Aiming to expand in the compact car market, Citroën’s latest C4 model will go on sale in the fourth quarter of this year. Citroën CEO Vincent Cobée said he believes the brand will have a full role to play within the merged PSA-FCA Group.

“Citroën is coming back in full force on the compact car segment in Europe which is the biggest segment if you count SUVs and sedans,” he said in a phone interview. “It is a major launch as it will support one of our key expansion axis in terms of volumes in coming years,” he added.

The new C4 hatchback will be manufactured in Spain and be available for the first time with pure-electric power alongside gas and diesel versions.

The e-C4 packs a 50kWh battery pack — the same capacity as the battery found in the Peugeot e-208 and e-2008 electric models — which is good for 217 miles between charges, Citroën says. That’s a little more than the e-2008 SUV but a little less than the e-208 supermini. The electric motor also has the same output as the one used in the Peugeot models: 136bhp and 192 lb ft of torque. Claimed 0-100 km/hr time is 9.7 seconds, according to Citroën, and the car goes on to a top speed of 150 kms/hr.

What makes the e-C4 stand out from the hatchback crowd is more of an emphasis on comfort. “Progressive Hydraulic Cushions” suspension, as found on the C4 Cactus and C5 Aircross SUV, help smooth out bumps as well as adding a raised, SUV-like stance for a more distant view ahead.

Inside, space is optimized thanks to what is the longest wheelbase in the C4’s segment, resulting in class-leading rear knee room. Armchair-like “wide and welcoming seats” offer comfort, with 15mm thicker cushions, and lumbar adjustment and an optional massage function for the front passengers, while three people can sit comfortably side-by-side in the rear. Seats can be heated front and rear, and rear passengers get air vents, too while an electric panoramic glass roof lets more light in back there.

More than adequate storage is offered including a tablet holder called the Smart Pad Support Citroën, which is built into the dashboard and retracts when not in use. There are two dedicated shells, designed for the Apple iPad Air 2 and Samsung Tab A 10.5’’, or a universal shell for other models. The main infotainment system is operated via a 10in touchscreen with voice recognition, and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported. The new C4 models will also include wireless charging pads for smartphones.

Citroën is offering customers a “one-stop-shop” solution for home charging with wall-box installation as part of the package. An 11kW 32-amp charger can be rented or bought outright offering a fast recharge in just 7.5 hours, or even five hours with the optional “three-phase” version. A more affordable 16amp unit will do the job in 15 hours.

The e-C4 will also take a rapid charge at 100kW public charging points where the battery pack can be filled to 80% in 30 minutes, (at a rate of up to 10 kms per minute.)

Citroën is reassuring anyone worrying about damage being done by charge cycles with a guarantee that after eight-years or 100,000 miles, the battery will still have at least 70% of its charge capacity remaining (good for about 245 kms).

Gas versions will be available with three power outputs – 100, 130 and 155 hp – while there are two BlueHDi diesels – 110 and 130 hp.

Orders are to commence at the end of the summer, with the first deliveries before the end of the year. Prices are still to be announced.

Here is Citroën’s video pitch:

Prior to Linda Jackson’s departure as CEO of Citroën in late 2019, she acknowledged that the the company was well underway in the development of a new flagship model to be introduced in the 2022 – 2023 timeframe. HopefullyVincent Cobée’s reference to Citroën playing a full role in PSA-FCA means that a big new Citroën is still in the works.