C4 (Mk1)

C4 i

The Xsara, never the most widely-loved Citroen in the history of the marque, was the last in the range to be replaced by a "C-Car", with the 2004 launch of the C4. Advertised heavily at launch, with a robot break-dancing before folding away ("Transformers"-style) into the car, as "Alive with technology", the C4 proved to be a worthy competitor in this vital market segment.

Whilst not offering any ground-breaking dynamics (the C4 shared the Peugeot 307's platform - a development of that seen under the Xsara, 306 & ZX), it did introduce several novel features - most notably the fixed-hub steering wheel. C4 iAs in-car technology had proliferated rapidly over the preceding decade, remote controls for the car's stereo had been joined on the wheel spokes by many other functions. Handy, with a thumb-stretch alone required, but confusing on a moving target such as the wheel centre. The C4 resolved this by holding the wheel centre stationary as the wheel rotated behind it.

Available with either a five-door hatch or Kamm-tailed three-door "coupe" body, the C4 formed the basis of Citroen's domination of the World Rally Championship, with Sebastian Loeb winning everything in sight several times over.

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