Citroen has revealed the first images of its bold and beautiful concept car that will dominate its stand at the Paris Motor Show on September 30. The C-Matisse is a low-riding, four-door coupe that showcases the stand-out style motoring fans expect from French coupes.
It could make it on to the stand with its stunning exterior design alone, but there is more to this show special than its lovely curves. The C-Matisse showcases diesel-electric hybrid technology, a system that Citroen is committed to introduce on its production cars by 2008.
The concept is powered by a V6 diesel engine with 150kW of power and 400Nm of torque delivered through the front wheels.
There are also two electric motors that drive the rear wheels. These motors, which are powered by a bank of batteries, sit in the rear wheel hubs.
Citroen says this has an added advantage of helping with positive weight distribution between the front and rear of the car, which benefits the car’s handling characteristics.
The batteries that power the motors are hooked up to the braking system and are recharged using energy created when the car brakes, just like the system used in the Toyota Prius petrol-electric hybrid. The C-Matisse can operate at lower speeds just using the silent electric motors.
At higher speeds, or when the driver wants to accelerate harder, the diesel engine kicks in, turning the C-Matisse into a powerful all-wheel-drive. That means the sleek machine is able to dash from 0-100km/h in just 6.2 seconds and run all the way to 250km/h.
Citroen says the concept car is able to return an excellent fuel consumption figure of just 6.3 litres for 100km of mixed city and highway driving.
The C-Matisse is also a green machine, even when the diesel is running, as the V6 is fitted with a particulate filter to prevent the emission of small soot particles.
Citroen, along with its sister company Peugeot, is committed to diesel-electric hybrids that promise even better fuel economy and less emissions than existing petrol-electric systems.
The only downside is the cost, as a diesel engine is more expensive to produce than a petrol equivalent and the electric components are also pricey. The C-Matisse uses special materials to keep its weight pegged just below 1400kg, very light for a car of its size, using carbon-fibre body panels.
It has four pop-up doors that allow for ease of access and, of course, look cool.
There is comfortable seating for four in the luxurious interior that Citroen has modelled on an aircraft cockpit.
The C-Matisse is just 1240mm tall, 2000mm wide and 4740mm long with a long bonnet and virtually no rear overhang.
It uses a bank of powerful LED lights at the front that light up progressively. For example, the lights at the edge of the headlights come on when the car is cornering to provide extra light on that side of the vehicle.
Citroen will also use the Paris Motor Show to reveal the C4 Picasso people mover, which will be shown at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney next month and go on sale early next year. [Car Herald-Sun]