Grand C4 Picasso and will be available in standard or long-wheelbase guise, with three choices for overall length including the XS (4600mm), M (4950mm) and XL (5300mm).

Depending on the variant, luggage space ranges from 1978 litres to 1932L with five seats in place and upright.

Inside there is seating for up to nine people and a number of storage compartments, while new tech to the segment includes hands-free side door opening with a wave of the foot under the corner of the rear bumper. The sliding side doors are motorised and the rear window opens for easy access.

Depending on specification levels, the vans will feature a 7.0-inch tablet, housing multimedia functions, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink connectivity, a head-up display, park assist, a smart beam headlight function and a 3D Connect Nav system.

Available active safety kit includes lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, road-sign recognition, driver fatigue alert, active cruise control and a collision alert system.

PSA Peugeot Citroen head of programme and strategy Patrice Lucas said the co-development with Toyota has helped create a competitive offering in the van segment.

“We are delighted to present today these three new vehicles, the result of the co-operation with Toyota Motor Europe,” he said. “This agreement has enabled us to develop a new and efficient vehicle platform, offering our customers around the world modern products which are particularly competitive in their segment.” All three versions will be built at PSA Peugeot Citroen’s plant of Sevelnord, in Valenciennes, France.

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