Citroën boosts international strategy with two new cars

 

Citroën has unveiled two new cars aimed at customers in fast-growing emerging countries, and also announced plans to offer its up-market DS range in China.

The first of Citroën's new models is the C-Elysée, a small to mid-sized saloon with a separate boot – the body style favoured in most markets outside Western Europe. A long wheelbase and a large luggage capacity in relation to the C-Elysée's compact overall size are among the selling points. Citroën's new car is similar in philosophy to sister-brand Peugeot's recently-announced 301 in offering toughened-up suspension to deal with varying road conditions in non-European countries but combined with modern engines and equipment – the C-Elysée will be available with features such air conditioning and an MP3 audio system with a Bluetooth connection. Built in Spain, the C-Elysée will go on sale in Turkey, Spain, Central Europe and Algeria by the end of the year.

The second model, the Citroën C4 L, is an upgraded car on the basis of the existing C4. The most important change is probably the extended wheelbase, which is designed to give a comfortable “lounge-like” rear compartment. The C4 L will be available with a long list of equipment, including hands-free access and starting, touch-screen sat-nav, a reversing camera and a heated windscreen. Three petrol engines will be offered – the THP 150 and 170 power units developed in conjunction with BMW, which uses them in the Mini, and the VTi 135 (in each case the figure reflects the horsepower of the engine). A new automatic 6-speed sequential gearbox will also be available. The C4 L will be produced locally in its two main markets, Russia and China, and is the first product of Citroën's Shanghai style centre.

Chinese customers will have to wait until later the year to buy the C4 L, but in the meantime, Citroën's DS premium range will be going on sale in China on June 28. The C4 L will be launched in Russia during the first half of 2013.

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