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New Citroen suspension system set to increase comfort

By raccars Published

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A new Citroen suspension system has been announced by the French manufacturer, promising to revolutionise the industry - and not for the first time!

Citroen has a fine history of pioneering industry-changing suspension innovations. Back in 1954 it introduced a self-levelling hydropneumatic suspension system in the rear of the Traction Avant. In 1955 it improved on the original format by applying the design to all four wheels of the legendary DS. A year later the DS also became the world's first mass production vehicle to be fitted with disc brakes and over the years set new automotive standards for engineering, design and comfort.

Self-levelling system basics

The hydropneumatic self-levelling system used a combination of oil, air and hydraulics in a series of spheres to ensure that the car maintained its ride height while driving over a variety of road surfaces, resulting in a softer and more comfortable journey than car passengers had previously experienced. The design became synonymous with the French brand, although the system was later licensed for use by other manufacturers including Rolls-Royce for its Silver Shadow model, Maserati for the Quattroporte II and also by Peugeot. Mercedes-Benz has also used hydropneumatic suspension technology.

While Citroen's system offered a number of advantages over steel spring suspension in terms of ride comfort and handling, the more complex set up including selectable ride heights according to different road surfaces, was associated with extra expense and maintenance. Over the years Citroen has refined the system somewhat but the basic premise has changed very little.

A new Citroen suspension system for a new world

Citroen has recently announced that it will be continuing its dedication to smooth riding and innovation by introducing a revolutionary new system in 2017, which will initially be fitted to the C5 model, replacing the current Hydractive system. In time, the entire Citroen line-up will receive the new system. The brand's CEO claims that the new design is a modern development of the famous hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension system for which the brand is now renowned.

Technical specifications have not as yet been detailed, but Citroen claims that its new system will ensure even further ride comfort without compromising handling or control. It is understood that Citroen is working with a supplier to develop the new technology as a joint venture rather than relying entirely upon in-house engineering. It is believed that the system is to be fitted to Citroen cars only, although the firm's sister brand, DS, has suggested that it too is investigating modern suspension systems.

The decision to move on from the brand-defining hydropneumatic self-levelling system is a major one for the French firm, which has largely made its name upon its obsession with ride comfort. But dwindling sales of some of the firm's older models could be dramatically revitalised by the introduction of new technology. Citroen is no doubt hoping that the innovation will also help it to regain some of its earlier status as a leader in advanced automotive technologies.

Citroen CEO Linda Jackson has also confirmed the brand's intention to reduce and rationalise its model range. With a line-up currently encompassing 14 models plus the C1, a joint enterprise with Toyota and Peugeot, Citroen has claimed that it plans to cut this number in half to just seven core models, not including the C1.

A further selection of long wheelbase models will be made exclusively for the Chinese market. Citroen claims the brand's model reduction plan should, in fact, lead to sales growth, with Jackson planning to achieve sales of 1.6 million cars annually by 2020, an increase of 15%.

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