Offering an extreme illustration of what a Citroën sports utility vehicle of the future could look like, the remarkable four wheel drive, four wheel steering Citroën C-Crosser concept car promises to raise a few eyebrows with its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Taking design cues from the Citroën Pluriel concept car, the extremely versatile C-Crosser is capable of morphing from a spacious six seat sports utility vehicle into a semi-roadster and then into a pick-up capable of carrying even the bulkiest lifestyle accessories as well as three adults in comfort.
At the touch of a button C-Crosser's glass roof and tailgate stow away neatly under the rear floor, whilst the rear seats can be folded flat to create a perfectly level load area. Protection from the elements for the front seat occupants comes from an electrically-operated glass screen that is integrated in the back of the front bench seat.
C-Crosser is wider than most conventional vehicles, only slightly longer than the Citroen Xsara hatchback, and offers remarkable levels of space. This is greatly down to the absence of pedals and the elevated seats which combine to free up leg space for both front and rear passengers. The spacious cabin has a light and airy feel thanks to the large glass windscreen which extends back over the heads of the front seat occupants.
Featuring the very latest drive-by-wire technology, the C-Crosser does away with the need for a steering column and pedals, allowing the driver to sit anywhere in the front of the vehicle, whilst the movable steering control unit also operates the accelerator and brakes. Not only does the lack of pedals considerably reduce the risk of foot and leg injuries in a collision, but the ability to easily switch between left or right hand drive helps to ease driving during trips abroad.
Citroën's unique Hydractive 3 suspension, with its variable ride height, comes into its own over rough terrain, allowing C-Crosser to automatically increase its ground clearance by 60 mm and giving it suspension travel of some 150mm. Easy access to the rear is helped not only by the variable height, which is controlled by a single button that allows the vehicle to be lowered by up to 100 mm, but also thanks to the two rear side sliding doors.
Equipped with the latest 2.0 HPi direct injection petrol engine, ESP and ABS brakes, the Citroën C-Crosser is equally adept on and off the road. In addition, electronic control of the speed sensitive hydraulic four wheel steering, with as little as 2/3 turn from lock to lock, helps promote pin sharp steering at high speeds as well as making easy work of awkward manoeuvres such as parking in tight spaces.