Citroën said the C-xperience concept car was just a general indicator of possible future designs for a range of cars. However, it looks likely that it is in fact the beginnings of a new family of C5 and C6 saloons, cars that would represent a big step forward in contemporary styling for the company.
Large saloons may be a fading market in Europe, but they’re still hugely popular in China and Asia generally. For Citroën, the key would be finding points of differentiation from other large saloons like a VW Passat or the Ford Mondeo. It looks likely that one key difference is going to be the styling.
The separation of Citroën from DS has also given Citroën more room to manoeuvre and to explore further its own brand styles. As Linda Jackson, CEO of Citroën, recently said: ‘It has allowed us to redefine and clarify our aims for the brand with no limits and with nothing off limits.’
The C-xperience is about the same size as the C6, a car still sold in China. At 4.85m long, with a 3m wheelbase and a low height of just 1.37m, the concept vehicle has the swooping lines and large interior space that would continue some of the left-field design work we’ve seen recently from Citroën. Cars like the C4 Cactus and the forthcoming latest C3 show some very different design elements.
The concept’s name of C-xperience also echoes that of the old CX, a very successful car that Citroën built from the 1970s to the 1990s, and which showcased innovative styling when it was launched.
As Jackson said: ‘We have the history and the DNA to build unique and rewarding cars. We want Citroën to be an attractive, aspirational and iconic brand, whichever segment it is operating in.’