Geneva 2017: Citroen C-Aircross exterior

07 March 2017 | by Lem Bingley

The doors stayed firmly shut on Citroen’s C-Aircross concept at the Geneva Motor Show today. While renderings of an apparently interesting new interior were released prior to the show, complete with innovative storage cubbies in the sides of the seat bolsters, the physical interior clearly wasn’t ready in time for its slot on the turntable at Geneva.

Never mind, the exterior is worth seeing on its own, not least for its vibrant palette. A fluorescent orangey pink certainly made the roof rails pop, pulling the eye rearward and so visually stretching the cab backwards along the body. The arresting colour also drew attention to the curious comb-shaped graphic standing proud over the transparent C-pillar, while contrasting nicely with the dusty blue, non-metallic paint applied to the lower body.

C Aircross Side

Richard Meyer, Citroen’s head of future products and planning, suggested that the playful palette might even hold some significance for future production finishes. “We want to use colours to give some freshness in this segment,” he told CDN at the show. “The SUV segment is very, very standard in its approach and we want to inject something new.”

Meyer added that the show car previews not just an upcoming production compact SUV – due to be revealed in road-going guise in June – but Citroen’s planned assault on the SUV market large and small. “We’ll spread out in terms of SUV bodies,” he said, presumably not simply referring to the C-Aircross’s somewhat plump surfacing.

C Aircross Rear

“We want to have rounded shapes but also very strong graphics,” Meyer added, defending the concept’s well-fed curves. “When you look at this vehicle you feel it will be dynamic, so we want to find the right balance between all these aspects.”

C Aircross Comb

In fairness, the rounded forms do hint at muscle rather than flab, especially where the clamshell hood flares upwards over the arches. There are also crisp creases adding a sculptural touch to the body surface where it meets the front and rear lamps, and running around the softly squared-off arches. The body notably curves outwards to meet key features like the door handle and the side Airbump panel.

Citroen’s signature squishy plastic panel here completes its downward migration from waist height on the C4 Cactus to knee level on the C3 to now shin height on the rocker panel of the C-Aircross, linking up with the rest of the plastic cladding ringing the vehicle.

C Aircross Cladding

Peer closely and there’s a geometric camouflage pattern moulded into the surface of the cladding. “That’s in the spirit of Airbumps. We want to play with these technologies which are both design aspects and also functional,” added Meyer.