The Picasso is dead – making way for the Citroën C3 Aircross.
Unveiled in Paris and expected to make its public debut at the Frankfurt show in September, the C3 Aircross follows the trend of replacing MPVs with crossovers. Sales of the former have been plummeting as buyers turn in droves to the more SUV-styled crossover market.
The mass-selling Nissan Juke will be the prime target of the C3 Aircross but it will also rival its sister model, the newly-launched Vauxhall Crossland X. The two have been developed together ahead of Vauxhall’s takeover by Citroën’s parent PSA Group, and the Crossland X in turn replaces the Meriva mini MPV.
The C3 Aircross is based on the C-Aircross concept unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Gone, not surprisingly, are the rear-hinged rear doors and missing door pillar of the concept. But also not making it to production are Citroën’s new signature ‘air-bump’ side mouldings, seen on the recent C4 and C3 production models.
A new signature are the ‘Venetian Blind’ rear quarterlights, made from polycarbonate and layered with a coloured film. The C3 Picasso will also boast up to 90 colour combinations including eight body colours, four roof options and five interior finishes.
Three petrol engines and two diesels will be offered with the car, all matched to front-wheel-drive only transmissions. Citroën also promises that the modular design will translate to class-leading interior space.