Citroen reveals new Aircross concept

Citroen Aircross

Citroen has unveiled a new concept vehicle, ahead of its official public debut at the Shanghai motor show next week.

Called Aircross, the high-riding model hints at the French manufacturer's plans to expand its range of crossovers, and shows how the striking styling of the brand's C4 Cactus will be transferred onto other models.

Citroen has previous form in the large family SUV market, in the form of the unpopular C-Crosser. However, faced with a market full of talented rivals, the Aircross is a much more serious proposition, and is equipped with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

Under the bonnet is a 218bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to a 95bhp electric motor. The battery pack is large enough to allow for 31 miles of electric driving, which contributes towards impressive claimed fuel economy of 166mpg and CO2 emissions of just 39g/km. Citroen claims the battery pack can be charged fully from a domestic power supply in as little as three and a half hours.

Citroen Aircross Concept

Citroen Aircross Concept

With a combined 313bhp, and a boost function that summons the efforts of both the petrol and electric motors together, the Aircross has a claimed 0-62mph time of 4.5 seconds – more than enough to see off purpose built sports cars such as the Porsche Boxster.

While concept cars are usually noted for their outlandish design, much of what you see on the Aircross is likely to make it onto future production models, including the newly designed 'Airbumps' on the doors and double headlamp stacks. The gargantuan 22-inch alloys and rear-hinged 'suicide' doors are likely to be swapped for more conventional items in customer cars, however.

The interior is just as style-heavy, with passengers enveloped in large leather seats. It's not all function and no form, though, as there are plenty of storage cubbies provided by the large centre console that runs the length of the car. In car entertainment is controlled through two 12-inch HD touchscreens.

Like what you see? Check out our review of the similarly styled Citroen C4 Cactus here.