The main piece of engineering in the Citroen C4 Coupe we tested is without a doubt the 1.6-liter turbocharged mill situated right behind the chevron grill. Born from a loving but unexpectedly short marriage between the PSA Group and BMW, the same engine can be found under the Cooper S and John Cooper Works versions of the Mini, slightly tweaked for better performance, obviously.
First of all, a powerplant co-designed by an engine specialist like BMW couldn't be the worst thing to find under the hood of a car which looks fast even when standing still, could it? Second of all, apart from being rather powerful for its displacement, the 1.6-liter four banger is also very fuel efficient for the amount of horsepower it delivers. With 150 horsepower and a maximum of 240 Nm (177 lb ft) of torque available on tap from as low as 1400 rpm all the way to 3500 rpm, this is engine represents downsizing at its best.
After being pressurized by a somewhat of a LPT (Low Pressure Turbocharger) the air meets the fuel and then it gets delivered to each of the four cylinders via an electronically-controlled direct injection system. Therefore, the power/fuel consumption ratio is a very good one. Both performance and fuel economy are also a bit influenced by the six-speed manual gearbox, which behaved flawlessly during our test drive.
On the downside, although we're willing to bet absolutely none of its customers will ever notice this from their rides, the Citroen C4 is based on platform which is... wait for it... 18 years old! Of course, not many things were kept from the original Citroen ZX donor car, but the basic architecture remains.
The PSA Group has had quite a few number of cars which are based on this antique platform, thus making the C4 share some of its underpinnings with the Xsara and the ZX from Citroen and with the 308, 307 and 306 from Peugeot. On the good side, this could only mean that any "childhood diseases" for this platform have long been fixed. Second, trust us, there's nothing "antique" looking about the C4 Coupe.Continue reading