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New Citroën Wild Rubis concept previews luxury SUV

New Citroën Wild Rubis concept previews luxury SUV

High-riding concept hints at a new Chinese-market-only production model that is planned to go on sale in 2014

This new Citroën Wild Rubis concept car shows the French manufacturer’s intent to join the luxury SUV ranks with a stylish new offering.

Set to underpin the French car maker’s presence at the Shanghai auto show later this month, the high-riding concept closely previews a new Chinese-market-only production model that is planned to crown Citroën’s upmarket DS brand when it goes on sale in 2014. The model is likely to take the name DSX7 Hybrid-4 into showrooms.

Details pertaining to the new Citroën are scarce ahead of its world debut in Shanghai on April 21. The car is 4.7m in length, 1.95m in width, 1.59m in height and boasts a 2.9m wheelbase. Autocar sources confirm the Wild Rubis sits on a modified version of the DS5’s platform. It is planned to showcase a new petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain to be offered as part of a range of driveline options on the production version that will likely make its premiere at next year’s Beijing auto show.

The new drivetrain uses a transversely mounted gasoline engine to power the front wheels and an electric motor to drive the rear wheels to provide it with four-wheel drive capability.

Nothing is official just yet, but indications are the four-cylinder gasoline engine will boast a capacity of 1.6-litres. In combination with the electric motor, the direct-injection unit is expected to provide an overall system output of around 240bhp.

With a length of around 4700mm, the new Citroën SUV is similar in size to the Volkswagen Touareg – just one of a number of established luxury SUV offerings Citroën development Pierre Monferrini counts among the rivals for the production version of the Wild Rubis, which is planned to be produced in co-operation with Citroën’s Chinese-based joint-venture partner, Dongfeng.

Plans are to initially offer the production version of the Wild Rubis exclusively in China. However, Citroën suggests it may also be added to its European line-up as part of plans to position the company’s DS brand against the likes of Audi, BMW and Volkswagen.

Citroën’s focus on the Chinese market was first brought to light with the unveiling of the Metropolis concept car at the World Expo in Shanghai in 2010. In similar fashion to the Wild Rubus, the 5300mm-long saloon was billed as a preview to a future Chinese market only model for the DS line-up. But despite Citroën’s assurances that it would be produced as a spiritual successor to the original DS, the petrol-electric hybrid powered Metropolis is yet to see production.