Likely to preview Citroen’s upcoming flagship sedan

If I were to pick an automaker that has delivered the most intriguing vehicle designs of the last 60 years or so, it would have to be Citroen. From the Traction Avant and original DS series to the SM and the C6, the French firm has launched some pretty wild-looking cars. The C4 Cactus is the latest to bring some rather unconventional styling cues and features to the market, but Citroen didn’t stop there. At the 2016 Paris Motor Show, the French company unleashed the Cxperience, a concept car that likely previews an upcoming flagship sedan.

Measuring nearly five meters, which puts it above the C5, the Cxperience is a sign that Citroen wants to move upmarket and offer a new flagship model. The French automaker stopped selling one in 2012, when the C6 was discontinued due to slow sales. Designed by Citroen Styling at the company’s Design Centre in Velizy, the new concept was inspired by the "high-tech world on the outside, and by furnishings/travel on the inside."

"The whole Style team pulled in the same direction to create a new executive saloon with international reach, breaking with conventional codes to express the brand’s values: Optimistic, Human and Smart, said Alexandre Malvan, director of Citroen Design.

As with many concepts, the Cxperience isn’t likely to spawn a production model, but a flagship model loosely based on it is likely to follow. Citroen current offers a new-generation C6 in China, but that’s far too conventional compared to the four-door that will drawn cues from this concept in a few years. Let’s see what the Cxperience is all about below.

Updated 10/04/2016: We added a series of images taken during the concept’ official debut at the 2016 Paris Auto Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Citroën Cxperience Concept.

Exterior

2016 Citroën Cxperience High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Citroën Cxperience High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Citroën Cxperience High Resolution Exterior
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The first thing that catches the eye, besides the wild styling, is the two-box design. This is rather unusual for sedans, which usually feature a three-box layout, but Citroen is known to break the rules and has done it before with the C6. The concept also features rear-hinged autoclave doors that rise to the top of the roof and open to a 90-degree perpendicular angle.

Up front, the show car is recognizable as a Citroen thanks to its layered headlamps and the "chevron" emblem. Both are integrated into a single unit, with the V-shaped headlamps splitting toward the edges; one LED strip extends toward the wheel arches, while the other one runs toward the bumper. The light signature is unique to the concept and may preview a look that Citroen wants to adopt in the future. Also, while they are positioned where the headlamps usually are, they’re actually the car’s daytime running lights. The are made up of fine three mm wide strips with the indicators elegantly positioned in between, giving the car a high-tech look.

The concept features rear-hinged autoclave doors that rise to the top of the roof and open to a 90-degree perpendicular angle

The front fascia becomes more intriguing down below, where Citroen integrated three LED directional headlamps into massive cutouts in the bumper. Further down, there are air intakes covered by mobile flaps. Designed to open and close depending on how much air the drivetrain needs, the flaps enhance the car’s aerodynamic performance.

The rear end is as unique and flashy as the front fascia. It has beefy wheel arches, V-shaped taillights with LED strips, and slim indicators with clear covers in the middle. The taillights and part of the bumper are integrated into massive, triangular cutouts that mimic those seen in the front. These also give the rear fascia a trapezoidal center section for a unique look. The rear end is rounded off by wide exhaust outlets integrated into the apron, black-painted "chevron" logo, and a concave window with a mobile fin at the bottom.

Speaking of the rear window, the concept car has a fastback-like roof, a tailgate, and a very short decklid, features that remind of the innovative, range-topping C6 that Citroen built between 2005 and 2016. The French firm has recently revived the nameplate for the Chinese market, but the new sedan has nothing in common with the original four-door. Needless to say, the Cxperience is some sort of spiritual successor to the initial C6.

As far as dimensions go, the concept car is 4.85 meters (191 inches) long, two meters (78.7 inches) wide, only 1.37 meters (54 inches) tall, and has a three-meter (118.1-inch) wheelbase. These figures make it 72 mm (2.83 inches) longer and 148 mm (5.82 inches) wider than the C5, currently the company’s biggest sedan that’s sold globally. Compared to the China-only C6, the Cxperience is actually 148 mm (5.82 inches) shorter, but 160 mm (6.3 inches) wider. The concept’s wheelbase, on the other hand, is slightly longer than the C6’s, which suggests enhanced cabin comfort.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,850 MM (191 Inches)
Width 2,000 MM (78.7 Inches)
Height 1,370 MM (54 Inches)
Wheelbase 3,000 MM (118.1 Inches)

Interior

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The interior is a mix of flowing design lines, clean features, premium materials, and a contrasting color scheme. With upper and lower elements sculpted from wood and tubular cutout extending from the right rear door panel to the left rear door panel in a single element, the dashboard is a tremendous piece of modern architecture that reinforces the impression of space. The tubular tunnel is upholstered in yellow mesh fabric that matches the center tunnel and the seats, providing the striking contrast usually found in concept cars. Aside from that, the dashboard design is clean and simple, with only the wide screen and the head-up display disturbing the continuous wood pieces that flow into the door panels.

The steering wheel is also as simple as they get, sporting a one-spoke design that reminds of vintage Citroen models, flat top and bottom, and two buttons on each side.

Moving over to the seats, they’re upholstered in the same Citrus Yellow fabric and have serious bolstering on the sides, as well as on the lower section, toward the center tunnel. The wide headrests have walnut wood, as do the backrests. The rear seats are designed in a similar fashion, but even though they were shaped with just two persons in mind, the seating surface is made from one piece. The upper half of each seat seems to float thanks to the two-piece design.

The dashboard design is clean and simple, with only the wide screen and the head-up display disturbing the continuous wood pieces that flow into the door panels.

The door panels are also made from high-quality materials and match the upholstery and the dashboard. Both the center tunnel and door panels have generous storage room and legroom seems superior to any other cabin of similar proportion due to excellent packaging.

As far as tech goes, the driver and front passenger have access to all sorts of features through the 19-inch, 16/3 format screen in the center of the dashboard.

The touchscreen groups all the on-board functions together, including air conditioning, driving aids, navigation and media sources, and are presented in such a way as to enable easy browsing by all the occupants. Passengers can find information on their journey, select their own music, or watch movies. The car also features a range of connected services, enabling the driver to open the the gate or garage door from a distance or receive home deliveries. The center console houses a dedicated smartphone stand with inductive recharging.

Rear passengers also have access to the vehicle’s numerous features via a mobile tablet. The device enables them to adjust the seats and air conditioning, as well as access to various media files.

Naturally, all mirrors have been replaced by cameras. The side "mirrors" are displayed on smaller digital screen positioned along the door panels, while the high-tech rear vision system includes both front and rear cameras. The drivers thus benefits from a 360-degree view of the outside environment, making driving and parking easier.

Drivetrain

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Motivating the Cxperience is a hybrid drivetrain combining a gasoline engine and an electric motor. The unnamed gas powerplant — most likely a small-displacement four-cylinder — generates "between 150 and 200" horsepower, while the electric motor adds "up to 80 kW" (107 horsepower) of additional energy.

The hybrid combo mates to an eight-speed automatic gearbox placed transversely between the internal combustion engine and the electric motor

The concept also has a 3-kWh battery that can be charged in just a few hours. The vehicle can be charged in four and a half hours with a standard charging system, or in less than two and a half hours with a 6.6-kW charger designed for connection to a 32A socket.

The hybrid combo mates to an eight-speed automatic gearbox placed transversely between the internal combustion engine and the electric motor. Total output with both units working is of up to 300 horsepower, while the all-electric range is estimated at 60 km (about 37 miles). Granted, these figures are by no means spectacular compared to hybrid production cars or other hybrid concepts, but 300 horsepower and a 37-mile range are nothing to sneeze at either.

Unfortunately, no other data is provided and there’s no info as to whether this configuration will make it into future production cars or not.

Conclusion

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Needless to say, the Cxperience is a typical Citroen concept car. Its exterior is by no means conventional and certain features make it look line an alien among production models and even most concept cars. The same can be said about the interior, which is not exactly innovative in terms of technology, but offers a different perspective on what dashboard and door panels could look like. This new concept car is definitely of the "love it or hate it" variety, but this is by no means unexpected given that it carries a Citroen badge.

I’m not exactly crazy about its exterior design, but I do love that the French firm continues to think outside the box and stretch its styling language to the limit. I also have to admit that I’m most excited about the two-box, fastback-like design, but this is simply because I’m a big fan of the original C6. As far as the interior goes, the massive wood elements and the yellow fabric are candy to my eyes. Sure, yellow might be a bit too bright for this configuration, but the wood and that tubular cutout that goes all the way back into the rear door panels are works of art.

Unfortunately, getting too excited about the Cxperience isn’t the right thing to do if you’re expecting a production model. There’s a very big chance that it won’t happen. However, this concept could signal the return of the range-topping C6 in one form or another, and even though many of the wild features seen here won’t make it on the production model, you can bet your house on the fact that it will stand out in terms of styling inside and out. And if recent concepts and factory models are any indication, Citroen is definitely moving up the premium ladder and the upcoming flagship will probably become the company’s most luxurious product yet.

  • Leave it
    • * Some might not like its flamboyant exterior
    • * Not likely to go into production

Press Release

Exclusively revealed one month ahead of the Paris Motor Show, Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT demonstrates the brand’s capacity to deploy its "Be Different, Feel Good" promise in the large saloon segment. With its distinctive body style, this new concept overturns established codes and illustrates the benefits of the "Citroën Advanced Comfort®" programme.

2016 Citroën Cxperience High Resolution Exterior
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In the context of its global convention centring New C3 and bringing together over 2000 brand representatives from over 36 countries, Citroën springs the surprise revealing the CXPERIENCE concept car, a world first at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. With this two-box saloon measuring 4.85m in length, Citroën is expressing its ambitions in upmarket territory, deploying its "Be Different, Feel Good" promise in this segment. The exceptional new, international body style is a new step forward that marks a new offensive in brand strategy.

In phase with the brand’s know-how and history, this latest creation features the global comfort that is a hallmark of Citroën vehicles. CXPERIENCE CONCEPT is the latest demonstration of the "Citroën Advanced Comfort ®" programme, designed for the well-being and comfort of vehicle occupants. Supporting the styling, technical and technological development of new brand models, the programme reflects changing customer expectations and is part of every stage in the design process.

01. BOLD, EXCEPTIONAL DESIGN

A strong identity

With its unique, distinctive body lines, the CXPERIENCE concept car expresses a new take on the codes of executive saloons, a territory that is close to the brand and its history. It is an aerodynamic concept car whose design reflects the emphasis placed on every detail. The shape lines and graphics belong solely to Citroën and are thus easy to identify and remember.

Designed by Citroën Styling at the Design Centre in Vélizy, outside Paris, CXPERIENCE CONCEPT expresses the brand’s new aesthetic codes. An innovative vehicle, it is inspired by the high-tech world on the outside, and by furnishings/travel on the inside.

The CXPERIENCE concept car is immediately recognisable. With its two-box style and cleverly designed rear-hinged doors, it looks ready to leap forwards. The bold lines express power, while the generous curves and smooth volumes express the car’s own stylistic language.

A vehicle of imposing proportions (4.85m long, 2m wide) with a very low roof (1.37m tall) and short overhangs (3m wheelbase), the CXPERIENCE concept car allies its majestic stature with flowing lines. The pearlescent sea green "Mizuiro" bodywork is modern, relaxed and sober. The colour further underlines the upmarket looks of this concept car, with its large 22-inch wheels and 5-spoke covers.

At the front, the pure lines of this concept car are very much in evidence, with an original light signature expressing a new take on the layered headlights that are part of Citroën’s identity. Other attributes of CXPERIENCE CONCEPT include a smooth front end and special grille. The chevrons accentuate the vehicle’s width with the chrome-finish bar angling out to the headlights. The observer’s eye is drawn in particular to the V-shaped DRLs, which give the car a high-tech look. They are made up of fine 3mm wide strips with the indicators elegantly positioned in between. Further down, the light signature is completed by three LED directional headlights, positioned either side of the vehicle. For greater efficiency, the controlled air intakes are integrated with the front bumpers. Mobile flaps designed to open and close are positioned on either side of the vehicle. These contribute to aerodynamic performance on the road while also making manoeuvres easier.

The rear end of the concept car also makes a statement with strongly marked wings and a concave rear window with a mobile fin at the bottom for improved aerodynamics. The 3D rear lights featuring laser fibre optics are also V-shaped. The indicators are positioned in the centre under a slim one-way panel, giving CXPERIENCE CONCEPT a unique, high-tech identity. The light system is fitted in a black technical block whose lines follows the cut-out of the boot, underlining the width of this large saloon. Like the brand’s most recent vehicles, the chevrons at the rear of the concept car feature a black lacquer finish.

Another characteristic styling feature contributing to the unique personality of the CXPERIENCE concept car are the rear-hinged autoclave doors rising to the top of the roof and opening to a 90°perpendicular angle (in line with the wheels), making it easy to get in. The doors provide an excellent view of the spacious upmarket cabin. Comfort takes centre stage, issuing an invitation to travel.

An interior designed to showcase the flowing design lines

2016 Citroën Cxperience High Resolution Exterior
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Inspired by architecture, decoration and furnishings, the cabin of CXPERIENCE CONCEPT is a work of clean, contemporary lines. Featuring premium materials, it is decorated in a citrus yellow shade, synonymous with a fresh, optimistic mindset.

Alongside the single-spoke steering wheel, a nod to the brand’s history, the floating dashboard is of horizontal design. It has a three-dimensional appearance, with a sculpted, tubular cut-out extending from the right rear door to the left rear door in a single piece. This presentation reinforces the immediate impression of space, lightness and amplitude. The yellow tones of the interior ambience enhance the original sense of visual continuity between each of the areas dedicated to the driver or passengers.

Considerable emphasis was placed on the design of the seats, which are upholstered in a padded-effect yellow mesh fabric. The backrests feature walnut wood in an elegant light shade, like the dashboard. Designed to resemble alcoves, the inner door panels are also made from high-quality materials. The sea-green geometric fabric matches the body colour and contrasts with the interior ambience. The flat foam floor was made to measure. It is covered in dark, textured leather with a destructured design. On either side, broad chrome-finish sills underline the careful emphasis placed on interior colours and materials.

"The whole Style team pulled in the same direction to create a new executive saloon with international reach, breaking with conventional codes to express the brand’s values: Optimistic, Human and Smart."

Alexandre Malval, Citroën Design Director

02. THE CITROËN ADVANCED COMFORT® PROGRAMME DEPLOYED ON AN EXECUTIVE VEHICLE

Comfort is a concept that has always been closely linked to Citroën and "Citroën Comfort" has become a true brand signature. Today, this concept has become part of a broader approach with a range of criteria including brightness, space, ergonomics and connectivity. All these criteria contribute to well-being in body and mind and promote discussion and sharing on board the CXPERIENCE concept car.

Contributing to well-being in body and mind

Through the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme, which guided the design of CXPERIENCE CONCEPT, Citroën is reviewing its approach to comfort in the light of its modern vision and expertise.

Designed as a true "cocoon", CXPERIENCE CONCEPT filters out the outside world along with the bumps and dips of the road and employs a progressive hydraulic cushions advanced module. Came out many weeks ago, this exclusive Citroën technology significantly improves the filtration system regardless of the defects road ensuring an outstanding driving comfort. The result : a purely Citroën sovereign comfort.

Entirely focused on the well-being of the occupants, this large executive saloon conveys an impression of immediate, intense ultra comfort, for both the driver and passengers, when they step on board

The interior was designed to promote well-being, as illustrated by the seats, the part of the car with which passengers are in closest contact. The generous, body-hugging seats of CXPERIENCE CONCEPT provide unique comfort and support. Made from flexible shape-memory foam, they invite the occupants to enjoy a new travelling experience. In row 1, both the driver and passenger have wide, welcoming seats. The enveloping seats in row 2 reflect the same "living room" mindset. A physical sensation amplified by the alliance of warm, natural materials. To make every journey a friendly, relaxing experience, the front seats feature tapered backrests and openwork headrests to provide greater visibility for passengers in the rear.

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Adding a final touch to this peaceful ambience, CXPERIENCE CONCEPT features generous volumes and ingenious storage compartments to make life easier. The dashboard creates an impression of space with its transversal graphics. The central console, also of flowing design lines, includes a functional storage compartment at the front, and a compartment for the induction charging of a smartphone. Other storage compartments positioned conveniently around the cabin also contribute to the comfort of the occupants and their day-to-day well-being.

The emphasis placed on light, another part of the "Citroën Advanced Comfort®" programme also contributes to the sense of onboard well-being. Each occupant enjoys an area bathed in light with a wide lateral glazed area around the cabin and the two cielos running the full length of the roof. The ambient lighting and air purifier also contribute to making the cabin a "Feel Good" area: a haven of well-being where the occupants can relax and decompress.

Finally, to ensure peace of mind for the driver and to reduce the cognitive load, useful driving information is projected into the driver’s field of vision on a wide "head-up" panel.

Promoting sharing and discussion

In tune with its times and in phase with the "Citroën Advanced Comfort ®" programme, the Citroën CXPERIENCE concept car is welcoming, comfortable and hyperconnected. CXPERIENCE CONCEPT is a car apart, with an intuitive human-machine interface, designed to provide digital continuity between digital worlds for the driver and passengers. Intelligent technologies promote interaction and contribute to smoother use of the vehicle and its equipment. Available to everybody and present at both front and rear, these technologies underline the brand’s efforts to place particular emphasis on passengers, who play a full role in each journey.

Drastically integrated in the middle of the dashboard, the 19-inch and 16/3 format rectangular screen is the key onboard feature. Functioning as the vehicle control centre, it clears superfluous controls from the dashboard and reinforces the impression of width and space. Easy to use by reason of its size, this screen groups all the onboard functions: air conditioning, driving aids, navigation and media sources. The key touch screen is split into parts, putting the emphasis on the driver as well as the passenger thanks to a reconfigurable “multi-fenestration” in 1/3 – 2/3 or 2/3 – 1/3 or in full screen mode, depending on the desired aboard experience. The infotainment options are presented in such a way as to enable easy browsing by all the occupants, who can find information on their journey, select their own music or watch their favourite film. To maintain a link between the vehicle and the outside world, CXPERIENCE CONCEPT features a range of connected services, enabling the driver to open the gate from a distance, for example, or receive home deliveries.

Two other control features – a smartphone and a mobile tablet – maintain digital continuity and activate a number of onboard functions. At the front, a central console houses a dedicated smartphone stand. Induction-rechargeable and connected to the screens, the smartphone starts the car and activates a range of control functions (comfort, photos, videos, etc.).

At the rear, passengers have access to a mobile tablet. Presented in a refined case, the tablet lets the occupants adjust the seats and air conditioning at the same time as well as providing access to media sharing [1] through the new app Share with U as part of a fun and intuitive approach. With this new service, they can share media files (games, music, videos) with their travelling companions and use them on board! Don’t miss the opportunity to test this new feature at the Paris Motor Show!

Citroën CXPERIENCECONCEPT opts for high-tech rear vision with front and rear cameras. At the same time, the conventional exterior door mirrors are replaced by two discreet side cameras sending pictures to small digital screens. Featuring chrome surrounds, these small screens are positioned along the inner door panels on the same trim feature as the loudspeakers and air vents. The driver has a 360° view of the vehicle’s immediate environment, making driving and manoeuvring easier. A hyper-connected car in tune with the times, CXPERIENCE CONCEPT also features the ConnectedCAM Citroën™ premiered as a world first on the new Citroën C3.

Located just behind the interior rear-view mirror, this wide-angle HD connected camera records whatever the driver sees on the road. A witness to the driving experience, it captures life’s moments in pictures and on video to keep or share on social networks.

2016 Citroën Cxperience High Resolution Exterior
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To promote onboard discussion and exchange, the designers also placed considerable emphasis on onboard sound spatialisation. The Citroën Styling teams working on the “sonification” applied the same principle as for the Citroën AIRCROSS concept car, an SUV premiered at the Shanghai Motor Show last year. The openwork front and rear headrests feature two loudspeakers with integrated bass sound and microphones. These sound bubbles let everybody choose who they want to communicate with. Or simply sit and listen to their own audio programme. Each journey can set the scene for either lively discussion or individual relaxation. For easier discussions or to keep an eye on young children, integrated cameras make it possible to see each passenger or even to take part in a videoconference.

"The Citroën CXPERIENCE concept car challenges convention to express a new vision of executive saloons. It also fits in perfectly with the ambitions of the "Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme. CXPERIENCE CONCEPT illustrates the brand’s capacity to deploy its "Be Different, Feel Good" promise in this segment.

Linda Jackson - CITROËN Brand CEO

03. A PLUG-IN HYBRID PETROL SOLUTION FOR A LIMITLESS DRIVING PLEASURE

The emphasis on intelligent technology can also be seen in the choice of a plug-in hybrid solution for a relaxed drive. A true invitation to travel, Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT features a plug-in hybrid drivetrain allying efficiency with performance. Based on the expertise of the PSA Group, this plug-in hybrid petrol technology allies power and versatility.

Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT delivers outstanding dynamic performance with a petrol engine developing between 150 and 200 bhp and up to 80 kW of additional energy provided by the electric motor. CXPERIENCE CONCEPT can be driven in all-electric mode in the city (ZEV -Zero Emission Vehicle) where it has a range of 60 km. On the open road, fuel consumption can be limited by using the two forms of energy together in successive acceleration phases. On the motorway, the internal combustion engine takes over to deliver real performance at the wheel, with total power of up to 300 bhp.

Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT has a 3 kWh battery that can be charged in just a few hours. The vehicle can be charged in 4 1/2 hours with a standard charging system, or in less than 2 1/2 hours with an ultra-simple charging solution based on a 6.6 kW charger designed for connection to a 32A socket. The attractive, functional signature of this drivetrain can be seen on top of the bonnet in the form of two battery charge indicators extending the line of each DRL.

The architecture of Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT is ingenious and unique. The 8-speed electric automatic gearbox is placed transversely between the internal combustion engine and the electric motor, and a compact battery is positioned under the cabin to deliver electric power to the rear axle. This maintains both passenger space and boot capacity.

This plug-in hybrid new solution invites users to enjoy a new driving experience whereby they can travel from city centres to the most isolated areas without restriction, receiving exceptional dynamic performances thanks to the electric motor additional energy, while also respecting the environment.

Reflecting the brand’s ability to plan for the future and deploy its positioning and values in very different territories, two "Citroën Advanced Comfort®" showcases will be present on the stand at the Paris Motor Show:

  • the C3, the new brand offensive in the B segment
  • the CXPERIENCE concept car, expressing Citroën’s approach to comfort and executive vehicles!
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