Apart from the Ineos Grenadier 4x4 and of course the Lamborghini-powered and styled speedboat, the ‘Tecnomar for Lamborghini 63’, the most significant new vehicles unveiled this week came from opposite sides of the Channel.
Citroën in France revealed its new C4 family hatchback and battery-electric ë-C4 version (do you see what they did there?) while Land Rover revived its Hard Top name on a new commercial version of the recently launched Defender, which isn’t really a hard top at all – it’s all in the names, apparently.
The Citroën C4 is based on the PSA Group CMP platform which underpins the Peugeot 208 and 2008, but stretched to its largest dimensions. It has been designed to accept petrol, diesel and pure battery electric drivetrains.
Replacing the C4 Cactus, it will sell in Europe’s biggest market segment – apparently, in more than 100 years Citroën has sold 12 million cars in this sector. In appearance the C4 has been SUV-ised with a raised ride height 156mm higher than rivals. It’s long, too, measuring 4,360mm overall on a 2,670mm wheelbase and the roofline is dramatically sloped recalling the CX, an aerodynamic large saloon produced by Citroën between 1971 and 1991.
“It’s our next C hatchback,” says Laurence Hansen, product and strategy director, “with SUV codes.”
That extra length gives decent amounts of space inside, with a claimed class-leading rear seat knee room and a 380-litre boot space. The interior style moves on from the old Cactus, with nods to the past such as a single, curved bottom spoke for the steering wheel along with modern PSA Group human machine interfaces such as the 10-inch central touchscreen and the all-digital instrument binnacle with a head-up display.
It will be available with the existing family of PSA petrol and diesel engines as well as a battery-electric drivetrain with a 50kWh lithium-ion cell, which gives a claimed WLTP range of 217 miles and a 134bhp/192lb ft electric motor driving the rear wheels giving a top speed of 93mph with 0-62mph in 9.7 seconds.
Both combustion and electric versions will be on sale at the end of the summer with first deliveries planned for the end of the year. We’re not sure when we might be able to drive it but rest assured we’ll be at the head of the queue.
Land Rover Defender Hard Top
Land Rover has revived a name first used in the 1950s when commercial versions of the first series of Land Rovers became available with a hard top instead of a canvas roof. Of course, the new Land Rover Defender is currently only available as a five-door station wagon, although the company has said a pick-up version is possible despite the hefty roof beam in the rear door pillar.
In spite of that, the commercial versions of the new off-roader will be known as Hard Top and will be available in long- (five-door) and short-wheelbase (three door) station wagon forms.
The company hasn’t revealed full details of these much-awaited vehicles (the motoring editor wants one), but we know from the original launch that a short-wheelbase Hard Top will be available from £35,500 plus VAT in the UK. We are also told that both vehicles will be available to buy before the end of the year.
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