New Citroen C4: electric e-C4 to offer 217-mile range

2020 Citroen e-C4 - hero front

Electric ë-C4 will join petrol and diesel C4s from the start of sales

Citroen confirms details of its SUV-inspired new C4, which is charged with reviving the hatchback segment

Citroën says the new C4, which will be offered with an electric ë-C4 version from launch, will “put compact hatchbacks back on the map” through an SUV influenced design and a focus on comfort.

The French firm recently released initial images and details of the third-generation C4, which effectively replaces the C4 Cactus, but has now given more information, including performance figures for the 134bhp ë-C4. 

The Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf rival is slightly higher-riding than the C4 Cactus it replaces, with the intention to bridge the gap between traditional hatchbacks and SUVs. It will be sold with petrol, diesel and electric powertrains, making it the first family hatchback in the portfolio of parent firm PSA Group to offer a zero-emissions variant. 

Citroën CEO Vincent Cobée told Autocar recently that the introduction of the model held “massive” importance for Citroën’s sales growth in Europe. In 2019, the brand grew 1% year on year, selling 830,000 vehicles.

Cobée said: “The car will be Citroën to its core, in design, innovation and comfort. So for us, it’s one of three or four bullets in the overall growth of Citroën. Citroën has massive legitimacy in this segment. It’s the one with the most populist customer base.”

Exterior design

The front grille of the new C4 is based on the new design first seen in production on the new C3 recently, and features V-shaped ‘signature’ lights and chrome chevrons that stretch across the width of the vehicle. The bonnet features a concave shape reflecting the C5 Aircross SUV, and the front bumper is finished in a matte black effect that Citroën says adds protection in small impacts. The air intake grille features a chevron pattern seen on the recent Ami One and 19_19 concept cars.

The wheel arches feature the same matte black finish as the front bumper, and also add to the SUV styling. Citroën says the sloping roof is designed to emphasise the aerodynamics of the new C4, with the rear overhang design intended to reflect the Citroën GS. 

Citroën says the C4’s 156mm ground clearance, combined with short front and rear overhangs, is designed to offer a higher vantage point and better all-round visibility than class rivals. While it is more conventional than the C4 Cactus several of the exterior customisation options offered for that car are available, including 31 different colour combinations.

Cobée said: “We probably were a bit carried away with our innovation capabilities on the [C4 Cactus].” He added that this new C4 is a “more comprehensive and attractive offer”.

Wheel sizes range from 16 to 18 inches, with the ë-C4 featuring an exclusive 18in Crosslite alloy wheel design.

Tech specs

The C4 is built on the PSA Group’s CMP modular platform, which can accept both electric and conventional powertrains. The ë-C4 features a 134bhp, 192lb ft electric engine, which draws power from a 50kWh battery. Citroën claims a range of 217 miles, a 0-62mph time of 9.7sec and a top speed of 93mph.

The car also recovers energy when decelerating and braking, with three drive modes – Eco, Normal and Sport – that can alter the amount of engine power and the energy draw for the air conditioning to boost range. 

The ë-C4 is fitted with an 11kW charger, which can complete a charge in around five hours on a 32-amp home wallbox, and a 100kW fast charger, which can achieve an 80% charge in 30 minutes on a public fast charger. Charging can be controlled via smartphone, with ë-C4 owners able to schedule it, for example to take advantage of off-peak electricity charge times.

Petrol and diesel powertrains

The petrol-powered C4 will be offered with a choice of three 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo engines, ranging from the Puretech 100 to the Puretech 155. An eight-speed automatic gearbox is available on the most powerful petrols. There are also two four-cylinder diesels, the BlueHDi 110 and auto-only BlueHDi 130.

Full performance details of the petrol and diesel units that will be offered on the C4 have yet to be released. There is also no indication yet of whether the model will be offered in hybrid or plug-in hybrid form, although it is likely such powertrains will follow after launch.

Comfort and technology

In line with Citroën’s focus on comfort, the C4 and ë-C4 are fitted as standard with the firm’s Progressive Hydraulic Cushion suspension, which uses two hydraulic stops to reduce bouncing and smooth the ride. 

InsideThe ë-C4 and certain C4 models will be offered with Advanced Comfort seats, including optional heating and massaging systems. Six interior colour schemes, all aimed at making you feel “as if you are in your living room”, will be offered. Citroën also claims best-in-class rear knee room and a wide variety of storage compartments.

The dashboard includes a newly designed 10.0in infotainment touchscreen with a large coloured head-up display to complement the digital instrumentation. Unlike with recent models, Citroën has separated the climate control stack from the touchscreen with physical controls.

The infotainment features the latest version of Citroën’s navigation system and is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. A full HD camera, which can take photos or video stored on a 16GB memory card, is built into the rear-view mirror. The C4 also offers 20 driver assistance features, including Highway Driving Assist and a level-two semi-autonomous system incorporating adaptive cruise control and lane keeping.

Pricing and availability

The C4 and ë-C4 are due to go on sale in the autumn. Exact UK specifications and pricing have yet to be finalised, but the C4 is likely to start from around £22,500. The ë-C4 is expected to cost more than £30,000.

The electric model is one of six electrified Citroën vehicles set to be launched in the next 12 months. The others are the C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid, the Ami quadricycle (which isn’t yet coming to the UK) and three vans, including the ë-Spacetourer.

Additional reporting by Rachel Burgess

READ MORE

Citroen confirms electric hatchback and Spacetourer for 2020 

New Citroen C5 Aircross SUV Hybrid: Prices and specs revealed 

Citroen Ami is electric two-seater for £17 per month

Source: Car

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