Citroen to unveil new C5 next month
The public debut could be as early as the Brussels auto show in January, Citroen sources say. In the first quarter of 2008, the C5 will add a station wagon version.
Designed under Citroen head of design Jean-Pierre Ploue, the Citroen C5 Airscape concept study that debuted this month at the IAA in Frankfurt revealed many details of the production version of the new C5.
The new C5 is an evolutionary development of PSA's upper-medium platform 3, which also underpins the Citroen C6 flagship and the Peugeot 407. All are built at PSA's upper-medium platform-dedicated plant in Rennes, France.
Possible C5 options include an innovative traction control system and an energy-saving start-stop system with brake regeneration.
Citroen sources did not say whether the new C5 will again have the brandís traditional hydro-pneumatic suspension or instead the simplified air suspension offered on some upmarket versions of the C4 Picasso minivan.
The new-generation C5 replaces a version that was introduced in late 2000. Sales of that C5 peaked in 2002 at 146,678 units after a station wagon body style was added. But plagued by initial quality problems, sales steadily dropped, falling to 67,353 last year. In the first seven months this year, C5 sales dropped to 31,806 units from 44,046 in the same period of 2006, according to JATO Dynamics. Even the C5's sister model within PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, the Peugeot 407, sold 82,532 units.
In this segment, the VW Passat is the market leader, with 195,301 units sold in the first seven months.
The C5 Airscape also indicates that Citroen is considering developing a convertible on the platform.
Official Citroen sources are tight-lipped about that option. But the French carmaker is conducting a detailed market research for an upper-medium convertible, which could make its public debut in 12 months at the 2008 Paris auto show, industry sources say.