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2021 Citroen C4 introduces EV tech and returns the quirkiness

John Law

Citroen is coming back – keeping up with and even innovating ahead of the curve with the all-new C4. The new car’s design references the delicate GS in its overall silhouette and will offer an all-electric powertrain.

While the original C4 was quirky in its own way – the detached rim steering wheel and in-built incense – it lacked powertrain substance to back up its exciting features.

That’s where Citroen is coming back to its innovative ways playing on the brand’s historic ingenuity to create a genuinely different option in what is a crowded segment and focusing on something they know well – comfort.

2021 Citroen C4 Front
The all-new C4 should stand out.

Buyers will have to make a left-field swing away from the competent Volkswagen Golf, Hyundai i30 and Ford Focus. Still, Citroen is promising that choice will reward with incredible comfort and funky technology the French are famous for.

Until the Volkswagen ID.3 arrives, it will be one of the only full EVs in its class, too. The charge comes from a 50kWh battery which equates to a 350km WLTP certified range and power output of 100kW/260Nm.

Fast-charging will see the battery charge to 80% in 30 minutes, while a home wall box will give the e-C4 a full complement of electrons in 7 hours and 30 minutes.

2021 Citroen C4 Rear 3/4
And now you can opt for an electric drive C4.

It’s the same power plant found in its Peugeot e-208 cousin, though the Citroen adds an extra 10km of range, that’s all down to this cars aerodynamic efficiency.

Sometimes the back-catalogue really does get it right, and Citroen has a pretty solid one of those. Head designer Pierre Leclerq revealed the similarities in the silhouette of the new C4 and old CX and GS models with their smooth Kamm tail profiles.

Naturally, the shape also hosts all the contemporary trends. A full width LED light signature sits behind a chrome grille and illuminates the central chevrons for a distinctive look. The C4 has also been raised for “more stance, more status” according to Mr Leclerq.

2021 Citroen C4 Side
Raised to somewhere between a sedan and SUV.

We aren’t quite sure if the C4 is really a coupe, sedan, hatchback, or SUV yet. But maybe that’s a good thing in a world where there are simply too many categories.

Citroen was quick to point out that there is “comfort in choice”, the C4 offers a total of 31 different exterior colour combinations. Initial impressions indicate an unmissable car, but we’ll hold off comment until we see the new C4 in the flesh.

“The very best of comfort” is what will set the C4 apart from its peers, says Citroen. That starts with driving comfort, there are no hydro-spheres to be found, but the brand has employed progressive hydraulic bump stops from its smooth-riding C5 Aircross.

2021 Citroen C4 Interior
The interior design is pleasing on first glance.

Inside this emphasis on comfort continues in the design with short, wide features accentuating the width of the interior to grant a feeling of space within. The design itself is simple and restrained, though it looks more upmarket than previous Citroen products.

The 10-inch tablet-style touchscreen looks to be running a very crisp, android-like infotainment software, inside there will be a head-up display and digital dashboard, though probably not across all C4 variants.

Citroen designers have not ignored seat comfort, they’re said to blend iconic design with specific padding and shaping for maximum comfort. Furthering the comfort in creation there is a smartly integrated tablet holder for “the co-driver” which will be a handy feature for motoring journalists furiously typing away on new-car launches.

2021 Citroen C4 Tablet
A stow-away tablet holder for the “co-driver”. Cool.

It sounds like the back seat hasn’t been forgotten either Ms Amar claimed “the best knee clearance for the second row on the market”. There’s also a 380-litre boot under that funky tailgate.

Project manager for the new C4, Audrey Amar, confidently stated that Citroen “think it will become the new reference for comfort in the car industry”.

Back to the “comfort in choice” – Citroen will sell the C4 in near any configuration, offering three-cylinder Puretech petrol engines in three states of tune and a choice of two BlueHDI diesel engines in Europe. Australian engine choice will be locked in later, though expect a smaller offering.

2021 Citroen C4 Light
And there’s a choice of nearly any powertrain.

Citroen promises the new C4 will be loaded with active safety and driver-assist technologies including Highway Driving Assist suite with adaptive cruise control, and high-speed AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection.

Citroen Australia has not confirmed the arrival of the new C4 for our shores yet, though we hope the electric-powered e-C4 vehicle will arrive.