Citroën claims its new C6 will set a new benchmark for luxury cars when it makes its world debut at the Geneva motor show in March.

The C6 is seen as distinctly different from any other car in its class and as a successor to the famed Traction Avant and DS models. It is effectively a replacement for the XM.

Features includes a head-up instrument display, the first application in a Citroën of the new PSA-Ford joint developed 2.7-litre V6 HDi turbo diesel engine, fully active suspension with variable damping, the lane departure warning system launched with the C5 and directional Xenon headlamps.

The C6 is the first Citroen with an electric parking brake and also has front and rear parking sensors, cruise control and a speed limiter.

Two V6 engines are the only initial choices: one diesel and one petrol. The 2.7 litre HDi diesel engine develops 150 kW and is equipped with a particulate filter, while the three-litre petrol engine develops 155 kW. Both engines are mated to six-speed automatic gearboxes.

Active suspension with variable damping is claimed to set new standards in terms of comfort, road-holding and performance.

Laminated side windows are standard and rear passengers can recline their electrically-controlled sliding seats.

The C6 introduces Citroen buyers to an Audi-like air conditioning system with separate left/right and front/rear controls. It includes a soft diffusion system, designed to create a uniform blanket of air around the front passengers and to enhance thermal comfort.