Citroen C4 Picasso

Previewed in Geneva recently by the Technospace concept, the new Citroen C4 Picasso now basks in detailed and pictured glory, in production form and looking every bit as avant-garde as we’d expected. After all, it does get its name from a certain Spanish painter, and his work wasn’t particularly conventional, was it?

We wouldn’t go so far as to call it Cubist, but in a world where MPVs deviate little from the ubiquitous bread box shape, this one’s a breath of fresh air. The LED DRLs are positioned above the headlamps, which flank a new, curvier chevron logo on the front grille.

With quarter windows front and rear, plus a windscreen that extends far up the panoramic roof, there is a generous 5.3 square metres of glass area altogether, which no doubt contributes to the airiness of the cabin. The LED rear lamps, inspired by Citroen’s concept cars, create a futuristic 3D effect.

Citroen C4 Picasso

Inside, things don’t get any less non-conformist. An asymmetrical dashboard is trimmed in complementary colours and materials, including sparkle-effect finish, satin-finished chrome, gloss black inserts and a laser-engraved pattern on the door cards.

Rear passengers enjoy three individual seats that can be folded flat, tilted and adjusted fore and aft. The full digital driving interface is structured around two screens – a seven-inch touchpad (controlling in-car functions) and 12-inch panoramic HD screen (displaying driving information).

Add on the Lounge Pack and you get front massage seats, a ‘Relax’ seat that lets the front passenger stretch out their legs and a Relax headrest on all seats for comforting neck support.

Citroen C4 Picasso

Debuting on this car is the Euro 6-compliant 1.6 litre BlueHDi 150 mill with selective catalytic reduction (keeping NOx and CO2 in check). But the star of the engine menu is the 1.4 litre e-HDi 90 Airdream lump.

This parsimonious powerplant, capable of returning a quoted 3.8 litres per 100 km, allows Citroen to claim the C4 Picasso as the first compact MPV with an internal combustion engine to emit less than 100 grams of CO2 per km. All diesels come with stop-start as standard.

Helping the cause are improved aerodynamics and the new Efficient Modular Platform 2 (EMP2), which shaves a total of 140 kg off the weight of the previous car. The only other officially confirmed engine is the popular 1.6 litre e-HDi 115, but we’re sure petrol units will be offered as well.

Citroen C4 Picasso

The platform, which the next-gen Peugeot 308 will also employ, makes the Citroen C4 Picasso 40 mm shorter but 55 mm longer in wheelbase than its predecessor, so it stands at 4.43 metres long, 1.83 metres wide and 1.61 metres tall. Boot volume is up by 40 litres to 537 litres, expanding to 630 litres with the back seats folded.

Refinement is also taken up a notch or two by the EMP2. The platform makes possible the inclusion of an electric power steering system that dampens the transmission of road vibrations, damping of the front subframe to cut road noise and a new dual-material acoustic shim on the rear axle.

Alongside a six-speed manual, the latest version of Citroen’s clutchless manual ETG6 (six-speed Efficient Tronic Gearbox) will be available with the e-HDi 90 and e-HDi 115 engines, also packing an automated mode. A conventional six-speed auto ‘box is set to arrive in the middle of next year.

Citroen C4 Picasso

We don’t know why Citroen has decided to offer a clutchless manual as well as a conventional auto – but that’s Citroen for you. Standard on all models is Intelligent Traction Control, and wheels are offered in three sizes – 16s, 17s and 18s.

Safety equipment includes radar-based active cruise control, active driver and front passenger seatbelts, 360 VISION camera, park assist, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring, while keyless entry and start, a motorised tailgate and reverse camera sit amongst the other features on the menu.

A seven-seat version, the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, is expected to hit European dealerships next year. What do you think – would you want Naza Euro Motors to introduce this in Malaysia?