French automaker Citroen is all set to launch its first offering in India later this month in the form of the C5 AirCross SUV. The rival of the Jeep Compass and Hyundai Tucson, the Citroen C5 AirCross is a mid-sized SUV whose production has already commenced at the Tiruvallur factory that originally belonged to Hindustan Motors. Citroen assembles the C5 AirCross through the completely knocked down (CKD) route. We’re driving the Citroen C5 AirCross later this week, and we’ll bring you up to speed on what the SUV is all about. For now, here’s a brand film that the French automaker has released to celebrate its India-entry and the impending launch of the AirCross C5 SUV.
The brand film gives viewers a quick look at Citroen’s heritage and automobile-building expertise for over a century, and culminates by showing the C5 AirCross SUV, which will be the automaker’s maiden offering in the Indian market. The C5 AirCross will borrow the Jeep Compass’ 2 liter-4 cylinder Fiat Multijet turbocharged diesel engine. On the C5 AirCross, this motor will make 177 PS of peak power and 400 Nm of peak torque , which represents the highest tune that this engine is currently offered in India.
There will be two gearbox options: a 6 speed manual and a 8 speed torque converter automatic. Both gearboxes will drive the front wheels of the SUV. It remains to be seen whether Citroen would offer an all wheel drive layout with this engine-gearbox combinations. While the Jeep Compass does offer such an option, we’ll still have to wait and watch Citroen’s move on this front. For now, Citroen is unlikely to offer the C5 AirCross with a petrol engine, although such an option is likely to be served up in the future given the growing preference for petrol engined SUVs in India.
Meanwhile, Citroen has begun appointing dealerships across India, and many big cities such as Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Mumbai and Pune have already seen Citroen dealerships being set-up in the run up to the C5 AirCross’ launch. The C5 AirCross is the first in the slew of vehicles that the automaker has lined up for the Indian market. Following the C5 AirCross will be a sub-4 meter compact SUV that will go up against the likes of the Maruti Brezza, Hyundai Venue and Kia Sonet. while the C5 AirCross is CKD assembled, the smaller upcoming SUV will be fully produced in India, with a high amount of localization. A sub Rs. 8 lakh price tag is almost a given, and the new compact SUV is aimed at garnering big volumes for the French car maker. Citroen is taking a top-down approach into the Indian market, an approach that has served many foreign automakers well. From Volkswagen to Renault, a lot of car makers have entered India through the top-down approach, and have been reasonably successful. Citroen will be seeking to emulate them.