Steering Column 19.09.08
Alive with New Technology
CITROEN’S C4 range of family cars has been given a fresh look and a rake of new technology that includes two cleaner and more efficient petrol engines developed along with BMW. The new engines are both 1.6 litre units, one of which turns out 120bhp and the other 150bhp. The basic engine gives an official average fuel consumption of just over 42mpg and carbon dioxide emissions down six per cent on the outgoing 110bhp 1.6 litre engine. The turbocharged version will apparently do an average of almost 41mpg. Changes have also been made to Citroen’s own two litre HDi diesel engine.
The biggest visual change is to the front end of the C4 which I’d say is now one of the most purposeful and dominating noses I’ve yet seen on a Citroen. The lights are pretty well the same but the front is now dominated by what looks like a huge, gaping air intake. It’s a bit of an illusion as there’s a big black bar across the middle of it, but the effect is good.
Indoors it’s been restyled slightly and round the back there are now clear glass covers on the lights.
Oh and for lovers of the popular TV adverts that had the old C4 turning into a Transformers-style robot that danced, there’s a new advert with a new robot doing a new dance to a new tune to bring the world’s attention to the upgrade.
The price of half a second
Ford is offering a performance upgrade on new and used Focus ST models. The already potent 2.5 litre engine in this family car sized pocket rocket turns out 221bhp in power, but with the new upgrade by Mountune, that goes up to 256bhp.
It’s all done by reformatting the engine, and putting in a larger intercooler and a free-breathing air filter. It drops the 0-60mph sprint time by 0.6 seconds to 5.9 seconds – it also gets to 100mph 1.9 seconds quicker than the standard Focus ST. It’ll cost you an extra £1,120 in bits plus the cost of fitting but that’s not too bad when you think of the extra kudos you’ll get from having the quickest production ST on the market.
The deal is only available through certain specialist Ford dealers, but the kit carries a minimum12 month/12,000 mile guarantee. A complementary performance suspension kit is also being developed to further boost the racing potential of the car.
Peugeot has released a few details about a concept car it’s built that could point the way for its future green car development. Known as the “Prologue”, it’s a hybrid car that the makers claim can turn out an impressive 200bhp in power, but seep just 109g/km of carbon dioxide pollution.
Just to put that into perspective – that’s a little more power than the two-litre turbocharged VW Golf GTi and a little less pollution than a 70bhp Smart car. Impressive, no?
There’s not yet any detail on its potential for future production but Peugeot says it “lifts a corner of the veil on a new type of vehicle” … whatever that means.
Suki Smooth Deals
Suzuki is trying to gee up shop figures a bit this month by putting a special deal on all sales of the SX4 hatchback and the Grand Vitara station wagon. The company says that anyone buying either model before September 30th will get three years interest-free finance and three years free road tax, that latter of which could be worth up to £820 on the Vitara.
The SX4 is a trim little car with a 1.6 petrol engine or a 1.6 or 1.9 litre diesel engine. A bonny little car, it also comes with an option on four-wheel-drive with the petrol engine. The Grand Vitara is a popular 4×4 with two petrol and one diesel engine in the range.