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Picasso paints new vision for Citroen.

Byline: By Steve Hughes

This is proving to be one of the busiest years in Citroen's long history with the introduction of a raft of important new models.

The new seven-seat C4 Picasso sets new standards in its class with an innovative seat-folding design that allows exceptionally quick reconfiguration and class-leading passenger and boot space.

A combination of the largest sunroof and side windows in the class plus narrow windscreen pillars give the vehicle the largest glazed area of any compact MPV.

This new model is the first Citroen to feature an air quality sensor, complementing the in-built air freshener and a new air conditioning system that has been developed to take into account the large interior space and extensive glass area.

The C4 Picasso is the first vehicle to offer a parking space measurement system. The driver presses the 'P' button on the steering wheel, flicks the relevant indicator and drives slowly along the row of parked vehicles. Two ultrasonic sensors at either end of the front bumper inform the driver whether parking is possible, difficult or inadvisable. The newcomer comes with a choice of two petrol engines, the 127bhp 1.8i and 143bhp 2.0i plus 110bhp 1.6HDi and 138bhp 2.0HDi diesel engines.

The five-seat version has a new-style front bumper with oversized air intakes covered in black mesh and a distinctive wave of the waistline highlighted in chrome.

The rear pillars are masked by the quarter-lights and combined with the rest of the large glazed area, give the impression that the upper half of the vehicle is totally glazed, while the saloon-style rear end features lights with a unusual horizontal design. The overall dimensions are 4.47m long, 1.83m wide and 1.66m tall to create an interior capable of accommodating three individual, full-size rear seats that can be folded into a flat floor.

When all five seats are in use, the new model leads the class with 500 litres of boot space underneath the luggage cover, extending to a maximum of 1,734 litres when the rear seats are folded down.

Citroen dealers are also taking provisional orders now for the new sport utility C Crosser, which will be seen for the first time at the Geneva motor show before going on sale this summer alongside its Peugeot 4007 counterpart. A full seven-seater, the C Crosser's dimensions are 4.64m long, 1.81m wide and 1.73m high including roof bars. Like the Peugeot, the C Crosser will be available with a new 156bhp 2.2HDi engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.

Drivers have a choice of three transmission settings, dependent on road conditions: two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive and a lock setting designed for low-grip conditions.

Following on from last year's introduction of Airplay versions of the C1, there are now Airplay+ versions of the C1, C2 and C3 ranges.

They come with a 4GB iPod nano capable of holding 1,000 tracks and an integrated docking station that charges the iPod and allows music to be played via the head unit and speakers. The 1.0i petrol C1 Airplay+ replaces the C1 Airplay. Available in three and five-door body styles it costs from pounds 6,695.

Available in yellow, black or silver with chrome or green interior inserts, the C2 Airplay+ adds air conditioning and electric door mirrors to the equipment of the 1.1i Design on which it is based yet costs less at pounds 7,990.

The 1.1-litre C3 Airplay+ comes in a choice of red, blue or silver with red, blue or chrome interior trim. Based on the L model it also adds a CD player and costs pounds 7,990. The rest of the extensive Citroen line-up includes the C5, C6 and C8 people-carrier plus the Berlingo Multispace.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 23, 2007
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