Although rumoured to be the most expensive facelift in Citroen history, the company has not changed the glasshouse – all the windows are carried over.
Sources who have seen the car say the new-look C5 is dramatic and distinctive from most angles. The radical makeover has been continued through to the interior, where Citroen has fitted a new dash with centrally mounted instruments, a new steering wheel with a fixed central hub for all the minor function switches, and multi-pivoting 'spacecruiser' seats that tilt and slide. Mechanically, the new C5 will be little changed, apart from the addition of a new 3.0 litre HDI turbodiesel engine that's reportedly good for 225bhp.
Prime reason for the facelift is to bring the ageing C5 into line with the rest of the increasingly distinctive looking Citroen range, particularly the forthcoming C4 and C6. The C4, which replaces the Xsara, is built on the same platform as the Peugeot 307, while the C6 will be built on a stretched C5 platform. The three- and five-door C4 models will feature unique sheet metal, although the overall styling themes will be similar to that of the sheer-surfaced C2. The C6, which is scheduled to appear mid-2005, will look like an evolution of the Lignage concept first seen in 1999.
The C6 will take the C5's advanced chassis hardware a step further, with third generation Hydractive suspension featuring integrated yaw and roll control, rear-wheel steering, computer-controlled LED headlamps with adaptive cornering lights, and a digital heads-up display.