New Citroën C4 Breaks Cover: First Official Pictures of Focus Fighter

Citroën just couldn't wait until this fall's Paris Salon to show us the all-new C4 five-door hatchback as the French automaker decided to release the first official photos of its C-segment model. As with the current C4, the new compact hatch will take on the likes of the VW Golf, Renault Megane, Ford Focus, Opel Astra and Toyota Auris.

If you're thinking it looks familiar in a conservative kind of way, you're probably right as the 2011 C4 is the five-door version of Citroën's near-production DS High Rider concept that was first shown at this year's Geneva Salon.

Even though the new C4 shares the same front end styling with the three-door DS High Rider, which is expected to enter production almost unchanged as the DS4 next year, the two variants differ in design from the A-Column and back.

For better or for worse, the new C4's design is more conservative (or, if you prefer, mainstream) than the current model.

Inside, there are no surprises as the C4's dashboard is shared with the DS High Rider that will essentially replace the current C4 Coupe. The design and styling is now more close to that of the larger C5.

There are plenty of notable changes over the outgoing C4 including the elimination of the fixed steering wheel hub as well as the centrally mounted LCD instrument panel while Citroën claims it will offer several personalization options.

Citroën's new compact model has grown in dimensions and now measures 4,330mm in length (+55mm), 1,790m in width (+17mm) and 1,490mm in height (+32mm). According to the French, the new model offers a boot capacity of 408 liters, or 82 liters more than the current C4.

The French automaker has not yet released details on the powertrain options, but aside from a similar mix of diesel and naturally aspirated / turbocharged petrol units found on the current C4, European buyers should also expect the first application of the PSA Citroen - Peugeot group's diesel-electric hybrid system.

The new C4 is expected to go on sale in most European countries after this fall's Paris Motor Show.