Citroen has detailed a new electrified version of its C5 Aircross SUV, using the same 48V mild-hybrid system recently confirmed for the related Peugeot 3008.
The 2023 Citroen C5 Aircross Hybrid 136 joins existing petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid versions of the French brand’s rival to the Toyota RAV4 and Volkswagen Tiguan, and debuts a new turbocharged petrol-electric hybrid system and dual-clutch gearbox for the Citroen stable.
Like its Peugeot sibling, the C5 Aircross Hybrid teams a 100kW/230Nm 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine, which has been tuned specifically for electrified applications, with a 21kW/55Nm permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor and 432Wh (0.432kWh) 48V lithium-ion battery.
The battery powers a belt starter, which is able to quickly start the petrol engine when required, while the e-motor, inverter and ECU are all integrated into a hybrid-optimised six-speed dual-clutch automatic – which the company says offers “no torque break” and offers quick gear changes for a more comfortable drive.
Compliant with the Euro 6.4 emissions standard, the C5 Aircross Hybrid 136 claims to be 15 per cent (1.0L/100km) more efficient on the combined WLTP cycle than the PureTech 130 variant of the C5 Aircross available overseas, which uses the 96kW 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine used in the local Peugeot 308.
While that seems like a minimal improvement, the urban cycle sees a 30 per cent improvement, according to Citroen. Further, there’s a 15 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions (-20g) on the combined cycle, quoted at 129g/km.
That CO2 figure equates to a combined fuel consumption figure of 5.56L per 100km on the stricter combined WLTP cycle, which is about the same Toyota claims for European versions of the RAV4 Hybrid. Note – Australia uses the more lenient NEDC cycle for fuel consumption, hence why local versions of the RAV4 Hybrid quote 4.8-4.9L/100km.
Unlike most 48V ‘mild’ hybrids, the C5 Aircross offers electric drive, with the French brand claiming some 50 per cent of city-based journeys in EV mode.
The hybrid system can contribute 9kW to system output under hard acceleration, too. To determine when the vehicle is in 100 per cent electric mode, the tachometer in the driver’s cluster will turn blue instead of white.
The new C5 Aircross 48V Hybrid is the second electrified variant in the facelifted SUV’s European line-up, joining the pair of plug-in hybrid (PHEV) versions which, according to Citroen, already make up 40 per cent of the nameplate’s total sales.
As for the new drivetrain’s Australian prospects, a spokesperson for Peugeot Citroen Australia told CarExpert: “Whilst there is currently no information to share at this stage for the new mild-hybrid C5 Aircross locally, as with any new model we will continue to work closely with the factory to assess the suitability for introduction to the Australian market”.
The brand’s local arm just launched the facelifted C5 Aircross in Australia, which has been reduced to a single variant compared to the outgoing model’s two-pronged strategy.
Priced from $54,990 plus on-road costs, the 2023 Citroen C5 Aircross Sport picks up a number of upgrades beyond its fresh looks, an upgraded drivetrain, more features, and much improved technology compared to the ageing version that had been on sale in Australia since 2019.
The French brand’s updated mid-size SUV will take on the related Peugeot 3008 as well as a litany of better-known competitors in the mid-sized SUV segment, including the Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5 and Volkswagen Tiguan.
Citroen’s price positioning puts the C5 Aircross against high-spec versions of its Asian rivals, and between the base Allure and mid-spec GT versions of its aforementioned 3008 platform mate.
The Citroen C5 Aircross Hybrid 136 will be available to order in Europe “soon”, with first deliveries in the region scheduled to commence during the latter half of 2023.
Unlike Peugeot, which confirmed the rollout of the new drivetrain across its wider line-up in the future, Citroen hasn’t confirmed whether its 48V Hybrid drivetrain will be available in other vehicles in its line-up such as the C3, C4 and C5 X.