Citroen Australia general manager John Startari admitted the five-seat C4 Picasso was not originally on the radar for our market, but confirmed a change of heart would see the all-new multi-purpose vehicle join the local line-up a few months after the stretched seven-seat C4 Grand Picasso arrives in early 2014.
“We weren’t going to bring in [C4] Picasso but after seeing it I think it deserved a study,” Startari said.
“It’s a matter of where it fits into the overall product plan. Our dealers [are] certainly fans of it and want to see it come here.”
Startari cautioned the C4 Picasso still needed to “stack up in terms of pricing and spec” before it was 100 per cent locked in for our market, however.
He said its introduction would not be a simple matter of adding the new model to the line-up, but would demand the brand drop either the high-grade C4 Exclusive hatchback (priced from $32,490-$33,490) or a DS4 DSport variant ($37,490-$40,490).
Startari said the decision of which model to drop would depend on C4 Picasso pricing, which will be finalised in the coming months but looks set to start between $30,000 and $35,000.
“Anything’s possible in that range,” he said.
“It’s got to have the right spec and it’s got to be a Citroen. We’re not going to compromise specification and what we stand for just to get a cheaper price point.
“Because it’s so far out exchange rates play a big part in those decisions, so we won’t know until later this year.”
The second-generation Citroen C4 Picasso is the first Citroen built on PSA Peugeot-Citroen’s new Efficient Modular Platform 2 (EMP2) architecture, and despite being 40mm shorter than the original, has a 53mm-longer wheelbase, creating more interior space.
The use of lightweight, high-strength aluminium throughout its body also cuts the C4 Picasso’s kerb weight by 140kg.
In Europe, high-grade C4 Picasso models are equipped with a number of premium features, including a 12-inch high-definition instrument cluster display at the centre of the dashboard and a seven-inch touchscreen below it, 360-degree camera system, automatic reverse parking, active cruise control, lane departure warning, and an integrated emergency calling and vehicle assistance function.
The second row features three individual seats that can be pushed forward and back, reclined and folded fully flat. Boot capacity measures 537 litres with the seats pushed back and 630L when forward.
The Citroen C4 Picasso launched with a number of diesel engines ranging in output from 67kW to 110kW. Citroen is expected to follow up with a range of petrol options in the short term.