Citroen developing ‘unconventional’ saloon models

Citroën’s product planning boss says the firm is committed to offering ‘traditional’ car styles in the future, despite its recent focus on SUVs – but adds that it will approach future models “in an unconventional way”.

The French firm is currently undergoing a major range renewal, which has focused on introducing new and updated SUV models, because of their rapidly rising popularity. That has involved dropping largely traditional cars from its line-up – for example, with the C4 replaced by the higher-riding C4 Cactus. But Xavier Peugeot says that, with key models such as the C3 Aircross and C5 Aircross in place, attention will now switch to other body shapes.

“There are not only SUVs in the world: there are hatches, saloons and estates, and there are lots of markets in which these other types of car play a role,” Peugeot told Autocar. “That means we have to give an answer [to meet that demand], and we will.

“But there is one thing connected to our DNA: we will not consider additional silhouettes in a classical way. Citroën’s DNA is rooted in a bold capacity to shake the rules and move the standards.”

With large saloons still popular in the key Chinese market, Citroën is developing a replacement for the C5 and C6, which will be based on the C-xperience concept seen at the 2016 Paris motor show. Peugeot said that any such car would be based on the PSA Group’s LMP2 platform used for the recent Peugeot 508. 

Peugeot admitted a bold design could prove divisive, but noted the same was true of the firm’s ‘airbumps’ and said: “A Citroën has to be easily identified. I love it when people go ‘wow, I love it’, while others go ‘mmm, not sure’. We just need to get the balance right.

“We need cars that create reaction, that are not seen as the classical – otherwise we betray our brand values.”