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Citroen C-Aircross: Meet the quirky compact SUV concept set for Geneva

Citroen is set to unveil a compact SUV concept at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. Here is the lowdown of the C-Aircross, including images, details of the reasoning behind it and when exactly it will be unveiled.

Citroen plans to make a song and dance about the C-Aircross at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show in March, but in the meantime was kind enough to give us a taster of a concept car designed to act as an offensive on the European SUV market. We digested all the details, feasted our eyes on all the photos and then wrote a list of the things worth knowing about it to see what chance it has.

1) Everyone will see it coming

Citroen is, aesthetically-speaking, one of the bravest manufacturers. Just look at the C4 Cactus and its Airbumps for proof. Continuing the theme is the C-Aircross, which is a follow-up to the Aircross from 2015 and is just as bold but comes in a smaller package. Strange shapes, multiple colours and bizarre plastic cladding ensure this small 4.15-metre long SUV gets attention.

2) The interior is just as loud

The cabin of the C-Aircross verges on futuristic, with a bright orange clashing with airy tones across different textured surfaces. A central touchscreen (more on this later) removes the need for many physical buttons, with the remaining few found on the steering wheel. It also gets a head-up display to keep the driver informed of navigation directions and their speed without having to look away from the road.

3) The doors are weird…

Like, really weird. Mirroring that of the BMW i3, the C-Aircross front doors open as normal, but the rear two open the opposite way, partly to improve accessibility for passengers, but mainly to wow show-goers in Geneva, which no doubt they will do.

4) …And so are the seats

Rather than go for your usual type of perch, the C-Aircross features something more akin to a sofa that is covered in a ‘thick and soft-to-the-touch’ fabric. The seats actually adapt to your shape and size to make your journey as relaxing as possible – not to mention warmer. Little storage spaces in the front seats, meanwhile, enhance the practicality and make practical use of otherwise wasted space.

5) It has off-roading skills

Just because the Citroen C-Aircross is small does not mean it should struggle with the big outdoors. In fact, it has something called Grip Control, which allows the driver to make the car better suited for certain environments. In Off-Road, the C-Aircross does an impression of a limited-slip differential to ensure optimum traction on slippery surfaces. The Sand mode, meanwhile, prioritises the two front wheels to minimise the chance of getting stuck in, well, sand.

6) The headrests make noise

Back to those seats again because Citroen has bestowed them with speakers, in both the front and rear headrests so nobody misses out on a supposedly better and more immersive sound. Not only that, in-built microphones alllow passengers to chat more easily with whoever else is in the car. Or, if feeling anti-social, more easily ignore them.

7) It acts as a media server

Speaking of noise, the Citroen C-Aircross has a specially-designed app that lets everyone share games, music and videos with everyone in the car. It is called Share with U and comes pre-installed in the vehicle, although the specifics of how it works are currently unclear.

8) There are no door mirrors

Door mirrors serve a useful purpose but in the future Citroen wants to replace them and their ability to get dirty with two rear-facing cameras, which do the job of letting you see behind. The C-Aircross also gets a camera built into the roof spoiler for an even better view when reversing.

9) It gets a 12-inch display

Big touchscreens are becoming more common in cars and the C-Aircross follows the trend. Citroen calls its interpretation a ‘Human-Machine Interface’ – displayed through a 12-inch screen – which is just a clever way of saying it does things. Passengers can, for instance select their favourite film to play, use 3D navigation maps or mirror what they see on their smartphone using Mirror Screen connectivity for specific apps and functionality.

10) The official unveiling is soon(-ish)

Citroen says to expect the C-Aircross Concept on the 7th of March, 2017, which is when full details are going to be spilled on what is likely to become the latest version of the C3 Picasso. You will just have to make do with the pictures until then.

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