Citroen C4 Picasso

Yesterday, Citroën released details surrounding it's new seven-seat compact MPV, the C4 Picasso. It joins the smaller Xsara Picasso and larger C8 to give the French automaker a 3-car MPV lineup. Its formal debut will take place at the Paris Motor Show next month.

Competing against similar vehicles like the Ford S-Max and Renault Grand Scenic, the C4 Picasso is a very stylish and innovative entrant in segment. Appealing lines, tasteful front and rear-end treatments and a flowing greenhouse set the tone for the car's exterior. It's likely to win people over on looks alone, but in case that's not enough, the interior should seal the deal.

Obviously, the seven seats can be reconfigured in a number of ways. That's expected. The big surprise is the radically different dash panel layout. All the major controls the driver needs have been relocated to the steering wheel, which we show in detail after the jump. The dash is almost fully devoid of buttons as a result, save for a few located underneath the main NAV/info/gauge displays. Driver and passenger get their own HVAC controls, which are pushed out to the two far corners.

(Continues after the jump. Pics, press release also follow)

[Source: Citroën]


While we obviously haven't tried it ourselves yet, the control for the main info/nav display looks promising. It's located on the lower right side of the steering wheel and consists of four buttons (Menu, Mode, Esc, OK) and a scroll wheel -- simple when compared some other in-car GUI controllers. All the free space the wheel-mounted controls creates up front allows for interesting features like a refrigerated storage unit below the information center (instead of between the front seats, the usual location for something like this.)

Visibility is said to be excellent, thanks to a panoramic windscreen, thin pillars, and huge glass sunroof. The range of available engines includes two diesels and one gasoline powerplant. Check out the release from Citroën after the jump for a much more detailed breakdown of the C4 Picasso's feature set. It's quite impressive on paper, at least, and should be one of the stars of the Paris show.

EXTERIOR
Citroen C4 Picasso

Exterior Detail:
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INTERIOR
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Interior Detail:
Citroen C4 Picasso
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Citroen C4 Picasso
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Citroen C4 Picasso


PRESS RELEASE:

C4 Picasso: a whole new MPV concept

Citroën will unveil the C4 Picasso in a world-premier appearance at the 2006 Paris Motor Show. This new, innovative and compact seven-seater MPV is the natural extension of the Marque's range. The C4 Picasso sports distinctive styling and a host of original features that make travelling by MPV an even more comfortable and enjoyable experience:
  • outstanding visibility and clarity with the wide-angle panoramic windscreen
  • an uncluttered front compartment with an innovative drive station and the new 6-speed electronic gearbox system
  • class-leading space in the passenger compartment and boot
  • original seat-folding functions that allow the interior layout to be reconfigured quickly and simply, thus accommodating up to seven occupants comfortably
  • unparalleled interior comfort with temperature control, soundproofed windows and air quality sensors
  • a comfortable ride and a pleasant drive, with pneumatic suspension at the rear.

On the compact MPV market, most carmakers offer either a single body shape with a varying number of seats or two identically styled bodies that differ in length only. With the C4 Picasso and the Xsara Picasso, which continues to excel, Citroën now offers two vehicles in this segment that are quite distinct in terms of both style and features.

The style, dimensions, space, modular design and unique features of the C4 Picasso make it the natural extension of Citroën's MPV range, now composed of three models that are different and complementary: the Xsara Picasso and C4 Picasso, and a large MPV, the C8.

With the fluid and harmonious profile of a true thoroughbred, the C4 Picasso has all the hallmarks of a Citroën. Continuing the trend set by the brand's latest models, this new MPV boasts some unique features that make life on board simpler and more enjoyable for its occupants.

Exceptional visibility and clarity

C4 Picasso offers outstanding visibility with:
  • A standard wide-angle panoramic windscreen that doubles the visibility at the front of the vehicle. The vertical angle of visibility is 70°, compared with just 35° in a conventional MPV.
  • Large quarter lights and narrow windscreen side pillars, for the best front three-quarter visibility in its class.
The visibility and clarity in the front of the vehicle are quite exceptional and the rest of the passenger compartment is also light and airy thanks to the large side windows. The clarity in the passenger compartment is further enhanced by the biggest glass sunroof (1.04 m) currently available on a compact MPV. C4 Picasso boasts the largest glazed area on the compact MPV market, reaching a full 6.4 m2 with the panoramic glass sunroof.

The passenger compartment remains just as welcoming and atmospheric at night thanks to a host of original lighting sources, such as light guides under the front fascia, in the door panels and in the headlining that diffuse soft, gentle light inside the vehicle. Lighting can be customised day and night by selecting a colour on the control cluster, and the air conditioning screens at either end of the dashboard are illuminated by yellow lights. Passengers can use the handy reading lights built into the back of the front seats. And if they reach into the storage cubbies in the door panels, a light comes on automatically to help them find what they are looking for. In addition, a hand-held torch that automatically recharges when the vehicle is in motion is stored in the boot.

A roomy front compartment

The interior layout has been reorganised to create plenty of room in the front and enhance the sensation of well-being and space on board. The reorganised interior features:
  • An innovative drive station that frees up the space in the centre of the dashboard by doing away with the usual central support console for the gearshift control. The original drive station is combined with either the new 6-speed electronic gearbox system or the automatic gearbox. The gearbox controls are steering wheel-mounted, while the selector and gearshift paddles are built into the steering column.
  • Air conditioning controls positioned at either end of the dashboard within easy reach of the occupants.
  • Main comfort functions and driver aids that are all within easy reach of the driver on the fixed-centred controls steering wheel.
  • A dashboard-mounted automatic electric parking brake that does away with the mechanical hand brake between the front seats.
The reorganisation of the interior has created enough space for four large, closed storage compartments in the dashboard, including a refrigerated cubby that can hold one 1.5-litre bottle or two 0.5-litre bottles.

*Standard-setting interior space

C4 Picasso is an exceptionally spacious vehicle. Its architecture and dimensions (4.59 m long, 1.83 m wide and 1.66 m high) make for a roomy interior. The three rows of seats can comfortably accommodate up to seven passengers:
  • C4 Picasso offers class-leading elbow room for all three rows of seats.
  • There is more space between the front seats than in any other vehicle in the segment. This extra room makes it easier for occupants in the front and rear to communicate with each other and provides greater visibility for the occupant of the second-row middle seat, who can enjoy the view through the panoramic windscreen.
  • The three second-row seats are all of equal width and equipped with Isofix points. As in the Xsara Picasso, the floor is flat for greater ease of movement and a more comfortable seated position for the occupant in the middle seat in the second row.
  • There is more leg room in the second row than in any other vehicle in the category.
  • The third row of seats can accommodate two more adult passengers, with footwells for added comfort.
The biggest boot in its category

C4 Picasso offers an exceptionally comfortable interior without reducing the size of the boot. The amount of boot space depends on the interior layout.
  • In the most common configuration, with the seats in row three folded away and the row-two seats pushed right back, the volume beneath the parcel shelf of 576 litres VDA is the largest in its category and the distance between the wheel arches is a full class-leading 1.17 m.
  • Thanks to the opening rear window, the boot can be comfortably loaded right up to the roof and can be easily accessed even when the vehicle is parked in a tight space.
  • In the seven-seater layout, boot storage space is increased by deep, closed compartments positioned beneath the row-three seats.
  • When all the seats are folded away, maximum capacity is 1,951 litres VDA.
Quick and easy to reconfigure

C4 Picasso's modular design allows the interior layout to be reconfigured quickly and easily, while keeping all the seats inside the vehicle.
  • The second row of seats can all be folded away in a single movement without removing the headrests.
  • The third-row seating can be easily folded away under the vehicle floor without removing the headrests.
  • Once the rear seats are folded, the continuous, flat loading space in the boot stretches all the way to the front seat-backs.
  • The original movements of the seats allow for easy access to the third row. The cushions of the second-row side seats are automatically lifted towards the seat back, much like a cinema seat, by pressing a control. The seats then slide up against the front seat-backs in a single movement.

Unique features for unparalleled passenger comfort

Close attention has also been paid to the comfort of the C4 Picasso, especially the quality of the suspension – a constant priority for Citroën. The air suspension at the rear offers a number of advantages:
  • Increased comfort for all the passengers.
  • A stable vehicle attitude, irrespective of the load.
  • A smoother and safer drive, regardless of load.
  • The possibility to lower and raise the boot sill using a control inside the boot, making it easier to load heavy or large objects.
The vehicle's comfort features have also been given special attention. No efforts have been spared to make sure that the interior is temperate, quiet and odour-free with:
  • automatic four-zone air conditioning with individual air flow controls on the left and right in row two
  • a second air conditioning system (certain countries only) that sends air flows to rows two and three and the boot
  • soundproofed laminated side windows
  • an air quality sensor that prevents pollutants in the atmosphere from entering the vehicle,
  • a scented air freshener
  • video screens built into the row one seat backs with IR headsets and a DVD player
  • a hi-fi system with eight loudspeakers positioned throughout the passenger compartment and an MP3 player
Close attention has been paid to the perceived quality of the passenger compartment. The prestige interior materials are pleasant to touch; the chrome and gloss black are eye-appealing; the paintwork is smooth; and the grain of the dashboard and door panels is exceptionally fine.

Unique features for improved driveability

The snug interior is combined with exceptional driveability. The C4 Picasso features a new six-speed electronic gearbox system, coupled to the 143 bhp 2-litre petrol engine or the 110 bhp or 138 bhp HDi diesel powerplants with particulate filters.

The quick, precise shifts of the six-speed electronic gearbox system deliver outstanding performance and one of the smoothest drives in its category. This gearbox also helps reduce fuel consumption by 4 to 5 per cent and CO2 emissions by 5 g per km.

Unique features for greater ease of use

The Picasso C4 is also an easy vehicle to use, with its automatic electric parking brake, hill start assist, parking space measurement system and an automatic filler cap.

Crammed with unique features and exceptionally easy to use, the C4 Picasso is an innovative new arrival on the compact MPV market.

With three MPVs (Xsara Picasso, C4 Picasso and C8), each with its own distinctive style and features, Citroën continues to renew and broaden its range, which is now more complete and more varied than ever.