Kez Casey | Apr 18, 2017

The cat is well and truly out of the bag for the all-new Citroen C5 Aircross, the first in-house medium SUV to emerge from the French brand as it embarks on a period of sales growth.

These first photos, published on the French WorldScoop forum, are as close to official images as possible and reveal almost every aspect of the C5 Aircross’ design just days out from the crucial new model’s official Shanghai Auto Show reveal.

Like the Aircross Concept that preceded it, the C5 Aircross maintains smoothed-over chunky proportions, with a prominent split grille, subtle wheel arch flares and a version of the AirBump protection trims first seen on the C4 Cactus and since used on the C3 hatch.

Some of the more fanciful concept elements have been dropped - lighting units front and rear are more conventional, rear door handles have been introduced, wheel sizes drop and mirrors become more conventional.

China will be a key market for the C5 Aircross, where Citroen is investing heavily as the brand grows rapidly, however, international markets will also be vital to the success of the C5 Aircross as SUV sales boom around the world.

Official engine and drivetrain specifications haven’t formed a part of the leaked information, though it is widely believed that the C5 Aircross will offer a range of engines similar to that of the closely related Peugeot 3008 with 1.2- and 1.6-litre turbo petrol engines and 1.6- and 2.0-litre turbo diesel engines offered in Europe, tied to a conventional six-speed automatic.

Front-wheel drive is likely to be offered on most variants with a Grip Control stability system adding some soft-roading prowess, but a hybrid assist system, like that seen on the Citroen’s upmarket DS 7 SUV could bring all-wheel drive to some variants.

Citroen continues to innovate on the inside, with an interior design that blends a large centre touchscreen, flat topped and bottomed steering wheel, and sleek automatic gear selector with a retro-hued brown and black two-tone interior, and strong geometric themes across the air vents, door trims and seat stitching.

More information about the C5, including official powertrain info, specifications and dimensions are set to be unveiled as part of the Shanghai Auto Show, which is set to open later this week.

MORE: Citroen News and Reviews

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