A certain French car manufacturer lays claim with the invention of the People Carrier while another across the Atlantic is said to have achieved a similar feat. But it can be said that Citroën has evolved the 7-seat Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) with the Grand C4 Picasso to another level.
As the Irish car market gets into full speed for 2014, Citroën is ready for the expected upturn. The French marquee has put a new well constructed finance plan and aims to make hay while the sun shines on the standard C4 Picasso on winning the coveted Continental Irish Car of the Year 2014 award. Revisions to the DS5 with new Euro 6 engines, and with three new cars and commercials to be launched this year, the ‘twin Chevron’ brand will continue to generate the headlines.
Frédéric Soulier, Managing Director at Citroën Ireland is quietly confident that market share can be increased, and record their best ever return since the takeover of the Irish importation/distribution of the brand by Citroën France from the Gowan Group.
On the Grand C4 Picasso, Paul Maher, Citroën Irelan Marketing Executive, expressed his delight in the new 7-seater being selected for the European Car of the Year award 2014 (which will be presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March). In his presentation he mentioned the KPIs of the new flagship model with space, comfort, practicability, efficiency, safety, style and technology the main points. “It is not a bigger C4 Picasso,” he keenly emphasized. “It is longer, narrower, and lower than the old model and offers better visibility all-round,” he said “5.7 m. sq. in fact.” In highlighting the extreme comfort levels Paul mentioned that occupants in the third row of seats have their own air-ventilation system and all passengers will enjoy the new ‘relax’ headrests.
While having the widest boot opening, its load capacity is enormous – 2,181 litres in total with the seats down. As good as some small vans! Around the driver and front seat passenger area, some design traits are carried over from the C4 Picasso with the dual into touch screens the main focal point. They have to be seen to be believed, as once tried you are hooked. Obtaining the information is not difficult. As expected these days, every safety enhancement is provided including Lane Departure System and a ‘tug’ system on the seat belts as a reminder not to dose off behind the wheel.
On the drivetrain three versions of the PSA Group’s 1.6 HDi are used producing from 115 to 150 bhp with 5/6 speed manuals plus a 6-speed auto option. The Blue HDi 150 bhp version at the top level is Euro 6 emission control technology and requires AdBlue (liquid urea additive) to be refilled only at service time on average mileage (or at 30,000 km).
Citroën salespeople at dealerships will advise customers on this new Euro 6 Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) engine technology and the requirements of same to reduce harmful emissions.
Four trim levels are on sale VTR/VTR+/Exclusive/Exclusive+. Prices start at €26,795 for the VTR and extend to €39,395 for the Exclusive+. Frédéric expects that the breakdown of sales between the Grand C4 Picasso and C4 Picasso will be around 70/40%. On a lengthy afternoon drive around County Wicklow both the infotainment technology and the extreme smoothness of the drivetrain were appreciated.
Jarlath Sweeney – firstname.lastname@example.org