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Citroen Reveals the New Berlingo

January 2nd, 2008

The Citroën Berlingo has been one of the most influential vehicles launched during the last 10 years, changing the face of markets in which it is sold and creating whole new market sectors, so the announcement today (2 January 2008) of an all-new Berlingo is highly significant for the French car maker.

Launched in July 1996 in Europe, the Berlingo was an effortless blend of car, people mover and light commercial vehicle with a level of practicality not seen before. Demand exploded, creating entire new market sectors and the Berlingo has been much imitated with every major European car maker following in the path of Berlingo. Despite its many imitators, Citroën has produced more than 1.7 million first generation Berlingos and it has been the leader in its European sector since 2003.

In Australia, the Berlingo effect was no less significant. Its arrival marked the first Citroën commercial vehicle to be sold in Australia and saw one of the first moves in the market away from the domination of Japanese single box vans. As in other markets, rivals have copied the Berlingo and sold their imitations here.

The Berlingo’s success has been built on a clear recognition from the earliest design stages that it is much more than a car with a box on the back. Indeed, although it appears car-derived, there is no Berlingo car on which it is based. This freedom allowed the designers to produce a vehicle that is more spacious, comfortable, flexible and easy to use.

The new Berlingo, which will arrive in Australia in the third quarter of 2008, takes all these assets and further improves them. The new Berlingo is based on the most modern platform in the Citroën range, that of the award-winning Citroën C4 Picasso. This means an even more impressive level of flexibility and load-carrying capacity.

The load volume is lifted from 3.0 to 3.3 cubic metres, payload is boosted from 800 to 850 kg and with the optional Extenso modular cabin, the Berlingo will not only be able to offer a class-first of three front seats, but also lift load volume to a massive 3.7 cubic metres and maximum load length rises to an impressive 3.0 metres.

The people-mover version of the new Citroën Berlingo also gains useful improvements in versatility and flexibility, with the rear folding bench seat replaced by three fully removable adult-sized seats, an opening rear window for the rear hatch door and new designs for the innovative ModuTop roof lockers.

Both versions benefit not just from a stylish new body and ergonomically efficient interior, but also under-the-skin technology such as electronic stability control, hill assist, ABS brakes, and the advanced suspension and running gear from the Citroën C4 Picasso. Comfort, handling, roadholding and acoustic performance will all be on a par with car standards, making the new Berlingo a pleasure to drive in all conditions.

Given Citroën’s lead in diesel engines, it is no surprise to learn that the new Berlingo will be offered with a range of clean, highly efficient Turbo Diesel engines fitted with particulate filters.

The new Berlingo will be sold initially alongside the existing Berlingo, which will be known henceforth as the ‘Berlingo First’, and complement the new Citroën Nemo small van which slots into the range below the Berlingo.

Prices, specifications and versions of the Citroën Berlingo for the Australian market will be announced when it goes on sale locally in the third quarter of 2008.

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