Ahead of next months Geneva Motor Show, Citroen have revealed an exciting new take on the compact SUV in the rather fetching shape of the C-Aircross.

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The more astute amongst you may notice that it looks vaguely reminiscent of the Cactus but we’ll ignore that on the basis of it being fantastically cool and funky. Citroen describe it as, and I quote, “staunchly optimistic” which seems a strange sentiment to describe a car yet somehow it makes sense.

With a design inspired by the new C3 it’s a bold statement of intent from the French masters of thinking outside the box. Although it remains to be seen whether the rear-hinged doors remain on the production models it’s certainly likely that the panoramic roof will remain, as will the adaptation of the Cactus “Airbump” protection on the side and rear of the C-Aircross. 7985

The chunky front end and robust looks give the C-Aircross an assertively rugged appeal that will attract those looking for a trendy statement in their car-buying choice. The concept also includes a Grip Control function that offers 5 modes that include Sand and Snow – because a car this cool will obviously be bought by those whose leisure time activities include après-ski and late night beach parties. The fluid curves and little accents of colour give the C-Aircross a slightly cheeky air that doesn’t fail to raise a smile.

As a compact SUV the C-Aircross is clearly an attempt to develop a unique identity that will stand out from the crowd and at first sight it fits the brief perfectly. But what I really want to know is whether or not the interior will remain untouched on the production models? I’m not a car designer so I obviously know nothing but if it were my choice I wouldn’t change a single thing in there.

7983I love the fact the seats look like they came from a spaceship. I love the minimalist simplicity of the huge dashboard. I love the fact all the buttons appear to have been removed from the interior and replaced with a single, 12″ touchscreen in the centre console. I love the slightly square, single-spoke steering wheel that doesn’t appear to actually be connected to anything. I love the full-colour, head-up display that replaces the tediously traditional instrument binnacle. I even love that combination of grey and orange that reflects the colours of those Superdry tops all the trendy people wear.

I know it’s only a concept at this stage, and experience suggests that the more interesting bits will probably be toned down slightly once the accountants have their say. Having said that, wouldn’t it be nice if a bold and vibrant car company with a bold and vibrant concept stuck to their bold and vibrant guns and actually built the car they originally conceived? Please…?