Citroën has not offered a classic compact model since back in 2018. Although the C4 designation is now coming back, the French company has now opted for a different body and an electric drive.
The “new era of the compact car”, as emphasised by the Citroën PR, is to be directed by familiar electric drive technology with the same 100 kW electric motor as numerous other models based on the e-CMP platform. Unlike the compact 308 model from the PSA’s sister brand Peugeot based on the EMP2 Group platform, Citroën has opted for the e-CMP. This would be, for example, to be able to offer a BEV instead of the PHEV envisaged for the EMP2.
The 50 kWh battery in the ë-C4 will provide a range of 350 kilometres according to WLTP. In sport mode, acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h is achieved in 9.7 seconds. In all three driving modes (Eco, Normal, Sport) the top speed is 150 km/h.
A three-phase 11 kW charger is installed ex-works, however, the single-phase onboard charger is not included. With the 11-kW charger (provided the charging station provides the power), the complete charging process should take about five hours. With direct current, the battery is filled to 80 per cent in 30 minutes, which corresponds to an average charging capacity of 80 kW.
The ë-C4 thus joins the now quite a long list of PPE models with this drive. Opel offers it in the Corsa-e, Mocha-e, Zafira-e Life and the Vivaro-e commercial vehicle. At Peugeot, the corresponding models are the e-208, the e-2008, the E-Traveller and the E-Expert – and rumour has it that an e-308 is planned as a counterpart to the ë-C4 in the compact class. Citroën already offers the drive system in the van models ë-Jumpy and ë-Spacetourer, while the DS luxury brand offers the DS 3 E-TENSE.
Compared to its 2018 discontinued predecessor, the new model is seven centimetres longer, and only about 2.5 centimetres higher because of its SUV-inspired design. Despite the high body, the French company advertises that the chassis is aerodynamic. The design team attached great importance to the feeling of space and the impression of comfort, according to the world premiere held online. On the other hand, the boot has become smaller: with 408 litres, the old C4 had one of the largest load volumes in the compact class. In the new model it is only 380 litres. However, the French company has not given any information about the maximum loading volume with the rear seatbacks folded down.
“Citroën is making a strong comeback in the C-Hatch segment,” says brand boss Vincent Cobée, who also points out the strong competition and the challenges. In order to do things differently and to stand out from the market, Citroën has decided to take a different approach to the bodywork. But Cobée did not want to comment on the expected distribution of sales between the burners and the ë-C4.
In terms of equipment, assistance systems and connectivity, the Citroën ë-C4 relies on the corresponding capabilities of the PSA group. Up to 20 assistants are to increase comfort and safety, and features such as a head-up display or a 180-degree rearview camera are also available. In addition to navigation and infotainment, the ten-inch display can also be used for smartphone functions via Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
Incidentally, the dashboard also conceals the “innovative feature” that Citroën announced a few weeks ago: Above the glove compartment, the passenger can fold out a smartphone and tablet holder. This is intended to make using the devices more comfortable and safer while driving: According to Citroën, the devices locked in it should not fall out even in the event of an emergency stop, and the airbag should deploy over the tablet in the event of an accident.
Orders should be possible from September, and the new C4 should be on the market this year. Citroën leaves open, however, whether initially, only the combustion derivatives of the C4 will be available. Citroën has not yet revealed prices.
|max. Torque||260 Nm|
|Top speed||150 kph|
|0 – 100 kph||9,7 seconds|
|Combined range (WLTP)||350 km|
|Batteriy capacity||50 kWh|
|Charging performance DC||n.A.|
|Charging time DC||30 Minuten (80 per cent)|
|Charging performance AC||11 kW (Typ 2, three phase)|
|Charging time AC||5 hours (100 per cent)|
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.
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