Don’t be fooled by the cute styling of Citroen’s new Aircross concept because this SUV is packing serious sports car-killing performance.
LOOKING for a mid-sized SUV that’ll blow a Porsche 911 away at the lights? Meet the new Citroen Aircross concept, which signals Citroen’s intent to take on the likes of the Nissan Qashqai as well as the hot-selling Hyundai ix35 and Mazda CX-5 SUVs.
Unveiled today ahead of its official reveal at the Shanghai motor show (which is no surprise given that China is Citroen’s biggest market), the Aircross concept follows in the footsteps of the funky Citroen C4 Cactus and boasts some headline-grabbing numbers.
With a plug-in hybrid drivetrain that combines a 160kW/275Nm 1.6-litre petrol with a 70kW/200Nm electric motor, Citroen claims the Aircross was race from 0-100km/h in just 4.5 seconds. That’s faster than a 911 Carrera (that clocks a 4.8sec time if you're asking).
The Citroen is economical, too, with claimed fuel consumption of 1.7L/100km. It can drive 50km entirely on electric power, matching the likes of the Audi A3 e-tron.
Parallels to the quirky Cactus are obvious and include the same split headlight and grille design, which will soon become the family face of Citroen. Unlike the Cactus, though, which made headlines with its funky air-filled 'Air Bump' side mouldings, the Aircross uses an absorbent aluminium honeycomb design to protect the car’s side from “everyday bumps and scrapes”.
Citroen is yet to confirm the Aircross for production, but it’s clear that, despite its futuristic interior and performance-oriented drivetrain, this is no pie in the sky concept.
The French brand says the Aircross is a car with “international ambitions”, while its production intent is also emphasised by the fact it rides on PSA’s scalable EMP2 platform that underpins all of Peugeot’s and Citroen’s mid to large models, including the Peugeot 308 and Citroen C4 Picasso.
Citroen Australia has told Wheels that it would grab the Aircross with both hands should the car make it into production.
Meanwhile, we'll have to make do with the C4 Cactus that arrives in January 2016.