Vive la difference
A pair of new Citroens have substance to supplement their considerable style
TWO great looking new Citroens are being scoped for Australia.
The five-seater C4 Picasso has re-emerged as a likely starter for families while the DS Wild Rubis concept tops the wish list after its unveiling for the Shanghai motor show.
The compact Picasso, dismissed in favour of the seven-seater Grand Picasso people mover that’s a longterm member of Citroen’s local line-up, has re-emerged as a contender after a body update. The Wild Rubis is a long shot because its development is focused on China, but Australia’s plan for a DS-driven sales push means it would be a natural if available.
‘‘ We want to build the brand and that means we’re looking at everything,’’ says Citroen Australia head John Startari.
Citroen has re-launched under a new distributor and plans to boost its sales by 35 per cent in the short term, with double-digit improvements over coming years.
Startari says he is impressed by the C4 Picasso: ‘‘ It’s not something we should discard, because there are significant changes.
‘‘ We don’t have pricing yet, and that makes it harder, but it was a definite no and now it’s a possible.’’
Included in the Picasso update are a loft-style cabin with added space, twin touch-screen displays, park assist, active seat belts and even ultrasonic blind spot monitoring.
Startari believes the Wild Rubis would be a surefire hit here but is not confident it will be built with right-hand drive.
‘‘ I think it’s a very exciting prospect. We’d need a business case for right-hand drive. And the largest right-hand drive market is the UK,’’ he says.
The stylish SUV is clearly intended for DS production, although its 21-inch alloys and plug-in hybrid driveline might struggle for showroom approval.
Citroen says it ‘‘ points to a future DS SUV’’ and it’s likely the concept will be transferred to the road within two years, with its basic 4.7-metre bodywork unchanged.
Startari is looking forward to delivering an expanded Citroen range. ‘‘ It’s great to be part of something that has this ability to do things differently,’’ he says. ‘‘ Cars are being traded as commodities now, regardless of the brand, and people are looking for something different. There is a relevant, visible point of difference at Citroen. And that’s refreshing.’’
C4 yourself: Citroen’s reworked five-seater Picasso is likely to head here