In ascending order of complication, first off we’ve got comfier seats. They even look comfier – rolling hills of padding under a soft grey cloth. Your American land yacht fantasies of the 1950s are back. Except here, Citroen’s doubled the number of supporting wires that cradle the seat foam, and the stuffing itself is so dense and springy you could probably chuck a section of the Eiffel Tower observation deck, jump down after it and land without a parachute. So the seats are awesomely comfortable. They’re welcoming, supportive, and cosseting.
Next up, the chassis. It’s a lot stiffer, which means the suspension (which we’re getting to, promise) can do its job more effectively without the body flexing like a lylo on a choppy swimming pool. Problem is, adding reinforcement means piling on weight, killing economy and wearing our your tyres and brakes. So, Citroen’s gone for an adhesive process that leaves gaps for spot welds in crucial areas. It’s all done by a clever robot, and the result is a 20 per cent increase in stiffness, while saving 13kg on conventional chassis girders.
Right, the suspension. In a nod to the classic DS’s legendary suspension (it famously saved Charles de Gaulle from assassination, dontcha know), hydraulics is at play here. However, this isn’t a complex and expensive interconnected system like a McLaren supercar’s. Citroen wanted the new suspension to be compatible with all its production models, to not add weight, and to keep costs down. Otherwise no-one’s going to spec it…
Essentially, it’s a regular damper and spring. But where the one your car likely runs around on has a large rubber stopper at one end, Citroen has a second chamber with a second, smaller spring. This effectively increases the damper’s stroke, and when it’s being compressed, hydraulic fluid is forced into the chamber to smooth out the movement. So, you get a more controlled, more long-legged ride, without everything floating around like a 1980s Cadillac with dodgy tyre pressures. It’s a promising solution, this, principally because it’s a simple one. And simple ideas tend to catch on.