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Citroen's MPV haul to account for half of its volume

Date: 26 January 2009   |   Author:

Citroen C3 Picasso

Citroen is further extending its range of MPVs with the addition of three new models.

Joining a range already covering Xsara Picasso, C4 Picasso and Grand Picasso, C8 and Citroen Dispatch Combi will be two smaller people carriers in the form of the Nemo Multispace in early 2009 and the C3 Picasso (pictured) around April, as well as a seven-seat version of the new Berlingo Multispace (out now). The line-up gives Citroen the largest MPV range of any brand, and will mean that by the middle of 2009 almost half of Citroens sold will be MPVs.

The new C3 Picasso will be the first Citroen beneficiary of what the firm calls it's "second-generation" stop-start system during 2010. Stop-start has long been available on the C3 supermini and C2 city car, but a spokesman described the new system as "more powerful, quicker starting, simpler and less expensive".

The system will be fitted to engines up to 2.0-litre in size, and on the C3 Picasso should cut emissions from 125g/km to 110g/km on the 90PS 1.6 diesel. The French brand, along with sister company Peugeot, expects to have fitted stop-start to 1m new vehicles by the end of 2011.

The Xsara Picasso, which sits below the similarly-sized C4 Picasso is price terms, will be in production until 2010 and the brand has current put no lifespan on the previous-generation Berlingo Multispace, which is sold alongside its replacement model as a cheaper alternative.

Citroen is also assessing the production viability of its C-Cactus concept car revealed in 2007. The model was a basic no-frills design that removed all non-essential equipment and featured non-opening windows and no dashboard, although these would have to be fitted in some form to make the car a production reality.

"It would be about stripping away everything that wasn't needed - a basic green cheap car to purchase and run, and really good for the environment," said a spokesman. The small concept, with a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain, was quoted as capable of recording an average 100mpg and 88g/km. The power for the production car is currently up for discussion, with diesel-electric, pure electric or sub-1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine being considered.

The car could be on sale within three years if deemed viable.