Citroën unveil 166mpg, 39g/km CO2 hybrid SUV

2015-04-14 16:33:16

This exciting and unusual car is the Citroën Aircross concept. Underpinning the Aircross Concept is a 218bhp petrol engine that sends power to the front wheels, which is then liked to a 95bhp electric motor that sends power to the rear axle. The Aircross Concept has a pure-electric range that in theory can stretch to 30 miles.

More impressive for its stature is its performance. Thanks to 203lb ft of torque being produced by the engine and a further 147lb ft coming from the electric motor, Citroën claim that the concept can accelerate to 62mph from a standing start in 4.5 seconds. Not bad for an SUV that is able to return 166mpg and emits just 39g/km of CO2.

Whilst not new, Citroën has used the Aircross moniker on this all-new SUV design study, the Aircross Concept. The company’s Cactus has been a significant design influence on the new concept, especially since it adopts an evolution of that cars absorbent air bumps in the form of this aluminium foam anti-ding protection.

With the Aircross Concept, Citroën goes against the trend of sharp angles and flat surfaces and instead adopts a more rounded and bulbous structure which is then enhanced by unique details. The front looks very reminiscent of a C4 Picasso, but with extractor vents located around the wheel arches. It also features unusually-styled door mirrors, huge alloy wheels which are synonymous with concept cars, and what Citroën call ‘airsigns’ to direct air flow. There are metallic accents on the bonnet and rear side window. The ‘alloy bumps’ as opposed to the ‘air bumps’ on the Cactus are a honeycombed structure filled with aluminium foam.

It’s larger than you might at first suspect – being about the size of an Audi Q5. Huge 22-inch wheels are wrapped in custom Continental rubber.

If you think the exterior is dramatic and typical of your idea of what a concept car should be, then you are in for more of a shock when you take a peek inside. The most obvious thing is that there is almost no switchgear. Instead, there are a pair of 12-inch HD display screens, one of which can be undocked and moved around the cabin, supported by a head-up display, touchpads to control functions, webcams to document road trips and a plethora of straps. The four individual sofa-like seats are upholstered in white leather with orange trim and a mesh fabric upper portion, and come complete with their own microphones and speakers to create separate audio environments.

Whilst Citroën are keen to emphasise that the Aircross is a concept car, the fact that it has been closely based on a car that went from concept stage to production in such a short time in the form of the Cactus, coupled to the fact that it will debut at the Shanghai motor show later this month where the company is doing surprisingly well, and we could just see a production version appearing quicker than you might have initially thought. We certainly hope so.

This article was prepared by our car news team First4Auto

Reported By

Andrew Merritt-Morling

Chief Editor

Associate Member of the Guild of Motoring Writers