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Citroen’s super-exclusive C6 hits Oz

Distinctive: Citroen says C6's unique styling and tech will give it the edge.

Eccentrically styled, high-tech new C6 French luxury sedan arrives in limited numbers

1 Sep 2006

CITROEN Australia’s first large luxury car in more than six years is now on sale following the release of higher than expected pricing and an exhaustive standard specification list for the long awaited C6 sedan.

Available to order but not due for delivery (in limited numbers) until October – the C6 carries an opening price of $97,500 for the 155kW/290Nm 3.0i V6 petrol.

Powered by a 150kW/440Nm version of the same PSA/Ford-developed 2.7-litre common-rail direct-injection twin turbo-diesel V6 that motivates Jaguar’s S-Type sedan and (in single-turbo guise) Land Rover’s Discovery, the C6 HDi V6 variant is priced at $103,500.

Citroen Australia says the C6’s high levels of safety, exclusivity and standard equipment and style will be its greatest assets in the battle to attract buyers of luxury BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Lexus sedans.

Unlike them, the C6 will come with just two options: an electric glass sunroof ($2000) and NaviDrive satellite-navigation ($4000).

Just 25 examples of the new Citroen flagship – 20 of which have already been sold – will be delivered this year, and Citroen Australia plans to import the C6 to customer order to tailor each vehicle to individual requirements.

33 center imageMated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode, both V6 variants will be available in a single specification level that includes ‘Vitelli’ leather seat trim, 18-inch ‘Roccastrada’ alloy wheels, ‘African’ dashboard and door veneers, chrome interior highlights, dual-zone climate-control, a height and reach-adjustable steering wheel, rear sunblind, twin illuminated front vanity mirrors, power windows and a 10-speaker JBL Hi-Fi sound system with speed-sensitive volume control, twin aerials and MP3 compatibility.

Storage solutions include twin front gloveboxes, four "Half-Moon" door bins a cooled centre front armrest compartment and twin front cup-holders.

The extensive standard equipment list also comprises a head-up display with position memory, eight-way front seat power adjustment with driver’s memory, five heated seats, powered "TGV-style" rear seats, rear and (height-adjustable) centre armrests, four 12-volt power outlets, front/rear parking sensors, "Black Panel" function, a multi-function display screen, five-function trip computer and maintenance indicator.

Headlined by its third-generation Hydractive suspension system (with electronic spring and damping control), the C6’s standard high-tech driver aids include a speed-sensitive rear spoiler, automatic and directional Xenon headlights with washers, front and rear fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control with speed-limiter, an electric park brake and auto-dimming interior and (heated/folding) exterior mirrors.

Touted as the world’s safest car because it was the first car to be awarded maximum pedestrian and occupant protection ratings by European NCAP, C6 features an active bonnet, ESP stability control, traction control, ABS with EBD and EBA, front and rear side curtain airbags, twin front airbags, twin front side airbags and a driver’s knee airbag (for a total of nine).

There’s also five three-point seatbelts, front and outboard rear seatbelt pre-tensioners, front seatbelt force limiters, front seatbelt height adjustment, a tyre pressure monitor, active head restraints and automatic hazard light activation in the case of rapid deceleration.

Security features include a perimetric and volumetric alarm, remote central locking with deadlocks, child lock indicator, laminated acoustic side windows and auto re/locking.

All C6s are covered by Citroen’s three-year/100,000km warranty and both petrol and diesel variants feature 20,000km service intervals. The petrol V6 offers claimed 0-100km/h acceleration in 9.4 seconds, average fuel consumption of 11.2L/100km and CO2 emissions of 266g/km.

With 440Nm of peak torque delivered from just 1900rpm, the V6 diesel is even quicker to 100km/h (8.9 seconds claimed), offers lower average consumption of 8.7L/100km and emissions of 230g/km. Both engines offer a 230km/h top speed.

The 4908mm long, 1860mm wide and 1464mm high C6 employs variable hydraulic power steering with 2.94 turns lock to lock to offer a largish 12.43-metre turning circle. It rides on a 2900mm wheelbase, offers a 488-litre boot, has a drag coefficient of 0.31Cd and a kerb weight of 1816kg (1871kg diesel).

The C6 was first revealed at the 2005 Geneva motor show, made its Australian debut at the Melbourne motor show in February and replaces the XM (discontinued in June 2000) as Citroen’s flagship luxury sedan.

Originally expected to arrive in June with prices starting around $90,000, C6 is positioned more than $40,000 above the most expensive C5 medium sedan (the $55,990 V6) but still represents outstanding value in the $80,000-plus large sedan segment, which comprises models as disparate as BMW’s 5 Series, the Mercedes-Benz E-class, Audi’s A6 and the Lexus GS – as well as Swedes like Saab’s 9-5 and Volvo’s S80, Alfa Romeo’s 166, Honda’s new Legend and the Jaguar S-Type diesel itself.

BMW’s top-selling 5 Series sedan range opens with the 2.5-litre 525i ($94,300) and extends to the 3.0-litre 530i ($113,100) and diesel 530d ($115,000), while Mercedes’ soon-to-be-facelifted E-class sedan range starts at $82,500 for the supercharged four-cylinder E300K and spans the diesel E280 CDI ($96,500), E280 ($97,500) and E350 ($124,500).

Audi’s new A6 range opens with the front-drive 2.4 ($80,600) and 3.2 FSI ($97,900) variants and also includes the all-wheel drive 3.0 TDI quattro ($99,900) and 3.2 FSI quattro ($102,900), while Lexus’ V6-powered GS300 represents good value at $95,000. But Honda’s new Legend offers perhaps the best large luxury car value, with the 217kW/351Nm V6 AWD sedan costing just $74,500.

Based on sister brand Peugeot’s 407 platform, the front-drive C6 is claimed to bring new levels of style, technology, safety, space and comfort to the luxury sedan market.

"We already have almost sufficient expressions of interest in the C6 to account for the 2006 allocation of the Citroën C6," said Miles Williams, general manager for Citroen in Australia.

"To be fair both these customers and to those people who may be looking at a 2007 delivery of their Citroen C6, we have decided to announce the Australian specification and pricing ahead of the launch of the car, so they may plan their purchases.

"Prestige and luxury car drivers in Australia have had their car choice principally limited to a few German marques, alongside more understated offerings from a handful of other manufacturers.

"As a result, Teutonic vehicles have dominated the market. Yet, while these vehicles have become a symbol of personal status and success, for many drivers these badges no longer offer individuality and by their very success, they no longer retain exclusivity. This is why the designers at Citroën have worked to develop, create and build the svelte, luxurious and sublime C6.

"It is a premium prestige car for the buyer who wants to move away from more obvious displays of success, the Citroen C6 will appeal to drivers who want to communicate their free-thinking, individualistic style to the world and, at the same, achieve a new level of exclusivity," he said.

2006 Citroen C6 pricing:

C6 3.0i V6 sedan - $97,500
C6 2.7 HDi sedan - $103,500
Options:
Sunroof - $2000
NaviDrive - $4000

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