Next Citroen C5 set to challenge premium rivals

Citroen aims at the compact executive market for 2018

The Citroen C5 executive saloon is set to return and these exclusive artist’s impressions by Rene Demarets strongly hint that the new version will be anything but run-of-the-mill. Expected in Europe in 2018, the next C5 looks set to make waves in the traditionally conservative large saloon car class.

The market for big saloons such as the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia isn’t as buoyant as it once was and mainstream manufacturers are now tilting their cars upmarket to steal sales from premium models like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class, as the next Vauxhall Insignia confirms.

The present version of the C5 is no longer sold in the UK due to a lack of demand. It’s still available in Europe, though, and confirmation of its replacement looks like cementing Citroen’s place in the market for years to come.

CXPERIENCE Concept

Citroen has long been associated with daring design and unmistakable styling and the latest ideas from its designers are presented in the form of concept cars. The CXPERIENCE, shown at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, gave big clues as to how a future large Citroen saloon might look.

These artist’s impressions demonstrate how elements of the CXPERIENCE concept could have a marked influence on 2018’s production car, which is likely to be far more radical than the current C5.

Explaining Citroen’s thinking, Maxime Picat, executive vice president (Europe) for Citroen’s parent company PSA Group stated that reinventing how a large Citroen should look is key to giving it a unique appeal.

Engines

Under the skin, the next C5 is likely to use an updated version of an existing platform, referred to as EMP2. Already used by the Peugeot 3008, it has been designed to allow electric power to be introduced at a later date. With a plug-in hybrid version of the Peugeot 3008 understood to be in development, a similar system seems likely to feature in the next large Citroen saloon, which could then be a real rival to premium plug-in hybrid models from BMW and Audi. A conventional range of efficient petrol and diesel engines will also be available.

Expect clever thinking elsewhere, too. The next C5 is likely to employ an advanced suspension system developed as part of Citroen’s Advanced Comfort programme, using a combination of traditional shock absorbers and sophisticated hydraulics for improved ride quality. Meanwhile, advanced electronics will grace a cutting-edge interior, with high-definition touchscreens to minimise the number of confusing buttons.

Citroen large cars in history

The CXPERIENCE concept car that the next C5 will draw inspiration from was itself influenced by famous and successful large cars from Citroen’s past, most notably the Citroen CX of the seventies.

Although in the UK the Citroen name has recently been more closely associated with small superminis and adventurously designed MPVs and SUVs, its previous large cars were widely admired for their looks and sophistication. The next C5 is expected to rekindle Citroen’s past successes and attract a new audience to the marque.

Price and on-sale date

It’s too early yet to even guess prices for the next large Citroen saloon, and with the current model absent from UK price lists, there’s no confirmation that it’ll be offered in this country.

If the decision is made to offer it to customers in the UK, it’ll make a welcome alternative to the established big names in the premium saloon car class.

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