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Citroen is going to enter the large luxury car market with a production version of the Metropolis concept car. The Metropolis will likely be badged as a DS9, and be positioned as a flagship to the company’s DS range, which currently markets a line of premium hatchbacks in Europe.
The Metropolis is unique in that its design and packaging will likely be dictated by the Chinese market and its unique demands. While the Metropolis show car was powered by a hybrid drivetrain, the Chinese market may not get this due to intellectual property issues. Citroen’s previous luxury car efforts have floundered against offerings from German car makers, but Citroen is hoping that their new styling direction and “made in China” design process will attract customers will make it a success.
[Source: Automotive News]
Citroen has a serious problem with large sedans. Their C6, while gorgeous and a not entirely bad car, is selling slowly in the United Kingdom and other markets – and did we mention depreciation? A $58,000 C6 is between $16,000 and $20,000 after only four years!
This sends a pretty clear message that big Citroens are poison to most people. Obviously, these cars sell better in their home market of France, but the domestic arena is not the only one for Citroen.
But with their DS3 small car winning accolades all over Europe, Citroen is hoping to capitalize on its success, as well as the general affection that the public has for the old DS sedan, by bringing out the rumored DS9 large car.
Based on the Metropolis concept car, the DS9 would be a true flagship for Citroen, with a name evoking their most iconic model. Citroen is also looking to put the Survolt concept car into limited production, as well as creating a one-make racing series based around the car.
With Citroen looking to move upmarket with its new DS line, the French company is looking to produce two striking new concepts to help boost the brand’s image.
The outlandish Survolt concept car, an all-electric sports car, is under consideration after it completed a race at the LeMans circuit. The Survolt puts out 248 horsepower and over 700 lb-ft of torque. “It’s still our intention to put the Survolt into low-volume production, and we’re pursuing the idea of a one-make race series,” a source told Autocar.
Closer to reality, the Metropolis concept car may be produced as a spiritual successor to the legendary Citroen DS, produced from 1959 to the mid 1970′s. The car would be badged DS9, as a homage to the original DS19. While a Citroen exec concedes that selling a Citroen luxury car in Europe would be tough, China is an ideal market for such a vehicle.
The Chinese-luxury market segment is continue to grow at an exponential rate. Many new-age Chinese entrepreneurs are affluent and distinguished, looking towards enjoying the finer things in life, which naturally includes automobiles. Many luxury vehicle owners are working hard in penetrating the market in China. Even Porsche debuted the Panamera in Shanghai, knowing how important luxury sedans are to the affluent Chinese. Interestingly enough, French auto manufacturer Citroen is focusing on this segment and attempting to beat out the luxury German manufacturers.
The Citroen Metropolis is longer than a Mercedes-Benz S-Class and wider than a Maybach, two attributes that are actually very important to the affluent Chinese market. And much like the hype of today, the Metropolis is environmentally-friendly with an electric motor powering it at low speeds delivering zero emissions at Shanghai city speeds. For the freeway, a 2.0L V6 contributes 272-hp, and both the electric and V6 engine are able to work together to the harmonious tune of 460-hp.
Suspension-wise, the car floats and ride comfortably with Citroen’s Hydraactive suspension. This system compensates for loads and lowers at higher speeds increasing mpg and aerodynamic efficiency.
For now, the car is just a concept, but we expect to hear more about production details when the Citroen Metropolis officially debuts at the Beijing Auto Show later this month.
GALLERY: Citroen Metropolis