Citroen is set to build a production version of the Wild Rubis SUV concept exclusively for China and surrounding Asian countries.
It is likely the car will form part of Citroen’s luxury DS range, badged either DS7 or DSX7.
The all-wheel-drive Wild Rubis concept was first seen at the Shanghai motor show last April, and was similar in size to the Volkswagen Touareg. The show car ran a plug-in hybrid powetrain, pairing a 165kW 1.6-litre petrol engine with a 51kW electric motor set over the rear axle, producing just 43 grams of CO2 per 100km. The SUV was also capable of travelling 50km on pure electricity.
Unsurprisingly, Banzet says the concept will be toned down for production.
“The production model will be less radical than the Wild Rubis. For example, it will not sit on 21-inch wheels,” Banzet said.
The statement came as Banzet also confirmed Chinese production of Citroen’s DS5 crossover, and another car yet to be previewed.
“We are about to begin production of the DS5 in Shengzen, followed next year by a compact sedan and large crossover.”
China has been a surprisingly lucrative market for Citroen where the French car maker is perceived as a rival for the likes of Mercedes and Audi. The DS range has been particularly successful, and there have also been rumours Citroen will sell a DS-badged Asia-only limousine to rival the likes of the Mercedes S Class, possibly called DS9.
The SUV will enter a booming segment of the auto industry, and should help Citroen reach its goal of selling half its global production outside Europe by 2015.