Mike Stevens | Oct 27, 2010

One more of Citroen's many concepts from the past year may soon enter production, with reports out of China this week suggesting a version of the Metropolis concept may launch as the flagship of the brand's upmarket DS range.

According to magazine Autoweek China, Citroen Asia CEO Gregoire Olivier confirmed the concept's production future during an industry conference in Shanghai this week.

"The Metropolis will happen, it will become a real car," Olivier said.

"The same styling elements will be used for a high-level Citroen car to be developed in China. We want to build up the premier line in China. The Metropolis is emblematic of our approach."

Whether Olivier speaks for Citroen's top brass in France is unclear, although his comments echo similar remarks by PSA Peugeot Citroen design boss Pierre Ploue in July.

"We cannot afford to let Audi, Mercedes and BMW forge into Citroën’s heartland supermini territory without fighting back and pushing into theirs," PSA Peugeot Citroen design chief Pierre Ploue told Britain's Autocar magazine.

"Selling large luxury cars in Europe is not easy at the moment, but I believe Citroën has a great deal more to bring to the market. A large, characterful DS flagship model - we could call it a DS9 to reference the original DS19 - could do great things for us."

Citroen unveiled the Metropolis concept at this year's Beijing Auto Show. While the French carmaker has yet to reveal any official plans for the big saloon, a production version could potentially rival the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Audi A8.

In fact, the Metropolis concept, at around 5300mm, is longer than the long-wheelbase versions of all three of its closest competitors. And, measuring around two metres wide, it carries even more girth than Maybach 62.

The first car to be designed at PSA Peugeot Citroen's Shanghai studio, the Metropolis continues themes found across Citroen's latest models and concepts, including the upcoming DS3 and the GQbyCitroen concept.

The Metropolis is built on a stretched version of PSA Peugeot Citroen's Platform 3, which currently underpins the Citroen C6 and Peugeot 407, along with a number of Chinese-market models.

Power for the Metropolis is provided by a hybrid system, pairing a 200kW, 375Nm 2.0 litre V6 petrol engine with a 41kW electric motor. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission transfers the hybrid system's power to all four wheels.

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