Citroen unveils new hatchback as virus pushes event online | World News

Cobee called the presentation format “phygital,” combining some physical presence by the presenters and a larger online audience.

The new C4 shakes up the design of its predecessor by adding elements more familiar from SUVs such as a higher seat position, more ground clearance and prominent wheel arches. In addition to diesel and gasoline versions it will come in an electric-only variant with a 50 kilowatt-hour battery that offers range of up to 350 kilometers (217 miles) and can charge to 80% in 30 minutes – if a fast-charging station is available.

On top of the virus outbreak the auto industry faces headwinds from European Union regulatory requirements to lower average emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas blamed by scientists for climate change. Carmakers are aiming to meet the new limits with a combination of battery vehicles, hybrid cars that use both electric motors and internal combustion engines, and more-efficient gasoline and diesel models.

Sales prospects for all carmakers are uncertain as demand recovers from lockdowns that closed dealerships and unsettled consumers. Citroen’s sales fell 86.4% in April during the period of the most severe restrictions on activity, to 9,500 vehicles from 69,900 in the same month last year.

Automakers had been moving more marketing events online even before the virus outbreak to save the costs of auto show attendance and to get exclusive focus on their product.