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CITROňN C-AIRLOUNGE LIGHTS THE WAY IN FRANKFURT

First details have just been announced of CitroŽn’s latest concept car, the aerodynamic and innovative C-Airlounge, which will make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. The svelte new concept illustrates a seriously fresh approach to stylish grand touring, whilst also featuring revolutionary, mood changing, interior lighting.
The dynamic shape and careful attention to airflow, gives the C-Airlounge concept a drag coefficient of just 0.26 – that’s less than some low slung supercars - proving that space and practicality needn’t be sacrificed for style and aerodynamics.
But the C-Airlounge isn’t just about sleek good looks and impressive aerodynamics, underneath the curvaceous body is a dramatic, but also rather intelligent, approach to interior design. Making the most of the generous space is an ingenious modular seating system that can accommodate either four or five occupants.
And on top of the spacious and practical cabin, the C-Airlounge introduces a radical new take on humble or, dare it be said, dull interior lighting systems. In C-Airlounge passengers can select the mood of lighting thanks to fibre-optics and video projectors within the carpets and armrests.
Full details will be announced at the time of the Frankfurt Motor show at the start of September.




C-Airlounge embodies an original architectural solution combining aerodynamic design with modular interior space. Designed for the wide open spaces, it is a car whose exceptional on-road performance is a guarantee of driveability and safety.

 Strong appeal

On C-Airlounge, the design lines of the front-end express both purity and strength. The characteristic V-shape of the bonnet starts at the grille and opens out to join the base of the windscreen pillars. The determined look of the front-end is enhanced by the wide air intakes and clearcut headlamps, offering a promise of performance The swivelling beams of the headlamps provide optimised lighting for night driving on winding roads, a feature that brings a considerable improvement in safety. With its generous, rounded forms, wide tracks and large-diameter wheels, the C-Airlounge  is a car that conveys a sense of strength and power.

 Viewed from the side, C-Airlounge conveys a fluid yet dynamic air. The purity of the styling lines is emphasised by a chrome strip that raises the waist line, and by the absence of central pillars – a feature made possible by the installation of seat-integrated belts at the front. This design choice fully reveals the vast passenger compartment. As does the roof panel, which lets the light flood in to reinforce the impression of on-board space. 

Optimised aerodynamic design

Extensive studies were conducted on the aerodynamics of the car. The simultaneous implementation of four air-flow control systems gives C-Airlounge a Cd of 0.26, to bring acoustic comfort, lower fuel consumption and reduced pollutant emissions. Cl at front and rear is 0.02 and 0.04 respectively. These  values ensure vehicle stability at high speeds. 

The four air-flow control systems installed on the car are:

  • Blade Vortex Generators

Installed crosswise at the rear of the roof, these deflectors work by producing small swirls of air locally. The effect is to streamline the flow of air behind the vehicle. 

  • Wheel fairings

Wheel fairings are placed in front each of the four wheels to deflect the air flow and minimise its impact on tread. 

  • Air ducts between the front end and wheel arches

These air ducts are designed to channel air from the front end, where pressure is highest, into the front wheel arches:

- along a vertical slit, located close to the outer edge, in order to improve the aerodynamic profile of the wheel;

- along a slit located under the lower side panels, upstream of the wheel, in order to limit the frontal impact of air on the tread. 

  • The wheel rims have been designed to suck the air towards the centre of the wheel and so minimise the creation of swirl.

 

Dynamic well-being

C-Airlounge is fitted with the 3.0i V6 engine developing maximum power of 152 kW EEC (210 bhp DIN) at 6,000 rpm. The engine is coupled with an automatic auto-adaptive gearbox controlled by a sequential gear lever, or by paddles behind the wheel. 

The steering wheel is of fixed hub design. It features the controls for the audio system, horn, electric parking brake, hands-free telephone and attitude adjustment function.  This layout spares the driver any unnecessary movement and so contributes to exceptional driving pleasure. In terms of safety, the choice of a fixed-hub wheel ensures optimised performance in airbag deployment. 

The Hydractive 3 suspension naturally sets high standards in comfort and roadholding. Offering a choice between two suspension settings, comfort or sport, it automatically adapts vehicle height to speed and road surface.

This function lowers the centre of gravity by 15 mm to improve vehicle stability at sustained speeds. On badly damaged road surfaces, the suspension automatically increases vehicle height by 20 mm. 

C-Airlounge is equipped with Michelin A Eole tyres whose development was part of the vehicle design process. As a result, the level of force generated by the tyre moving through the air has been optimised. This type of tyre offers the advantages of PAX System technology: flat-running, increased loading capacity, lower sidewalls with no trade-off in comfort, and reduced rolling resistance.

 A NEW ART OF ON-BOARD LIVING

 

Heralding a new era in on-board living C-Airlounge adapts the art of entertaining to the automotive world. Premium-quality materials create an impression of peace as part of a full sensorial experience that is designed to satisfy passenger requirements. High-comfort individual seats create a user-friendly atmosphere, while advanced technology focuses on vehicle users and their well-being. 

Sensual shapes and materials

The interior of C-Airlounge creates visual and tactile sensations through the use of sophisticated materials, the marked curves of onboard furnishings and the ample opening on the outside world. 

At first sight, the passenger compartment of C-Airlounge appears to be a model of minimalist purity. That is because the observer can see only one of its many facets. White is – for a time – the dominant colour.  In this restful atmosphere, the dynamics of the design concept are reinterpreted by a long red line running along the armrests, whose colour matches the leather on the back of the middle seat. 

The seats upholstered in white satin-finish leather appear to hover weightlessly above the thick wool carpet. The scrolled armrests running along the side doors, featuring a  white silk trim, also contribute to the overall feeling of buoyant lightness. 

The airy layout of the passenger compartment maintains an atmosphere of total peace. Free spirits can escape to the outside world, through the vast panoramic sunroof and entirely unencumbered side view.  The seatbelts integrated with the seat-frames allowed the stylists to create a structure without central pillars.

The finish and surface colours of the dashboard and wheel match the other interior fittings. 

With its white satin-finish leather trim, the luggage compartment is coordinated with the passenger area. The attention given to detail is reflected by the inclusion of a luggage line designed by HermŤsģ. Taken from the Plume range, these products are bright red in colour, a perfect match with the vermilion notes of the passenger compartment.

Customised interior design schemes

 During their journey, the occupants of C-Airlounge can change the appearance of their surroundings, transforming the passenger compartment from top to bottom. The furnishings provide a medium for the plays of light projected by means of optic fibres and video-projectors in the carpet and in the trim of the armrests.

From its original pure, zen-like state, the vehicle interior changes its appearance several times in succession to adopt a baroque-style dťcor at the end of the process. Between these two extremes, several intermediate design schemes are available to meet a full range of passenger requirements.

  • In its original Pure guise, the vehicle displays an immaculate interior. The touches of red on the scrolled armrests and on the back of the rear middle seat add a few notes of colour. 
  • A Convivial spirit warms up the atmosphere with a glowing light, similar to that of a candle. 
  • An Intense change of decor is expressed by a sudden stream of light flooding into the passenger compartment. The door panels and floor are set ablaze in incandescent red.
  • A Romantique interlude creates a new dťcor. Coloured arabesques make their appearance, bringing touches of red to the door panels.
  • A Baroque scene creates a luxurious atmosphere in which the sophisticated decor gives way to an inrush of light that fills the passenger compartment.

The freedom of modular design

Inside C-Airlounge, the use of space is considered as a fundamental component of passenger well-being. In both a four-seater and five-seater configuration, the passenger compartment provides a comfortable, individual area for each occupant. Power-assisted modular design functions let the users configure the interior to suit: 

  • The “club” configuration (five seats) For face-to-face contact between passengers at the rear, the seats in row 2 take on a herringbone layout with the two side seats turned slightly towards the centre.
  • The “premium comfort” configuration (four seats) The central seat retracts under the floor, freeing up more space for the two side seats. Mounted on rails in a curve, the two power-controlled seats can be moved forwards and backwards in order to obtain maximum leg room.

Whatever the configuration, C-Airlounge boasts generous boot space. Capacity varies between 450 and 650 litres.

Advanced technology

 

An avant-garde vehicle, C-Airlounge illustrates a new user-centric approach to technology. The vehicle adapts to the daily life of users, who are able to remain in contact with their own virtual world.

The technology of C-Airlounge lets users use their own data resources for both leisure and  professional purposes. Relaxing in comfort, passengers at the rear are free to watch a film, listen to music, play a network game, make changes to a professional document or surf the Web.

 

This advanced technology is designed to be discreet in order to avoid modifying the atmosphere of well-being that is central to this concept. Two tablet PCs –  notebook computers the size of a clipboard – are stored under the side armrests. By just touching the tactile screen, the user can access the full range of images, sounds and games in the onboard media library. A pen lets the occupants use the tablets in the same way as graphics tablets, in order to make written notes or to use the software.

 

A short-range wireless network provides a link between the multimedia centre in the central console and the tablet PCs. The data stored in this multimedia centre (films, music, video games, etc.) can be downloaded from the user’s home or from any data providers (media library, tourism bureau, etc.) using the external extension provided by the vehicle’s wireless network.

 

The presence of this technology on C-Airlounge demonstrates CitroŽn’s capacity for creativity and invention, based on innovation and automotive pleasure.

Technical characteristics 

∑      Dimensions 

Length: 4,880 mm

Width: 1,930 mm

Height: 1,580 mm

Wheel base: 2,900 mm (C5 platform with extended wheelbase) 

Cabin length: between 1,731 and 2,031 mm

Boot volume:  between 450 and 650 litres

Cd: 0.26

Cl at front: 0.02

Cl at rear: 0.04

 ∑      Engine / gearbox: 3.0i V6 Automatic

Gear-changing controlled by paddles on steering wheel

Sequential gear lever

Fixed-hub steering wheel

 ∑      Suspension:

Hydractive 3

 ∑      Tyres:

Michelin 245-720 R 540 A Eole PAX System on light alloy wheels

 ∑      Headlamps:

four swivelling lights at the front





© 2003 Julian Marsh/CitroŽnŽt/SA Automobiles CitroŽn/CitroŽn UK Ltd