The French PSA Group’s acquisition of Germany’s Opel/Vauxhall from General Motors (GM) introduces more global guessing games, shown by two new SUVs under PSA management.
The Citroen C5 Aircross (above) was unveiled at the Shanghai motor show and the Opel/Vauxhall Grandland X will go public at Frankfurt later in the year.
Both sit on PSA’s EMP2 base, which also underpins the Peugeot 3008. Both PSA and GM agreed before the PSA buyout to pool resources to build the new SUVs. Interior design of course will be different in all three.
The 3008 – the first vehicle to be built on EMP2 – will land in NZ within the next few months, but C5 Aircross is unlikely to get here until 2019. Where does that leave the Grandland X in the new-look world of the PSA Group?
And where does it leave Holden, now dependent on PSA-owned Opel/Vauxhall architecture for its Astra and upcoming Commodore (rebadged Insignia) passenger cars.
Will PSA add to the Holden portfolio of SUVs by selling Grandland X downunder? Or will it introduce Grandland X in this part of the world with an Opel badge?
PSA boss Carlos Tavares has said a wider global strategy for Opel is under consideration. Grandland X goes on sale in Europe next year. Again, there are more questions than answers now that the Peugeot/Citroen parent is largely in charge of Holden’s future.
Meantime, Citroen NZ regional manager Simon Rose says he is excited about the Aircross. “This marks the first complete Citroen SUV, and will help to grow the brand in what is a truly SUV-dominated market in New Zealand,” he said.
“The introduction of an SUV, coinciding with the first ever Citroen model to be launched as a PHEV plug-in hybrid vehicle with full electric mode, will put Citroen into an evolving market that it has not previously been able to compete in.”
The production C5 Aircross has been toned down from the 2015 concept but carries over a near-identical shape. The interior layout is partly inspired by the concept, too. Much of the focus inside is on comfort, with double-glazed windows added to cut road and wind noise.
C5 Aircross is 4500mm long, 1840mm wide, 1670mm tall and has a 2730mm wheelbase. For a comparison, the Hyundai Santa Fe is 4690mm long, 1880mm wide, 1690mm tall, with a 2700mm wheelbase.
The Citroen SUV introduces the company’s new ‘Progressive Hydraulic Cushion’ suspension system, a set-up using secondary dampers filled with hydraulic fluid.
In China, Aircross gets two four-cylinder petrol engine options mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. The flagship version is further down the track.
It’s a four-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid with a petrol engine and two electric motors making a combined 225kW. Citroen says it can travel 60km on battery power alone.