Two worlds, one car. “The new Citroën C4 packs in all the best features of two different architectures: comfort typical of saloons, an aspect that is part of our brand’s DNA, and the versatility of SUVs, with a dynamic look and a raised driving position that instils safety”. Speaking from the brand’s headquarters near Paris at the world launch, Citroën’s head of design Pierre Leclerq tells the story of the genesis of the new French crossover.

“Infinite customizations”

Anticipated style-wise by the 19_19 concept car created to celebrate the French brand’s centenary, the C4 is a fully paid up member of the successful compact crossover segment (4.36 metres long). “The aesthetics had to reflect the infinite customisation and modularity potential of this model also from a propulsion point of view”, says the Belgian designer.

Greater road presence

A distinctive feature made possible by the use of the PSA group’s CMP platform, since not many other cars in the segment have the option of petrol, diesel or zero-emission (ë-C4) engines. The front end features the signature Double Chevron that this time stretches out in two parallel chrome-plated strips as far as the headlights, “symbolising a greater road presence”. The same theme is repeated in the rear where the lights are split and joined graphically by a black element positioned beneath the spoiler that traverses the full width of the C4.

Citations from the past 

A plastic bumper strip surrounds the whole car and characterises the lower part of the profile with a matt geometric element, perhaps a styling reference to the Airbump of the C4 Cactus that has caused so much controversy. “The new C4 presents clear citations of models from the past that have made the brand’s history. An example? The falling roof line and the steeply sloping rear window: two hallmark features of the legendary 1970 Citroën GS”.

Digital interiors 

The interior has also been completely revolutionised in the name of digitisation. The 10-inch centre display controls multimedia system functions, while lower down we find some handy buttons for instant adjustment of the air-conditioning system. The digital instrument screen is located in front of the driver with the head up display higher up.

Materials and sustainability 

The selection of colours and materials for the interior was inspired by the world of furniture with an eye to sustainability: “In the C4, the fabrics and materials also communicate a feeling of comfort through touch and sight. We have six colour schemes for the interior and 31 different solutions for the exterior in the interests of maximum customisation. We believe in the sustainability of the production process and the materials we use: in our cars we are able to recycle most of the components. This is the right way to look to the future, exactly as the new C4 does”.

(Full article in A&D no. 244)