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Citroen's big saloon will be a hybrid

And the company won't rule out buying up Jaguar Land Rover, either

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Hurrah! Citroen’s new big saloon will be here shortly. And it’ll be a bold-looking, comfy-riding thing, in keeping with the DS, CX, XM and C6 that lie in its ancestry, and all without costing big money.

“It will remain coherent with its roots, its DNA,” says Citroen product chief, Xavier Peugeot.

“We are a mainstream player. We would like to be able to offer a wide product line-up, with small, medium-size and bigger cars.

“But we’ll remain coherent with our brand positioning, the capacity to be affordable and popular. You can offer a big car without 400bhp engines and all those sorts of things. We will be covering the segment of bigger cars but in line with the Citroen DNA.”

Expect it to be spun off the same platform as other big Peugeot/Citroen group cars – so Peugeot 508 and Citroen C5 Aircross – which also means it can offer hybrid power. So will it?

“Of course,” says Peugeot. “For the time being our strategy is connected to the PSA technological portfolio. Our ambition from next year onwards is to launch a new car every year with an electrified engine available. Each new Citroen model will offer an electrified answer, in order to be ready by 2025 for 100 per cent of our range to be electrified.”

Citroen will still offer internal combustion cars, mind, with EVs and hybrids supplementing petrols and diesels as the company gets its head around what customers want.

“Everybody is in a race to develop EVs, partially to meet emissions targets,” says Citroen boss Linda Jackson, those targets currently sitting at a 95g/km average for CO2 emissions across the company’s range.

“We will meet our targets because a) we don’t want to pay enormous penalties but b) because we also want to protect the planet,” she continues. “How credible could you be, as a global manufacturer, if you didn’t meet the targets for CO2? We can be frustrated but there’s nothing we can do about it, we just need a business that can be agile enough to respond.”

And speaking of agility, she wouldn’t rule out PSA acquiring Jaguar Land Rover, something that could have its own benefit for future big Citroens.

“We’ve come from a situation of being virtually bankrupt to being hugely successful and financially very stable,” says Jackson.

“We look for opportunities but we’re not looking for opportunities. If one comes along and we think it’s a good idea we’ll say ‘why not?’. We did that with Opel and Vauxhall. But we’re not sitting here saying we desperately need to find a partner, because we don’t. We’re not in any hurry, any rush, but of course if an opportunity comes along, we’ll look at it.”

Pictured: Citroen’s 2016 CXperience concept

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