Citroen has revealed further details on the eagerly awaited C4 Picasso that goes on sale in France next month. The versatile 7-seat compact MPV will make its public debut alongside the stunning C-Métisse concept car and the new C4 WRC rally car at the Paris Motor Show (28 September – 15 October).

The sleek and stylish C4 Picasso will set new standards in its class with an original seat-folding design that allows exceptionally quick and easy reconfiguration, helping to provide category-leading passenger and boot space. An imaginative dash lay-out creates an uncluttered look in the front, while premier levels of refinement and comfort are ensured by the use of high quality trim materials and pneumatic rear suspension.

When it comes to the finer details, the C4 Picasso further sets itself apart from its rivals – Citroen’s newest model benefits from the introduction of a number of striking and unique features. Over 30 different light sources demonstrate the innovative use of interior lighting systems, an integrated air quality sensor contributes to the pleasant ambience on-board, while a parking space measurement system, the first on the market, exemplifies the C4 Picasso’s use of advanced technology.

In a way never before seen on any other car, the C4 Picasso utilises natural and artificial light to ensure that the cabin is an extremely pleasant place to be, whether during the day or at night. The huge panoramic windscreen and expansive glazed area are coupled with 32 different and, in many cases, extremely innovative lighting sources.

The wide angle panoramic windscreen doubles vertical visibility at the front of the vehicle from the 35º of a conventional MPV to an impressive 70º. A combination of the largest sunroof and side windows in the class, as well as specially designed narrow windscreen pillars, gives the C4 Picasso the largest glazed area of any compact MPV, ensuring superb visibility for all occupants regardless of which seat they are in.

Within the cabin, Citroen’s designers have developed completely new ideas that use light to create a welcoming atmosphere. The subtle use of strip lighting under the central fascia, within the door panels and in the roof, diffuses a soft, indirect light, which can be adjusted via a control below the side of the steering column. There are also small LEDs in the door handle and front roof light surrounds.

Reading lights can be integrated into the back of the front seats, while lights in the door pockets come on automatically when a hand is placed into them. At the rear, the boot light doubles as a removable torch – it automatically recharges when the vehicle is on the move, whilst offering up to 40 minutes of use when hand held. On the outside, welcome lights under the door mirrors bathe the ground with light at night when getting into the car, whilst guide-me-home headlamps help when leaving it.

Driver and comfort information is provided on a single, centrally-located screen, which can feature a customised colour scheme and data display, with either a yellow or two-tone background and a selection of five possible colour settings.

The designers of the C4 Picasso have also paid unprecedented attention to interior ambience and air quality. This new model is the very first Citroen to feature an air quality sensor, complementing the in-built air freshener and a new air conditioning system that has been developed specially to take into account the large interior space and extensive glass area.

The air quality sensor is located upstream of the cabin air intake and continuously monitors the quality of the air outside of the car. If high levels of pollution are detected, it will automatically close the air intake flap and activate the air recycling function to prevent these pollutants from entering the cabin.

An integrated air freshener can add to the calming experience by diffusing a choice of subtle fragrances into the cabin through two central air vents. An extensive range is available including a fragrance specially designed to remove tobacco odours. The system can be switched off, or the intensity adjusted, as desired.

Ensuring that the interior temperature matches the air quality, a four-zone air conditioning system is available. Helping to maintain the uncluttered look in the front, both driver’s and front passenger’s controls are located at either end of the dashboard. A new ‘rest’ function, activated by a button on the driver’s air conditioning control panel, can keep the ventilation running for up to eight minutes after the engine is switched off.

The C4 Picasso is the only compact MPV to offer a second air conditioning unit, which sends air to the second and third rows as well as into the boot. Passengers in the second row can adjust the temperature themselves via a special control panel.

Helping to make parking an altogether less stressful experience, the C4 Picasso is the first vehicle on the market to offer a parking space measurement system. The driver simply presses the ‘P’ button on the steering wheel, flicks the relevant indicator and drives slowly along the row of parked vehicles. Two ultrasonic sensors at either end of the front bumper inform the driver whether parking is possible, difficult or inadvisable.

An electric parking brake is fitted to all models as standard. Unusually, the brake is automatically applied as soon as the engine is turned off, and is automatically released when sufficient torque is applied to move forward. An electric control in the middle of the dash can be used to apply the parking brake in a conventional manner whenever necessary. Additionally, all models offer a hill-start assist function. At gradients of 3% or above, this function automatically holds the vehicle in position for up to two seconds so that the driver has time to move their foot to the accelerator.

The C4 Picasso range offers four advanced Euro IV compliant engines, which can return up to 50mpg on the combined cycle, CO2 emissions from as little as 150g/km and top speeds of up to 121mph. Two 16V petrol engines, the 127bhp 1.8i and 143hp 2.0i are accompanied by 110bhp 1.6HDi and 138bhp 2.0HDi diesel engines, both fitted with an environmentally-friendly diesel particulate filter system (DPFS).