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Citroen C4 Picasso - first details

02 August 2006

Citroen's Xsara Picasso sold in millions, and the manufacturer hopes that a combination of striking looks, copious amounts of technology and high visibility from the interior will help its new C4 Picasso sell just as well.

The new car will have seven seats, unlike the Xsara Picasso's five - the five rear seats can fold away under the floor, without removing the headrests, to create a flat loadbay.

Access to the back row of seats is by pressing a button on either side of the outer middle seats, the seat cushion flips up towards the seat back and then the whole seat slides towards the front seats in a single movement, allowing passengers into the back.

Power for the car comes from either a 143bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine, or a 110bhp or 138bhp diesel engines. The diesel engines are linked to a new six-speed electronic gearbox, which is operated by paddles on the steering wheel.

Citroen promises high levels of comfort for its compact MPV, too. The rear of the car has air suspension for a smoother ride, and the front two rows of seats have air-conditioning with individual controls. The rearmost seats have a second air-conditioning system.

As well as this, there are soundproofed windows, an air-freshener and an air quality sensor that prevents pollutants entering the cabin.

Citroen claims the new car has the largest glazed area of any compact MPV, with a panoramic windscreen that doubles vertical visibility from the 35 degrees in most MPVs to 70 degrees, and the largest sunroof in its class.

In terms of gadgetry, the C4 Picasso does well - an electronic parking brake with hill start assist, and a new parking space measurement system that tells the driver if the car will fit in a space are all earmarked.

The car makes its debut at the Paris Motor Show next month. Prices have not been released, but we expect the car to start at about £17,000. The Citroen Xsara Picasso will continue to be sold indefinitely.

Come back to whatcar.com next month, when we'll have a full review of the C4 Picasso.

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