Citroën’s subcompact shares its nomenclature with an infamous form of plastic explosive, but it’s a relaxed cruiser with fancy frills such as a scented air freshener. Does the good-looking French contender set a new style benchmark in its class?

Citroën’s subcompact shares its nomenclature with an infamous form of plastic explosive, but it’s a relaxed cruiser with fancy frills such as a scented air freshener. Does the good-looking French contender set a new style benchmark in its class?


Following the introduction of the revised C5 and spunky C2, the C4 is arguably the Double Chevron’s most significant launch since the marque returned to South Africa. After all, the C4 will take on subcompact market heavyweights such as the Volkswagen Golf Five, Opel Astra, Toyota RunX, Renault Mégane and, not to forget, the BMW 1 Series. It seems that the C4 has a mountain to climb…


However, although the C4 embodies the same values of individualism, style and panache its siblings do, it probably has the widest appeal of all Citroën SA’s products to date. The five-door C4 hatchback has voluptuous curves, which contribute to a drag coefficient of 0.28, and is almost MPV-like in its stance. By contrast, the three-door C4 Coupé is unmistakably a hot hatch and its sloping bonnet, contoured front end and elaborate lip spoiler contrasts with a dramatic wedged rear end. The C4 is anything but bland.


The range will initially offer two petrol engines - a 80 kW 1,6-litre 16-valve and 135 kW two-litre 16-valve VTS – both of which have double overhead camshafts and a motor-driven throttle, controlled electrically by the engine control unit. The units are mated with five-speed manual transmissions, but the 1,6-litre model, which develops 80 kW at 5 800 r/min and maximum torque of 147 N.m at 4 000 r/min, is also available with an automatic four-speed sequential gearbox.


The engine that does duty in C4 flagship, the three-door 2,0i VTS, is equipped with a continuously variable valve timing system and develops maximum power (135 kW) at 7 000 r/min and peak torque of 202 Nm at 4 750 r/min. Citroën claims the VTS will sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 8,3 seconds and go on to a top speed of 227 km/h.


A 83 kW 1,6-litre second-generation common-rail HDi diesel engine, fitted with a variable-geometry turbocharger, is also offered in the C4 range. The unit is said to deliver maximum power at 4 000 r/min and peak torque of 240 N.m at 1 750 r/min. In addition, torque can be increased to 260 N.m at 1 750 r/min in the three highest gears by an overboost function, which reportedly increases the fuel-injection rate under full acceleration, Citroën says.


Although the C4 hatchback and coupé have different styling, the models have identical interior space. The models are claimed to offer a minimum of 17 cm knee room for rear passengers (when the front seat is pushed back to the maximum) and 1,44 m elbow room at the front and 1,43 m at the rear.


The sweeping and futuristic interior of the C4 is characterised by a centrally-mounted instrument and control panel and equipped with a multi-functional, fixed-centred steering wheel. The steering wheel has a fixed hub and the centre of the wheel does not turn with the rim (a toothed ring linked to the steering wheel engages an inner pinion, itself linked to the steering column). The space between the ring and the pinion is used to couple the fixed components - the steering wheel hub and the steering column mounting, a spokesman for the French marque said.

Original article from Car


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