Citroen C-Aircross Concept for 2017 Geneva show: Picasso goes off-road

Published: 07 February 2017

► Mini-SUV Citroen concept for Geneva 2017
► Previews production car due late 2017
► Joint project with Vauxhall Crossland X

Taking pride of place on Citroen’s showstand at the 2017 Geneva motor show is this miniature SUV concept car: the Citroen C-Aircross.

Click here for a full A-Z of every Geneva show star

Airbumps, squircles… looks very Cactus-y!

Yep, the new C-Aircross takes every leaf from the current Citroen style file, with bash-proof ‘air bumps’ along its flanks, plenty of plastic body cladding and thin-on-top headlight treatment.

Sharing some obvious design DNA with the well-received C3 supermini, the C-Aircross aims to look cuddly and inoffensive rather than brash and in-yer-face – a deliberately different take on the SUV theme.

Citroen C-Aircross concept

This concept looks almost production-ready…

Funny you should say that. The real car will be along later in 2017, to replace the current Citroen C3 Picasso compact people carrier.

The bulk of the car-buying public aren’t so keen on MPVs these days, while mini-SUVs are all the rage. Everyone needs a Nissan Juke rival – this will be Citroen’s.

We’re expecting the production car to make its debut in summer 2017, and go on sale before the end of the year. The same excellent 1.2-litre petrol engine available for the C3 is likely to make an appearance, as is the 1.5-litre diesel.

A tie-up with GM

As part of a joint project with GM, the production Citroen (potentially to be called the C3 Aircross) will share some of its hardware with the new Vauxhall Crossland X SUV.

Despite the off-roader vibe, it’s expected to be front-wheel-drive only, and prices for boggo trims could stoop as low as £14k.

Citroen C-Aircross concept

That interior’s not going to make production, though, surely?

Okay, the 12in touchscreen, the particularly neatly realised head-up display and ‘floating’ seat designs might not quite make it to the showroom, but the deliberately lo-fi dashboard treatment may, and likewise the ‘pencil box’ centre console design.

The rear seats can slide forwards and backwards MPV-style, so there’s still a bit of Picasso in the Aircross.

And the rear doors are rear-hinged suicide jobs (see below); expect conventional doors in production.

Haven’t I seen a Citroen Aircross concept somewhere before?

You have – a larger SUV concept, called simply the Citroen Aircross, shown at the 2015 Shanghai motor show.

The new C-Aircross takes many of its design cues, but adapts them to a more production-feasible template.

We’ll have more on the Citroen C-Aircross direct from the show floor at Geneva.

Click here for CAR’s A-Z guide to the 2017 Geneva show

The doors on the new Citroen C-Aircross Concept

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer