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Importers to wait for Citroen's 4WD C-Crosser

Those hanging out to buy Citroen's small four-wheel-drive, the C-Crosser, have a long wait on their hands.

Citroen's Australian distributor, Sydney-based Ateco, has ruled out the C-Crosser coming here until late next year.

Ateco has been forced to play the waiting game because the right powertrain and specification choices for Australia won't be available until more than a year after the launch of the manual version.

The C-Crosser goes on sale in Europe in July in manual diesel form and automatic gearboxes, of which there will be a gluttony of choice, will not come on stream until the third quarter of 2008.

The diesel will have the EGS robotised manual, the 2.4-litre Mitsubishi-sourced engine will have a CVT transmission and the Hyundai-sourced V6 engine will have a conventional automatic.

“From our point of view, until the C-Crosser has a self-shifting gearbox it's not correct for this market and therefore we will wait until it arrives,” Citroen Australia public relations officer Edward Rowe said.

Following the launch of the 7-seater C4 Picasso people mover last week, Citroen expects to have its next diesel offering in the C3 before the end of the year.

It is likely to be the engine similar to the 1.6-litre HDi unit that is currently in the larger C4 hatch.

A diesel engine is also confirmed to arrive early next year for the hugely successful Berlingo van which will be a 1.9-litre normally aspirated oil-burner rather than a 2-litre HDi which is also available.

Citroen have all but ruled out bringing in the recently launched 5-seat version of the Picasso which is available from the start of next year.

But they will go ahead with the exercise of homologating the car to cover themselves in case of a shift in market trends.

Citroen Australia general manager Miles Williams indicated the pricing would be too close to the 7-seat Picasso.

“We've agreed we won't order the car (5-seater),” Williams said.

“I think we all know the five-seater market (people mover) is a pretty tough business.”