This one could be a game changer not only for Citroën but for PSA Peugeot Citroën overall. The hydropneumatic suspension designed by Paul Mages and used by various Citroën models since the 1950s will be replaced by progressive hydraulic cushions.
Citroën put the new technology to the test in what they call their Citroën Advanced Comfort, a C4 Cactus with hydropneumatic suspension instead of MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam at the rear. Automobile Magazine recently got an opportunity to test the prototype on a variety of roads and the feedback can be summed up in two words: thumbs up!
Approximately 20 patents have been applied for by Citroën for the progressive hydraulic cushions, and the company claims that it is a big improvement over Hydractive 3+, the final iteration of the Citroën’s hydropneumatic suspension, particularly in terms of cost. To retain the magic carpet ride of the Hydractive, Citroën tuned the progressive hydraulic cushions in such a way that the technology replicates the feel of Hydroactive 3+.
Citroën is presently keeping very tight lipped about about many aspects of the progressive hydraulic cushions. They are saying that the first production car to adopt the revolutionary technology will be launched in late 2017. And yes, Citroën is going to share its Progressive Hydraulic Cushion suspension with the DS and Peugeot brands.
We’ll eat small a piece of humble pie about our criticism last month of PSA’s strategy for returning to North America where we said their products today are not technologically innovative. This suspension certainly is, and may help differentiate PDA’s brands here from the competition. Unlike Hydractive suspension where hydraulic pressure could be utilized for other features, like steering and braking, Progressive Hydraulic Cushion is relegated to suspension only. Given that these other systems are engineered to operate optimally on an individual basis in today’s automobiles, Progressive Hydraulic Cushion makes sense as it is equally effective, and arguably superior to hydropneumatic suspension and can be deployed much easier across a broad range of PSA’s brands and model offerings.