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Citroen's new Picasso aims to punch above its weight

THESE are first official pictures of Citroen's new mini-MPV, the C4 Picasso, which is due to go on sale in September.

The French maker says the new motor heralds a drive for lightweight body construction and more economical engines.

It is built on the same platform as the new Peugeot 308 and has several weight-saving elements, such as alloy body components and an aluminum bonnet.

It also has a composite rear floor, which helps to save up to 140kg.

Citroen claims the later C4 Picasso now weighs as little as its C3 supermini.

It is 40mm shorter overall and the front overhang is cut by 70mm, but the wheelbase is 55mm longer and that should mean a bit more interior room.

Wider tracks (83mm at the front and 31mm at the rear) should make for even greater stability. There will be new or tweaked diesel engines, with a 1.4-litre producing just 98g/km and a promised 74mpg when combined with the marque's clutchless 6spd manual.

Citroen say there will be a 1.4-litre (89bhp) and a 1.6-litre (one with 114bhp; the other with 148bhp).

The front passenger seat folds forward for even more carrying room.

Citroen says the design of the cabin allows for a loft-style interior while the boot is the biggest in its class. And there's a panoramic windscreen as well as a large glass roof.

Also on it will be a digital dual-screen driving interface – 7in touchpad and 12in panoramic HD screen.

The touchpad has seven touch-sensitive buttons and controls functions such as the dual-zone air con, navigation, audio, telephone etc. The HD screen displays key driving information.

Parking should be easier because it has 360 vision and park assist.

Other hi-tech stuff includes active cruise control, active seatbelts and automatic high-beam.

Irish Independent