2017 Auto Shanghai: Citroen C5 Aircross image

The French automaker is taking the Chinese market very serious, which is why they’re featuring the flagship model debut at the Shanghai Motor Show, where they took the wraps off their most powerful production car ever, complete with a new hydraulic cushions suspension.

The new C5 Aircross ups the C4 Cactus funkiness with the same quirky exterior design, albeit enhanced for the passage of time. The SUV is larger of course, at 4.5-meter long, 1.84-meter wide, and 1.67-meter tall. Even the Airbump protective panels make an appearance, while up front there are no less than four LED clusters, making for a highly unconventional front end look. Citroen also delivers colorful touches on the sides, as well as alloys ranging from 17 to 19 inches, along with other body customization options.

Copyright William CROZES @ AUTOMOBILES CITROËN

Inside the cabin, the quirkiness of the C4 Cactus has been toned down a bit – as it should – with the C5 Aircross going for a mature, premium feel with dark brown and black leather mix. Technology is up to snuff, though – all-digital 12.3-inch screen for the driver’s instrument cluster and an 8-inch display for the infotainment system, as well as touch-sensitive buttons.

Copyright William CROZES @ AUTOMOBILES CITROËN

The C5 Aircross uses PSA’s EMP2 platform and for the Chinese market it will be powered by 165- and 200-hp gasoline engines linked to a six-speed automatic transmission. The range-topping option will be a plug-in hybrid version with max power of 300 hp (224 kW), complete with AWD and an all-electric range of 60 kilometers (37 miles).

William CROZES@AUTOMOBILES CITROËN

One interesting feature – that we once loved on older Citroens – would be the reiteration of the hidro suspension. This time around the all-new suspension has “Progressive Hydraulic Cushions” – 20 patents included, with a focus on damping quality and ride comfort.