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Citroen C-Aircross Concept to hit Geneva

Citroen has ripped the covers off its latest quirky concept, this time a jacked-up take on its recently revealed third-generation C3 hatch dubbed the C-Aircross Concept.

Set to make its public debut at next month's Geneva motor show, the French carmaker says the C-Aircross provides a "new vision" of the compact SUV and also marks the next stage in its new product strategy.

Citroen says the concept highlights the brand's offensive in the SUV segment and follows on from the well-received Aircross Concept from the 2015 Shanghai motor show.

The Aircross gains some typical crossover styling elements, including black cladding along the lower skirts as well as wheel-arches that feature a unique camouflage pattern, and a boosted ride height.

The front end design is familiar from the production C3 hatch revealed in June last year, with the same narrow LED daytime running lights forming part of the twin-stripe chrome Citroen grille as well as the larger lower headlights.

A number of customisation options have been included in the C-Aircross, including red accents on the headlight bezels, massive wheels, side guards and roof racks which also feature LED lighting at the front.

At the rear is a pair of 3D "floating" LED tail-lights, split in three with more red accents, a theme mirrored in the design of the funky C-pillar.

Citroen's quirky SUV is front-wheel drive, but it has some off-road capability thanks to a grip control feature featuring five selectable modes.

Inside, the concept features a 12.0-inch digital touchscreen that can be split, and a multi-function colour head-up display. The company has added a sleek, clean looking cabin by using few buttons – four in total.

Like so many concepts before it, a pair of cameras replace the traditional door mirrors while a camera in the roof spoiler provides vision out the back.

It also features Alcantara-embossed seats with quilting and cloth trim in both grey and coral colours, while the single unbroken dashboard is reminiscent of the C4 Cactus.

The dash includes a storage compartment that runs its length, while a wireless phone charging compartment is found in the centre console.

The concept measures 4150mm long, 1740mm wide and 1630mm high, which is 10mm wider and 100mm higher than the C4 Cactus SUV and slightly longer and higher than the new C3.

Citroen has not revealed any details of the concept's powertrain, but it could use one of the engines that will be offered in the C3 when it launches in Europe.

These include three petrol engines – PureTech 68, 82 and 110 with idle-stop – and two diesel engines – BlueHDi 75 and 100 with idle-stop – paired with a standard manual gearbox and optional six-speed auto.

Citroen's quirky SUV is front-wheel drive, but it has some off-road capability thanks to a grip control feature featuring five selectable modes – standard, sand, off-road, snow and ESP off – to adjust the differential and give the driver different options depending on the terrain.

More details will be released on March 7 when the C-Aircross makes its public debut in Geneva.

The standard third-gen C3 is set to roll into Australian Citroen dealerships in mid-2017.

Is the tiny SUV segment getting out of hand or is there room for Citroen's funky C-Aircross (should it become a production reality)? Tell us what you think in the comments below.