The Citroen C5 X has a lot in common with a Rolls-Royce Spectre...
I’m going to flatter the C5 X by comparing it to the Rolls-Royce Spectre. No, wait. I’ve just driven it in California, and it’s as close to flawless as any car has ever come. Clearly, full electrification delivers a suite of attributes that are entirely appropriate for a Rolls: near-silence on the move, total refinement, and a silkiness to the driving experience that ensures that none of the occupants displace one drop of Premier Cru during braking or accelerating.
Rolls’ engineers, led by the brilliant Mahier Ayoubi, are totally on top of what defines a Rolls-Royce circa 2023.
Thierry Koskas, Citroen’s new CEO, will be hoping to achieve a similar singularity of vision. The volume aspirations are obviously wildly different but knowing what you – and your customers – really want is core. And here’s the thing: step out of the £330k Spectre and into the C5 X and there’s a significant cross-over.
In essence, these two cars are designed to repel the intrusions and iniquities of the real world as effectively as possible. The Citroen is absolutely at its best on the motorway or long sweeping roads, when the presence of its combustion engine is pretty much imperceptible. Its primary ride is better resolved than its secondary one, and it’s really not interested in being driven overly enthusiastically.
The Spectre actually handles extremely well despite its mass (it weighs 2,890kg), but even so this is not a car you’d drive on or anywhere near the limit for very long. I guess you might call it ‘fitness for purpose’, nothing that can be measured empirically but you sure know when you experience it.
In terms of luxury travel, Citroen and Rolls have more in common than might first appear.