Frankfurt Preview: Citron C5 Airscape - full details, hi-res gallery

Citroën has officially released everything its got on the C5 Airscape Concept that leaked out a few days ago, and it turns out our guess that it incorporated a soft top beneath its tonneau cover was wrong. The C5 Airscape will actually shade its occupants with a folding hard top made out of lightweight, strong and certainly expensive carbon fiber.

Billed as an "executive cabriolet", the C5 Airscape is a four-seat hard-top convertible with expressive styling that looks less like a concept and more like a production ready prototype. Its length is accentuated by a sharp crease running the vehicle's length that also incorporates a strip of chrome acting as a door handle for both sets of doors. The cabin is covered in rich looking Chocolate Brown leather and reportedly features just as many chrome accents as the exterior, though Citroën didn't provide any interior shots.

The concept rides on unique 19-inch alloy wheels that are turned by a 2.7LHDi V6 engine producing 208bhp and augmented by what Citroen calls an 'UrbanHybrid' system. Much like the mild hybrid system used by GM, Citroën's set up incorporates a reversible alternator-starter and super capacitors that can both power accessory systems like the A/C and stereo, as well as give the diesel engine a shot of extra torque when needed.

The C5 Airscape will officially debut in Frankfurt next month and gives us a preview of the new C5 sedan, which we expect to meet next March in Geneva.

[Source: Citroën]

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Citroën will reveal its head-turning C5 Airscape concept car to the world at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show. Featuring a carbon-fibre folding roof, striking styling and crammed with innovative technology, much of which is designed to minimise its impact on the environment, this all-new design provides a fresh take on the world of executive cabriolets.

The high waistline, ribbed panels, C6-style concave rear window and sleek, aerodynamic profile help to communicate the Citroën C5 Airscape's exclusive status, while the distinctive exterior design is further enhanced by the 19-inch alloys, large air-intakes, twin chrome tailpipes and long incisive headlamps.

Without question, one of the 4-seater C5 Airscape's defining characteristics is the automatically foldingtop. Complete with integrated sunroof and textile lining, this carbon-fibre roof resembles a canvas one, a feature so suggestive of up-market cabriolets.

It opens to reveal a sumptuous interior of dark-brown leather and chrome, reflecting the refined and sophisticated nature of the car. The clean, sculpted lines of the dashboard sit alongside the stylish design of the instrument cluster and air vents, while Citroën's concept is also equipped with a new-style fixed centred controls steering wheel, incorporating touch-sensitive buttons enveloped in a thin membrane-like covering.

The latest in a line of green Citroën concepts, the C5 Airscape showcases important and innovative technology. Fuel economy is managed by an 'UrbanHybrid' system that includes a reversible alternator-starter and super capacitors. This system allows onboard equipment, such as the air conditioning or audio system, to be powered by energy recovered during braking and deceleration, while engine torque can be temporarily boosted when required.

The 'UrbanHybrid' system, which helps reduce CO2 emissions by 24g/km on the combined cycle, also switches off the engine when the vehicle is at standstill, before starting it again instantly once the accelerator is pressed. The fitting of a refined, bio-diesel compliant 208bhp 2.7HDi V6 engine, complete with particulate filter, further minimises any impact on the environment.

Helping the C5 Airscape to deliver levels of performance similar to those of a four-wheel drive car, a further technological advancement sees the introduction of a new 'Snow Motion' traction control system that provides enhanced driving safety in low-grip conditions.

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