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The Xanae concept car from 1994 demonstrated a new architecture for a mini MPV - in the event a not wildly dissimilar vehicle is going into production - the Picasso.

CitroŽn Xanae

Above three variations on the theme
Below Art Blakeslee pictured with show cars all penned by Dan Abramson apart from Eco 2000 which was by Scott Yu
Left to right: Eco 2000 - Xanae - Berlingo Bulle - Activa - Activa 2



During the entire ten days of the motorshow, the Xanae forum at the CitroŽn stand was a beehive of activity. Admirers came in droves to sit on the steps of the forum, admire the Xanae and daydream. The Xanae was displayed on a rotating platform and highlighted by a light show, which showed off its special pearlescent paint and underscored its comfortable and user-friendly style. The car definitely accomplished its mission: to provide a forum for discussion with users in order to build a better car for tomorrow.

When Citroen opens the lines of communication
The Xanae owes its existence to the studies performed by the Automotive Research & Technology Department and the Marketing Plan and Programmes Division and to the imagination of the stylists at CitroŽn’s Creative Design Centre.It is a concrete and realistic proposition.

"We were looking for a new type of compact car, a short vehicle that would offer comfortable seating for five people. We wanted something new – something between a traditional car and a people-carrier. On the one hand, you have people carriers which are comfortable but nevertheless reminiscent of utility vehicles. On the other, you have conventional cars which are definitely more stylish but somewhat less comfortable and roomy.  And yet, car users want comfort and style.  So, we wanted to create something that was totally new: a cross between a saloon and a people carrier." explains Constant Violini, Future Products manager at the Marketing Plan Programmes division.

A team of thirty specialists in a variety of fields, i.e. marketing, interior and exterior design, equipment, electrical systems and electronics, worked together under the authority of Luc Epron for six months to make the Xanae a fully operational vehicle. Says Violini: “For our car to be credible and taken seriously, it bad to be made of steel and offer the same levelof finish as a production car.  And obviously, it had to run.  This was imperative if we were to sustain a dialogue with the user.

An original concept
So, the Xanae is a realistic car. It offers maximum comfort and global safety packed into a compact frame (4.20 metres long). It also has a strong personality, expressed through fun styling that breaks with recent bio-design trends, a personality that reminds you of an old and much-loved friend. Most importantly, however, the Xanae's exterior has been designed to improve driving pleasure while, at the same time, being firmly innovative. For this reason, the Xanae has large windows. Generously proportioned, the windscreen sweeps up into the roof to form an arc, thereby increasing the amount of light entering the cabin of the vehicle. The interior concept and exterior styling meet in the side doors, which open fore-and-aft with no central pillar on the right-hand side offering easy access.

The front end of the Xanae contains the originally shaped headlamp units equipped with discharge bulbs and optical fibre connections.

The front wings of the vehicle are designed to angle inwards towards the centre of the body, creating harmonious curves and giving the Xanae a feel of robustness as well as emphasizing its forceful personality.

The front section of the bonnet is strongly and distinctively contoured. And to emphasise the new silhouette and shape, the Xanae has been painted with a special pearlescent paint. Thus, the Xanae brings together a host of innovations in terms of styling, roadholding, user-friendliness, ease of use, global safety and comfort.

Comfort above all
The Xanae is ideally sized. With an overall length of 4.20m, the Xanae is mid-way between the ZX and the Xantia while in terms of height (1.55m), it is between the Xantia and the Evasion. In terms of length, it is equivalent to the XM. The designers at the CitroŽn Creative Design Centre used these data to create the car’s interior with a single aim: to give occupants optimum comfort and space. Visitors to the Paris Motor Show were able to see for themselves that that goal has been met.

The dashboard frees up a lot of cabin space and is truly user-friendly. The control panel can be raised and lowered along with the steering column and the instrument cluster is located to the right of the steering wheel. Information essential for driving is displayed at the base of the windscreen, making it easier to read quickly. The two LCD data screens display vehicle speed, radio stations and frequencies, and telephone numbers in carphone mode. Data selection and entry facilities are also included. Naturally, the Xanae is equipped with an in-car entertainment system complete with CD player and hands-free carphone.

The interior space has been designed to make the car comfortable for family use. The result is a highly modular layout. The rear seat curves around inside the cabin, allowing the three rear passengers to enjoy the same comfort as they would in their own living room. The cabin is also highly versatile, with removable central and right seats. Moreover, the front seats swivel in order to make the car even more cosy and user-friendly. To make this comfort and versatility possible, the gearchange lever of the Xanae is located on the steering wheel in order to free the space between the front seats and make full use of the possibilities offered by the swivelling seats.

The all-embracing feeling of comfort is further emphasised by the choice of materials and trim.


In addition to its flat, raised closed-section floor, which guarantees effective protection against side impact, the Xanae has been engineered around the Xantia’s robust subframe. The Xanae is equipped with Hydractive II, CitroŽn’s latest suspension system, as well as the  marque's new active roll-limitation suspension system (SC.CAR). These features work together to give the Xanae  dynamic comfort and a high degree of global safety. SC.CAR gives each of the five passengers a pleasant and comfortable ride.

Whatever the attitude of the vehicle, braking, grip, wheel control and traction are optimized. When cornering, man and machine are in perfect harmony thanks to the vehicle's roll correction system, which relies on centrifugal force to keep the car from wallowing as it negotiates bends. The car's occupants discover an entirely new sensation that blends ride comfort with driving pleasure.

The Xanae is equipped with a 2 litre, "16 V engine delivering 135 bhp.

The vehicle's automatic transmission system is electronically controlled from a remote satellite located near the steering wheel.

© 1994 le Double Chevron/1999 - 2013 CitroŽnŽt