Citroen Is a Little More Serious

Gary S. Vasilash

Although the forthcoming Geneva auto show is a place where vehicle manufacturers are going to be debuting some rather, um, elaborate vehicle designs, in some cases the automotive versions of the women’s hats worn at the Kentucky Derby, PSA/Peugeot Citroen is pretty much in a position whereby it needs to have some volume, saleable sheet metal on the market rather than flights of fancy.

After all, with China’s Dongfeng and the French government kicking in serious money to keep the lights on for the 214-year-old company, it needs to start making some Euros, Yuan, or whatever.


Admittedly, from a Detroit perspective, some of the things that Citroen puts out as “regular” production cars tend to be somewhat. . .innovative. Take, for example, the door treatment on the Cactus, a newly developed compact (102-in. wheelbase, 163.8-in. length, 68.11-in. width, 58.27-in. height).

While that might just look like a graphic treatment, the “Airbump” (available in black, gray, dune, and chocolate) is actually a thermoplastic polyurethane piece with air-filled pockets that are meant to reduce door dings.

In addition to the Cactus, they’re rolling out with a car based on the first production execution of its EMP2 (i.e., Efficient Modular Platform 2) platform, the C4 Picasso.


There are four major modules, the subframe, running gear, powertrain, and electric and electronic architecture. From a cost standpoint, the company says that these modules represent about 60% of the price of a vehicle (note they didn’t say the cost of building a vehicle, so depending on the margins, that number could move around).

EMP2 will be used on future C- and D-segment vehicles built by PSA Peugeot Citroen, and the company anticipates it will account for about 50% of all cars that it builds.

One interesting aspect of the C4 Picasso is that it is 140 kg (308.6 lb.) lighter than a comparable outgoing model. That’s approximately a 10% reduction in mass. About have the weight was saved through the use of high- and ultra-high strength steels, aluminum, and composite materials.

Picasso 2

And speaking of production and China, it is launching the DS 5LS, a C-segment car, which is the second DS model in the company’s lineup, which is also the second car that it is building in its Shenzhen plant. The company will add a third Chinese built model later this year, an SUV.