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Green Citroen with sporty genes

2006-09-07 09:26

Citroen C-Metisse mixes power with economy and style

The elegant design of the C-Métisse, the latest out-of-this-world concept car from Citroën, will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show later this month.

The C-Métisse proves that a high performance car can also be green, combining a top speed of 250 km/h with the ability to cover around 6 litres/100 km on the combined cycle.

Crammed with hi-tech innovations and neat touches, the C-Métisse explores new paths in car design and driving pleasure.

Breathtakingly good looking, this model combines coupé styling with four-door practicality thanks to the show-stopping gull-wing front and rear doors.

It boasts an economical HDi V6 diesel engine, coupled with a diesel particulate filter system, and two separate electric motors on the rear wheels capable of developing a massive 400 Nm of additional torque.

Around town the new concept car can even run in Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mode.

Very low

It is exceptionally low for a grand tourer of its size, at just 1.24 metres high, which contrasts with its length of 4.74 metres and width of 2 metres.

The front doors open gull-wing style while the rear doors spin around to provide outstanding accessibility for a car of such a low height.

The large, eye-catching alloy wheels have been specially designed, with central wheel nuts hinting at the model?s sporting nature.

Once inside the ?aircraft-style cockpit?, occupants are enveloped by the extremely comfortable, individual white leather seats, and are surrounded by smart leather trim and aluminium inserts.

Each of the passengers benefits from independent air conditioning controls, individual roof lighting and plenty of space.

The car can be started via ?fighter pilot? style buttons on the roof console, while the fixed-centre steering wheel, with mounted gear paddles, brings the essential driving and comfort aids within easy reach.

The unique central console is divided into five sections, within which are located key functions.

The console then extends into the cabin via three illuminated strips which inform passengers of the current mode of hybrid propulsion.

Sound effects

This lighting system is complemented by sound effects that accompany certain driver actions and indicate deployment of the spoilers

A suspended head restraint and electric adjustment of the steering wheel and aluminium pedal assembly optimise the driver?s line of view, while maintaining passenger space in the rear.

The headlamps are equipped with a row of LEDs that light up progressively, dependent on the steering-wheel angle and vehicle speed.

Powering the front wheels is a 155 kW V6 HDi diesel engine mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox, while a further two electric motors can drive the rear wheels.

Providing an innovative four-wheel drive capability, each of these motors can deliver up to 400 Nm of torque and 15 kW.

This means the car can sprint from zero to 100 km/h in just 6.2 seconds, with impressive mid-range performance.

Driving pleasure is increased by a ?boost? function, activated under heavy acceleration, which activates to provide the immediate torque required.

Four-wheel drive

This combines the torque of the combustion engine with that of the electric motors that drive the rear wheels to enhance performance without pushing up fuel consumption.

This is achieved without compromising safety as, with the boost function and electric motors activated, the vehicle engages four-wheel drive mode.

Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) sensors are also capable of reporting low grip conditions to operate the electric motors, again ensuring that C-Métisse offers good traction in all conditions.

The diesel hybrid drive train comprises a pack of high voltage batteries to supply the electric motors.

Placed in the centre of the vehicle, the pack is automatically recharged during deceleration.

The drive train and braking control unit automatically manage the energy configuration: transition from two to four-wheel drive, energy recovery and the recharging of batteries.

All of which means that around town the C-Métisse can be driven in ZEV mode, a completely silent all-electric mode that helps limit fuel consumption and pollutant emissions.

The car has good aerodynamics, too.

Enlarged front air intakes, a flat underside, two retractable rear airfoils together with a rear fixed-fin spoiler contribute towards a drag coefficient of 0.30.

Particular attention has also been paid to reducing the weight of the vehicle; the carbon fibre body helps reduce the entire weight of the C-Métisse to just 1 400kg, including batteries.


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