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Citroën C4: The little-known innovations it offers - Wheels

The Citroën C4 in a shade of orange

Almost four years have passed since the Citroën C4 was launched, the third generation of the brand's bold and unique car, which mixes the codes of sedans and SUVs. In addition to its groundbreaking design and comfort, the Citroën C4 has a number of innovations that have unfortunately gone relatively unnoticed, although they represent all the boldness and innovation that characterise Citroën. After a first part dedicated to aerodynamics, here is a new focus on the C4's wheels, which have much more than an aesthetic use.

Tightly controlled emissions

As you know, car manufacturers are subject to strict rules on CO² emissions, with quotas that must not be exceeded. These quotas, which are set for each brand and group according to a complex system, are very precise and can lead to heavy fines if they are not respected. In fact, Europe has decreed that manufacturers who exceed their quotas will be fined €95 for each extra gram AND for each car sold. Imagine that a brand like Citroën, which will sell 334,500 units in Europe in 2023, exceeds its quota of 2 grams, this could result in a fine of 63.5 million euros, which is considerable.

The same quota system obliges manufacturers to electrify their range as quickly as possible and to promote electrified models in order to avoid fines, or even to enter into agreements as Fiat did before the Stellantis era with Tesla at an exorbitant cost of €2 billion.

To this quota system set by Europe, France adds the ecological penalty, which is reduced every year and is also based on CO2 emissions, by adding to the selling price a tax directly linked to the emissions of new vehicles.

Wheels on the Citroën C4

A useful but unknown innovation

It is therefore more than necessary for manufacturers to offer vehicles that pollute as little as possible, both to avoid the ecological penalty and to comply with the quotas set. However, with the third generation of the C4, Citroën has succeeded in offering a car that reduces CO2 emissions thanks to innovative wheel rims with a specific design.

In fact, at the presentation of the C4 in 2020, Citroën unveiled wheel rims which, in addition to the aesthetic aspect, offer a design that optimises the airflow of the car by directing it towards the centre of the wheels to create the minimum disturbance inherent in any moving wheel. These simple, specific and patented wheels offered by Citroën on the new generation C4 have enabled its latest compact sedan to reduce its CO2 emissions by 2 grams.

This innovation therefore materialises in the emissions of the C4 which, when compared with an equivalent Peugeot 308, allows it to be systematically between 1 and 9 grams below the emissions of its cousin, thus allowing consumers to pay less of a penalty and for the brand to reduce its overall CO² emissions to below the fixed quotas.

Other brands have since offered wheels designed to reduce airflow and therefore the car's emissions, but the C4 was the first to offer this type of wheel on a production car, demonstrating the strength of Citroën's innovation, even in less visible but equally important areas.

In conclusion, this third generation of the Citroën C4 has clearly innovated much more than the second generation and has on many occasions proposed innovative solutions to respond to the constraints imposed on it. These special wheels, which allow it to save 2 grams of CO², also show the difficulties faced by manufacturers when designing a new car and how far they are forced to go to meet these constraints. After the aerodynamics that made it possible to present a raised body just as efficient as a low body, the C4 also innovated on the wheels to reduce its emissions, a sign that innovation and daring were at the heart of its development, as you will see in the following articles.

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