The Citroën Aircross’ exterior is more than good enough to warrant placing on the Car of the Show shortlist with its development of the new corporate image and neat detail solutions, but its interior is the real highlight.
Every aspect of its cabin feels to have been maximised by the design team. Its IP is a development of the C4 Cactus’ horizontal spar that removes the usual, abstract and oppressive plastic molding. This is joined perpendicularly by a center console that runs through the whole cabin, not only creating a high center tunnel that feels appropriate for a off-roader, but also features usefully-sized storage.
Its HMI is displayed by a pair of screens, the right hand of which can be slid along that IP to become a passenger display, or join up with the driver’s screen to create a panoramic display. Unfortunately it wasn’t running when we stopped by but from the associated images the graphics, avoiding skeuomorphic design, appear fresh.
Its seating is also worthy of note with wrap-around headrests that bring high-speed rail travel to mind (Philippe Starck Eurostar anyone?) and feature speakers and microphones to aid communication amongst passengers.
Its detailing is also superb, with minimal but resolutely analogue switchgear and a series of leather straps that again bring travel to mind.
All this is good but what brings the whole ensemble together is some of the best color and materials design we’ve seen for a long time. From the warm, homely yet fresh woven wool of the upper cabin, to the anodized blue metals all balanced by gray and while background tones, it pulls the whole car together and instills in it much of its very fine character.