2017 Citroën SpaceTourer 4x4 Ë Concept
French automaker’s new concept MPV promises a four-wheel drive’s worth of fun and adventureby Kirby Garlitos, on
For the second straight year, Citroen’s participation at the Geneva Motor Show involves a concept vehicle that showcases the sportier and more aggressive side of the otherwise mild-mannered demeanor of a van, or SpaceTourer, as Citroen likes to call them. Last year, it was the SpaceTourer Hyphen Concept that was prominently featured in the French automaker’s stand. This year, it’s the SpaceTourer 4x4 Ë Concept’s turn under the Geneva spotlight, and like most concept’s go, it’s promising out-of-the-box features, at least when you compare it to what vans are supposed to be.
In a nutshell, the SpaceTourer 4x4 Ë Concept is an adventurous take of the French automaker’s resident mid-sized MPV. It may look the part of the SpaceTourer, but deep inside lies an identity that we usually don’t associate with vehicles of its ilk. Suffice to say, the SpaceTourer 4x4 Ë Concept is designed to be rough and rugged, equally capable of being a weekend family car and an adventure-seeking, all-terrain rough-rider. It certainly helps too, that Citroen is also presenting the SpaceTourer 4x4 Ë Concept with a packet full of features and technologies, not to mention a distinct look that helps elevate the concept’s outdoors-leaning personality.
The new SpaceTourer concept is all set to be presented in Geneva as part of Citroen’s new “Ë” lifestyle range. It may not be the flashiest concept we’ll see in the show - MPVs never are - but it’s certainly one that we need to keep a close eye on, if only for the possibility that we might end up getting a production version in the near future. That may not be a foregone conclusion, but we know what happens to concepts that are well received in Geneva.
Continue reading to learn more about the Citroen SpaceTourer 4x4 Ë Concept.
The Citroen SpaceTourer 4x4 Ë Concept doesn’t look like a concept, does it? On the surface, it’s far from one because its features seem a lot more production-ready than the previous SpaceTourer concept - the Hyphen Concept - that the French automaker showed at last year’s event. Whereas that version sported aggressive body cladding, off-road lights on the roof, and a flamboyant blue body color that fades into orange as it moves towards the rear, the 4x4 Ë Concept is dressed up in a rather subdued white paint finish, otherwise known as the most popular color-of-choice among car owners these days. Yeah, there’s absolutely nothing spectacularly concept-looking about that.
Note: photo of the Citroen SpaceTourer Hyphen Concept
The Citroen SpaceTourer 4x4 Ë Concept doesn’t look like a concept, does it? On the surface, it’s far from one because its features seem a lot more production-ready than the previous SpaceTourer concept - the Hyphen Concept - that the French automaker showed at last year’s event.
On the bright side, Citroen did add splashes of personality into the 4x4 Ë Concept’s exterior with grey camouflage and red decals on the hood and sides of the van. Those details, together with the recognizable “4X4” logo just below the door mirrors and on the tailgate at least help build up the concept’s off-road personality for what they’re worth.
On the equipment side, the 4X4 Ë Concept once again lives up to its adventure-leaning billing. It features distinctive front and rear protective skid plates to go along with roof bars finished in satin aluminum. Most importantly, it comes with a new set of tires with snow chains, which explains those red chains on the tires.
On the bright side, Citroen did add splashes of personality into the 4x4 Ë Concept’s exterior with grey camouflage and red decals on the hood and sides of the van.
As far as size goes, the concept’s tale of the tape includes measurements of 4.6 meters (15 feet) long, 1.92 meters wide (6.3 feet), and 1.9 meters (6.2 feet) high. Those figures are in line with the size dimensions of the production SpaceTourer’s compact five-seat XS model. It worth noting, though, that the SpaceTourer 4X4 Ë Concept’s raised ground clearance is 60 mm (2.32 inches) higher than the production version, ensuring that the concept can travel off to the beaten path without any danger of messing up its underbody.
|Citroen SpaceTourer 4x4 Ë Concept|
|Length||4.6 meters (15 feet )|
|Height||1.9 meters (6.2 feet)|
|Width||1.92 meters (6.3 feet)|
As production-ready as the Citroen SpaceTourer 4X4 Ë Concept’s exterior is, the cabin of the adventurous MPV has no semblance of being a concept. It’s a production interior, right down to the layout, the seating configuration, and the materials that were used to dress it up.
Let’s start with the layout, which is what you’d expect from the production XS trim of the SpaceTourer. There’s a standard five-seat configuration, including two individual front seats with their own armrests. Those two, upright-looking front seats come with embossed “Ë” logos on the headrests while all the seats dressed in a uniquely upholstered two-tone layout that features later on the upper part of the seat backs and headrests and mottled grey Alcantara on the lower two-thirds of each seat. At the very least, the style of the seats in the 4X4 Ë Concept is a lot more pleasant to look at than the one found in the Hyphen Concept from last year. I mean, look at this monstrosity right here.
Note: interior photo of the Citroen SpaceTourer Hyphen Concept
The cabin of the adventurous MPV has no semblance of being a concept. It's a production interior, right down to the layout, the seating configuration, and the materials that were used to dress it up.
Seat dressing aside, the 4X4 Ë Concept’s cabin is also defined by personalized touches meant to evoke Citroen’s newly launched “Ë” lifestyle range. The red, white, and blue colors of the stitching may be a subtle design quirk, but there’s a reason for the choice of colors since those three colors, in addition to being the colors of the French flag, also represent the automaker’s new lifestyle range. Look a little closer at the cabin, and you’ll also see the seatbelt and door straps wearing the same red, white, and blue stitching. Likewise, the dashboard is dressed in a mottled grey fabric and the whole cabin is filled with aluminum-colored trim.
The decision to dress the interior up this way didn’t come by accident for Citroen. Every one of these details are inspired by the “Ë” lifestyle collection that the French automaker is touting at every turn and opportunity, bordering even on being a little too hard sell.
On the technological front, Citroen did well for itself by giving the SpaceTourer 4X4 Ë Concept a smorgasbord of tech features, including its very own Citroën Connect 3D navigation system that can be controlled through a seven-inch touchscreen or voice recognition.
Space is also no issue for the 4X4 Ê Concept, or at least that’s what Citroen claims. According to the automaker, the SpaceTourer 4X4 Ë Concept boasts a 74-liter storage space around the cabin, including the door bins and the glove box and a load volume of up to two cubic meters, or just shy of 2,000 liters.
On the technological front, Citroen did well for itself by giving the SpaceTourer 4X4 Ë Concept a smorgasbord of tech features, including its very own Citroën Connect 3D navigation system that can be controlled through a seven-inch touchscreen or voice recognition. The adventurous MPV also comes with useful tech items that serve its purpose. There’s a head-up display that helps drivers keep their eye on the road while remaining attentive to information about the van’s driving feel. There’s also a rear camera located at the back of the van that sends images and video to the same touchscreen, a Blind-Spot Monitoring system that alerts drivers of potential blind spots an Automatic Beam Function that can switch between low and high beams by itself, and a Lane Departure Warning system that can jolt the driver’s attention in the event the driver crosses into another lane without turning on the indicators.
This particular section poses some strengths and weaknesses of the Citroen SpaceTourer 4X4 Ë Concept. The concept is equipped with Citroen’s 2.0-liter BlueHDi diesel engine that produces 150 horsepower and mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, while returning 53.3 mpg on the combined cycle and 139g/km of CO2. To be fair, the concept makes use of the bigger available engine for the SpaceTourer as opposed to the smaller 1.6-liter unit that only tops out at 115 horsepower.
Here’s another bit of good news about this concept: it’s equipped with four-wheel drive capabilities through a selectable transfer case that Citroen commissioned from Automobiles Dangel, a French company that specializes in drivetrains. You can’t understate this fact about the SpaceTourer 4X4 Ë Concept, mainly because it allows the MPV to work around less than ideal road conditions without struggling to get past them.
The concept is equipped with Citroen’s 2.0-liter BlueHDi diesel engine that produces 150 horsepower and mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, while returning 53.3 mpg on the combined cycle and 139g/km of CO2.
By comparison, one of the SpaceTourer’s biggest competitions is the Mercedes V-Class, which has a choice of its own engines, including a 2.1-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel that packs 161 horsepower. It’s not much of an advantage compared to the Citroen concept, but for vehicles as big as these people movers, any edge in power shouldn’t be taken lightly. On the other hand, the SpaceTourer concept accounts well for itself in this department when you compare it to a similar trim of the Volkswagen T5 Multilane, considered as one of the current benchmarks of the segment. The T5 also features a number of engine options, including a 2.0-liter TDI diesel that returns only 140 horsepower, slightly less than what the XS trim of the SpaceTourer is capable of producing.
|Model||Power||Torque||0 to 60 MPH Time||Top Speed|
|Citroen SpaceTourer 4X4 Ë Concept||148 horsepower||280 pound-feet*||10.6 seconds||120 mph *|
|Mercedes V-Class||160 horsepower||280 pound-feet||10.8 seconds||121 mph|
|Volkswagen T5 Multivan||140 horsepower||295 pound-feet||11.4 seconds||117 mph|
There are a lot of takeaways from the Citroen SpaceTourer 4X4 Ë Concept. For one, the whole package revolving around the promise of four-wheel drive fun and adventure is a smart play for Citroen because MPVs usually aren’t identified associated with such. But Citroen somehow made it work by not only dressing up the SpaceTourer 4x4 Ë Concept in fashionable clothes, but by also giving it all the requisite mechanical and technological features that can help the MPV live up to its billing. Sure, it might be a concept in the technical sense, but the SpaceTourer 4X4 Ë Concept is a lot closer to production than what it’s name implies. The question now is what kind of plans does the French automaker have for its Geneva-bound MPV. It hasn’t made mention of any production plans, but if it does end up giving it a serious look, have your eyes and ears ready for any potential announcements at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. For now, though, check out the MPV and see for yourself if it’s worth all the attention it’s likely going to get when it arrives in the biggest auto show of the year next month.