PSA announces new crossover for its Rennes plant. But it has revealed way more than that

Today the PSA Groupe has announced it will produce a new vehicle at its Rennes plant. The project, codenamed C84, will be built over the EMP2 platform and it will be a Citroën crossover. That could be very little information if we could not connect the dots, but we can. And we may tell you this crossover will be the new generation of the AirCross, a model that is currently based on the C3 Picasso and that is produced only in Brazil. Check its first model below.

citroen_aircross_1

It has been recently facelifted, so that it could adopt Citroën’s new brand identity. The spare tire hanging outside of the rear door is still there, but Citroën has gone a little further. Since the C3 Picasso sold very poorly, it has converted all C3 Picasso versions into AirCross units. Only one of them, the most expensive, has the outside spare tire.

citroen_aircross_2

The new vehicle will replace this “crossover” in Latin America and will be a first in Europe. But for a variety of reasons, it will no longer be a B-segment crossover, but a C-segment model. Just like the AirCross concept.

Citroen-AirCross-Rennes-2

Compare it with the spy pictures of the C3 Picasso published recently by Autocar. Although they could be entirely different vehicles, we believe the AirCross has at least anticipated the new C3 Picasso appearance. At most, they could be the same vehicle, as PSA has done in Latin America, only with minor changes, such as a higher groundclearance.

Citroen-AirCross-Rennes-4

C-segment crossover sales are going pretty well in Europe, as the Nissan Qashqai has already demonstrated. With that in mind, it would be very wise of Citroën to have a representative in that segment. Hence the EMP2 platform it will use.

 

C3 Picasso related?

Citroen-AirCross-Rennes-3

Would the new C3 Picasso also be produced over the EMP2? While that may sound weird, since Citroën already has the C4 Picasso over the same platform, the EMP2 is a modular platform. What means it could be shortened. PSA is already developing a new modular platform for B-segment vehicles, the CMP, but it will probably only debut with the new generation of the Peugeot 208. Why use the old PF1 platform in another vehicle besides the new C3? Costs would surely be lower, but it makes way more sense to widen the use of the EMP2 in as much products as possible, in order to amortize faster its development expenses.

Citroen-AirCross-Rennes-5

The AirCross concept was 4.58 m long, 2.10 m wide (counting with the rear-view mirrors) and 1.80 m tall. The C84 crossover (C from C-segment) is surely its production version. Let’s wait to see if the C3 Picasso has any other kind of relationship to it besides the looks. What do you think? Share your thoughts with us in the comments box below.

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.