FRANKFURT PREVIEW: Rival French concepts will vie for attention
Citroën will display its C-SportLounge concept car at this year's Frankfurt motor show in September while Renault will show off its Egeus SUV concept.
"Its distinctive combination of powerful, sleek lines and 2+2 comfort and refinement… captures the true essence of a 21st century Grand Tourer," is how Citroen describes the C-SportLounge.
An "aviation-inspired" driving position features a steering wheel with fixed central controls and gear change paddles, while the one-piece driver's seat and central console ensure that the automatic gearbox and climate controls are always within reach, whatever the seat position.
The concept car has reverse opening doors for easy access to the rear seats.
Meanwhile, Citroen's French rival Renault will lure the crowds with the Egeus concept, described as "a resolutely upmarket 4WD sport utility vehicle with the seductive elegance and luxurious, comfortable interior of a saloon".
Its flowing lines have nothing of the angular styling usually associated with an SUV and 22-inch wheels combine with higher ground clearance than that of a classic saloon to give this concept car its solid stance. Inside, the seat height is designed for greater visibility while reinforcing passengers' sensation of comfort and safety.
The Egeus features four independent seats with all the comfort of a luxury car. The leather upholstery in woven beige tones, is said to have been inspired "by a pixelated image of a setting sun, creates a warm atmosphere". The centre console, upholstered in blue-tinted leather, incorporates three generous stowage compartments in addition to the two front-door bins.
The cabin is said to be warm and welcoming thanks to the glazed roof and a central strip with two transparent sections.
The front seats pivot outwards and can be lowered 70mm for easy access. The rear-hinged doors plus the absence of a centre pillar give unencumbered access to the rear seats.
The boot features a split-level opening, with a lift-up top and a motorised, drop-down lower section that includes a sliding tray for loading heavy or bulky objects.
The height of this tray can be electronically adjusted to reconfigure the boot's interior space.
The side door handles are flush-fitting and an optical sensor detects an approaching hand and pushes the handle out a few centimetres, making it easy to grasp.
The GPS navigation system calculates the recommended speed, which is then shown in the centre of the speedometer dial, with its analogue and digital displays. LED diodes around the dial flash to alert drivers if they go over this speed.
In off-road mode, an indicator on the instrument panel is automatically activated to show the car's attitude to the horizontal and alert the driver if there is any risk of roll-over.
At the top of the dashboard, a centrally positioned interactive screen relays information to passengers, in particular a detailed trajectory map.
The central rotary speed selector benefits from simple ergonomic styling. The ideally-located multimedia control lever makes for easy handling while the steering wheel-mounted controls mirror the natural curve of the hand.
The Egeus has a Euro 4 emissions-compliant 250hp 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, mounted north-south, and fitted with a particulate filter.
The fully automatic seven-speed 4WD transmission regulates traction on the four wheels from 0 to 100% according to grip.
The boomerang-shaped headlamps function as running lights and indicators, thanks to LED diodes in two different colours. This optical system was developed in partnership with Valeo.
All light comes from high-performance diodes and the amount and direction is adjusted according to steering angle.
On twisty roads, an electronic function automatically directs the beam.
On motorways, the diodes are automatically activated and modulated to maintain a constant and optimal range without dazzle. Their colour is similar to that of daylight for greater comfort and visibility. These diodes are claimed to have a significantly longer lifespan than any existing light source.
Renault Egeus interior