Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Citroën C4

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Manufacturer  Citroën
Model years  2005–present
Production  2004–present
Citroën C4
Assembly  Mulhouse, France (PSA Mulhouse Plant) Wuhan, China (DPCA) El Palomar, Argentina Kaluga, Russia
Class  Compact car Compact SUV (C4 Aircross)
Layout  Front-engine, front-wheel-drive

The Citroën C4 is a compact car (C-segment in Europe) produced by French automaker Citroën since autumn 2004. It is currently in its second generation.

Contents

The C4 was designed to be the successor to the Citroën Xsara. It is mechanically similar to the Peugeot 308, which was launched in 2007. A revised version, with a new front end, reverse lights, and dashboard revisions, was launched for the 2008/2009 model year.

In January 2010, it was announced that the coupé version was not to be overhauled, but instead replaced with the Citroën DS4. The C4 scored second place in the 2005 European Car of the Year awards.

Debut

To cope with the market, Citroën was dedicated and committed to building a new model that would appeal to many customers. At the Geneva Motor Show in 2004, a concept from the Citroën line's definitive made-bodied coupé revealed the willingness of the French company to employ it in competition. The car was finally unveiled at the Paris show. However, that version was a more domesticated hatchback coupé or five-door.

Design

The C4's design was created by a team that included Donato Coco, Jean Pierre Ploué and Bertrand Rapatel. Building on the floor of its cousin, the Peugeot 307, the C4 was immediately made available in two body variants: five-door hatchback and three-door coupé. The front is common to both versions, with the grille formed from virtual extensions of the central crest. The sedan is much more rounded and features softer shapes, so they can boast a Cd of just 0.28, while the coupe is more angular, with a rear split into two parts, including lights.

The rear window of the coupé is reminiscent of the older Honda CR-X from the early 1990s, as well as the last three-door Mazda 323C. These two versions of the C4 Picasso are more detached, taking over the grille of the sedan and coupe, but the cut of the headlamps are different, aesthetically combining corners and curves. The rear lights incorporate the design as in those of the sedan, but were adapted to the different shape of the body. Internally, the dashboard features a central instrument panel that centralizes all heating and cooling controls, audio, and a satellite navigation screen. The instrument panel contains digital and analog displays of the speedometer, petrol levels, and other gauges. Lighting can be customised to change colour from white to blue.

The revolution, however, is placed in canonical position, behind the wheel. The latter is multifunctional and characterized by having a fixed hub. The cabin is equipped with numerous storage compartments and the luggage compartment is regular in shape, with a capacity of 352 liters, increasing to 1,200 after lowering the rear seat backrest. The load threshold is quite high, hitting the loads of heavy objects. There are laminated side windows and exterior mirrors, with casing specially designed to prevent wind noise and improve comfort inside.

The saloon version is manufactured in Argentina, where it is sold alongside the three-door version. It is exported from there to Brazil and Hungary as the C4 Pallas, to Spain as the C4 Berline, and to Turkey and Greece as the C4 Sedan. A longer four-door saloon version with a different rear end is also built and sold in China as the Citroën C-Triomphe. A panel van based on the coupé bodyshell is available in some markets, including Ireland.

Technology

A major selling-point of the C4 was its extensive use of technology. For example, the car features the "lane departure warning system" (only in the top-of-the-range "exclusive" model), which alerts the driver if he or she crosses a road marking without using the turn signals; directional headlights; perfume dispenser integrated into the ventilation system; translucent dashboard; transparent glass roof; electronic stability program (ESP), and a fixed steering wheel hub, which lets the driver operate several functions of the car without removing his or her hands from the wheel.

The fixed hub also allows for the first production use of a "shaped" driver airbag. Because the hub maintains a constant position, the airbag can be optimally shaped to spread the load across the greatest possible area of the driver's body in a collision, thus reducing the chances of serious injury. In addition, the car features an innovative centrally mounted translucent LCD speedometer display that remains clearly visible in all lighting conditions.

The car's in-car entertainment, integrated into the car's information system via CAN bus, is not Digital audio broadcasting (DAB) ready. MP3 playback is supported by the entry level audio system and high-end audio, with double-layer sound-insulated windows and integrated navigation system available as extras. In September 2007, a USB box accessory (Ref: 9702.EZ) was released to enable full iPod connectivity with the standard RD4 radio.

The C4 does not feature Citroën's Hydractive suspension, which is reserved for higher class models, such as the C5 and C6. The Picasso version can feature a pneumatic rear suspension. The C4 breaks with the past on other fronts, in particular by removing the rear autodirezionale solution, used up to that time on the Xsara and ZX. The suspension is the usual type MacPherson strut front suspension with coil springs, while the rear has interconnected wheels with torsion beam and torsion bars. The braking system includes ventilated discs on the front, and rear solid discs with ABS and ESP (not standard versions with basic fittings). The steering is rack and pinion with electro-hydraulic power steering.

2008 facelift

At the end of 2008, the C4 hatchback and coupé were subject to a slight cosmetic makeover that involved the front end, which now sported a "mouth" and larger trapezoid shape. The grille was redesigned, making it slightly curved. There were also minor updates in the queue. The redesign led to a slight lengthening of the car body, and was the occasion for more news: from the mechanical point of view was the arrival of the 1.6 Prince, with variable valve timing and aspiration, and turbocharged and direct injection, already mounted on the Peugeot 207 and 308, as well as the Mini. Ride comfort was improved, and the more simplified sedan and the coupe were offered for the same price. In addition, the diesel versions were available with Airdream pack, which allowed for slightly reduced emissions and consumption.

Sedan version

The sedan version was introduced as the Citroën C-Triomphe, a mid-size sedan automobile produced from 2006 for the Chinese market by Dongfeng Peugeot-Citroën Automobile, a joint venture between the France|French PSA Group (Peugeot-Citroën) and the Chinese manufacturer Dongfeng.

This new model range was designed to supplement other Chinese models, such as the Fukang and the Elysée, rather than being a direct replacement.

In April 2007, Citroën announced that the four-door C4 would be built in Argentina. The Argentinian and Brazilian versions are sold as the C4 Pallas in some South American and European markets.

The car is a notchback sedan version of the European C4 model, since the Chinese market prefers traditional three-box sedans over hatchbacks. It did not keep the designation, however, because in Chinese, the number "4" is unlucky. The sedan is much larger than the hatchback: its length is 4,770 mm (187.8 in) over the hatchback's 4,260 mm (167.7 in) and its wheelbase measures 2,710 mm (106.7 in) against 2,610 mm (102.8 in) of the hatchback. This caused the C-Triomphe sedan to be classified in the large family car class. The C-Triomphe has a number of unique features, such as an integrated air freshener, which allows the driver to choose the scent of the interior.

In 2009, the C-Triomphe was accompanied by the Citroën C-Quatrè, a smaller (length 4,588 mm (180.6 in), wheelbase 2,608 mm (102.7 in)), cheaper, and more fashionably styled sedan version of the C4. For 2012, Citroën planned a new facelift version of the C-Quatrè sedan to unveil at the Shanghai Motor Show based on the first generation of the European C4.

Picasso version

The C4 Picasso is the MPV version of the C4 range. It has been made available since 2006 in two versions: 5-seater C4 Picasso and 7-seater C4 Grand Picasso. The C4 Picasso received a facelift in 2010, with updated engine, headlights, and mechanics. The engine range is composed largely of the same version of the engine as used on the hatchback and coupé, plus the petrol 1.8, and was also available in bi-fuel (natural gas or LPG) in many markets.

Advertising

The car's advanced technology was the focus of a well-known television advertising campaign showing the car transforming into a giant dancing Transformer, accompanied by the song "Jacques Your Body (Make Me Sweat)" by Les Rythmes Digitales. At the end of the sequence, the robot transforms back into a car, over the slogan "Alive With Technology". The dance moves were based on the concept of a Transformers break dance routine, developed from moves recorded by the agents from Justin Timberlake's choreographer Marty Kudelka. Although the advertisement was produced by a music group from Canada, and the scenery was downtown Vancouver, the car is not available in North America. The entire sequence and scenery were digitally created. Apple Shake was used to digitally generate the visual effects. This commercial has since been credited to District 9 director Neill Blomkamp.

The follow-up ad featured a similar transformer robot ice skating at high speed across a frozen lake, dodging around obstacles and executing a hockey stop in front of a group of engineers before transforming back into a car. It featured the song "Walking Away (Tocadisco Remix)" by The Egg.

The third ad broadcasting shows a third transformer robot sprinting along a road, changing to car form and back to robot form during the run. It features the song "Hungarian Dances" by Brahms. It is not on the Citroën C4 website.

Fourth ad featuring yet another transforming robot is being aired in Europe for the revamped C4. The robot struts through town showing off, accompanied by a cover version of the Bee Gees song "Stayin' Alive" by MC Lita.

In July 2007, filming began in São Paulo, Brazil, for a commercial for South America, starring North American actor Kiefer Sutherland and Argentine actress Araceli González. One month early, a controversial advertisement announcing the collision of an asteroid with planet Earth, given the appearance of real news, was used in Brazil to promote the release of C4 Pallas, and there is an asteroid named 2 Pallas.

A video game titled Citroën C4 Robot was developed by Istanbul-based developer 2GEN Studio and released on April 21, 2008. It is a free racing advergame in which the player can either create an account and try to beat another player's record, or can play offline.

Debut

The second generation Citroën C4 made its debut at the 2010 Paris Salon before it was launched in September. The new model was slightly bigger than the last, and was only available with five doors. A three-door version was omitted by the French company because of the low sales of the previous generation three-door, and to avoid the risk of "cannibalizing" the DS3 sales.

Design

Compared to the outgoing model, the average new design of the French line is less eccentric. In general, the lines are less rounded, the front is characterized by large clusters with aggressive design "cut" on the top and a "step" on the underside. Clearly visible in the front grille is the Citroën, formed by extensions of the central logo. The engine hood is made more aggressive by two longitudinal ribs, while the bumper, which is also aggressive, has a rather large mouth, flanked by two air intakes and two slots for the fog lights.

The side view shows two longitudinal ribs, one just above the line of door handles and the other at the bottom. The tail is characterized by clusters that penetrate partially into the side and partly in the boot lid. The large bumper appears massive from the rear view but at the same time, it raises the threshold for overload. The dashboard of the second C4 series is characterized by blue-lit instrumentation in different shades, combining analog and digital technology. The dashboard, with the now ever-present display, is also modern in styling, and has some ribs, especially at the top, which complement the external lines of the bodywork. The steering wheel doesn't have the fixed hub like the first generation. The seats have a sporty design, with padded side panels, but offer little lateral support. The sofa is divisible according to the now familiar pattern 60-40, but it is not tilting. The luggage compartment offers up to 408 liters for the standard, expandable up to 1,183, by lowering the rear seat backrest.

Sedan version

At the end of 2012, Citroën unveiled the sedan version called "C4 L". The sedan version was designed by the new PSA Style Centre in Shanghai. It was produced for the Chinese market in the Wuhan plant, and for the Russian market in the Kaluga plant. The platform is the same as the C4 hatchback, with the wheelbase increased to 2,71 m. The engine range was composed of the 1.6 VTI Prince THP from 155 to 170 HP, and the new 1.8 VTI with 135 HP only for the Chinese market. All models are equipped with stop-start system. The C4 sedan is manufactured in El Palomar, Argentina, and was planned for launch in the Latin American market in late 2013.

C4 Aircross

The Citroën C4 Aircross is a compact SUV based on the Mitsubishi ASX and the Peugeot 4008. It was featured at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. A four-wheel drive version of the Aircross is also available.

C4 Cactus

The Citroën C4 Cactus is a compact SUV produced by French automaker Citroën in PSA’s Villaverde factory in Madrid, Spain since spring 2014. Sales commenced in France in June 2014. Although branded as the C4 Cactus it is based on the smaller PF1 platform that underpins the Citroën C3 and DS 3.

Engines

The second set of C4 is provided with specific tires with low rolling resistance, and of the 200 kg of polymer used in each sample, about 30 are environmentally friendly. The structure of the Mk2 C4, and C4-II, is derived from that of the first series: even the pace was unchanged, but there are some new features in this case. To make the car more comfortable, the geometry of the suspension was slightly modified, while maintaining the original patterns of the previous C4, revised in some points to make life more comfortable on board. In addition, new bushings use improved and more useful rubber. The brakes are disc and the front ones are ventilated, with ABS and ESP standard across the range. The rack and pinion steering with electro-hydraulic actuator is copied from the previous C4. The engine range includes three petrol and four diesel engines:

  • 1.4 VTi: 1397 cc, 95 PS (70 kW);
  • 1.6 VTi: 1598 cc, 120 PS (88 kW);
  • 1.6 THP: 1598 cc, turbo, 155 PS (114 kW);
  • 1.6 HDi: 1560 cc, 90 PS (66 kW);
  • 1.6 HDi 16v: 1560 cc, 110 PS (81 kW);
  • 1.6 e-HDi 16v: 1560 cc, 110 PS (81 kW) with Start&Stop;
  • 2.0 HDi 16v: 1997 cc, 150 PS (110 kW)
  • The e-HDi engine, which debuted on the C4 (and simultaneously on the C4 Picasso based on the first series), is mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox, as well as the 1.6 engine THP. The other engines are available with a manual 5-speed (1.4 VTi, 1.6 VTi and 1.6 HDi 92 hp) or 6-speed (1.6 HDi112 hp and 2.0 HDi). The 1.6 VTi is also available with a 4-speed automatic transmission.

    C4 in rallying

    A much-anticipated C4 World Rally Car, intended to replace the multiple World Rally Championship-winning Citroën Xsara WRC, was first sighted in 2004 with testing duties assigned to double world rally champion Carlos Sainz. Having once been earmarked for a late 2005 competitive debut, the decision by the controlling PSA Group to withdraw both Citroën and stablemates Peugeot from works participation at the end of the 2005 season led to the momentary abandonment of the project.

    Since then, however, the marque etched in a comeback for the 2007 season, during which a revived C4 WRC was scheduled for its official debut, with the then-thrice world champion Sébastien Loeb as the official first driver, and Dani Sordo, the 2005 Junior World Rally Champion, later confirmed alongside him after an impressive 2006 season for the Spaniard. In their official debut at the 2007 Monte Carlo Rally, the two C4 WRCs finished 1-2, with Loeb winning ahead of Sordo. Loeb has subsequently secured the 2007, 2008, and 2009 drivers' titles, with Citroën claiming the 2008 and 2009 manufacturers' championships.

    In the 2009 season, Citroën's satellite team, Citroën Junior Team, ran a C4 WRC for Evgeny Novikov, Conrad Rautenbach, and the 2008 junior world champion Sébastien Ogier. For the 2010 season, the team will be running a C4 WRC for Ogier and the 2007 Formula One world champion Kimi Räikkönen. The 2003 world rally champion Petter Solberg competes in a C4 WRC for his private team.

    Citroën also unveiled a hybrid concept WRC car at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. The Citroën C4 WRC Hymotion4 uses a KERS system similar to that in the Peugeot 908 HY.

    Awards

    The C4 won the 2006 World Car Design of the Year, as well as the Autosport Rally Car of the Year in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

    The second generation C4 (from 2010 onwards) was awarded a Euro NCAP Advanced Award for its eTouch Emergency & Assistance System.

    Model car releases

    The C4 Coupe has been produced by Majorette, Norev, and Solido, and the hatchback has been produced by Norev, and NewRay. The Citroën C4 WRC has been produced by Hot Wheels.

    References

    Citroën C4 Wikipedia


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