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THE NEW CITROËN RELAY –

ADVANCED LIGHT COMMERCIAL VEHICLE TECHNOLOGY

Citroën has long been a key player in the commercial vehicle market. By constantly matching its range to market trends, Citroën secured a 10.2% share of the European LCV market (26 countries) in 2005.

LCVs are important for the marque, since one Citroën in every five sold worldwide is a light commercial vehicle and one light commercial in every 10 sold in Europe is a Citroën. The launch of the new Relay therefore gives the marque a further advantage in this segment.

With the new Relay, Citroën is out to win market share, building on 12 years of market success with the previous version. The new range, which includes the latest high-tech features developed by the Citroën, is structured to meet these objectives. The redesigned architecture of the new Relay expands the number of combinations possible in terms of volume and payload. It features:-

* a wider choice of load volumes: the new Relay combines four lengths with three wheelbases and three body heights. The useful loading volume ranges between 8 m3 and 17 m3.

* gross vehicle weight of up to 4 tonnes: the new Relay now tops the 3.5 tonne mark with a maximum gross vehicle weight of 4 tonnes (for a payload of two tonnes). The new Relay is one of the few front-wheel drive LCVs to have a gross vehicle weight of over 3.5 tonnes. This increased capacity in terms of payload gives Citroën access to new market segments.

* a wide diversity of models to satisfy the requirements of each sector of activity to the greatest extent possible. The range comprises standard panel and window vans, single and double cab versions, and combi vans for transporting people. Other versions are pre-prepared for bodywork conversions: chassis, bare chassis and platform cabs.

The styling of the new Relay is user-focused. For example, the bumper features built-in steps that make it easier to clean the windscreen. At the same time, the layout of the driving position, its soundproofing and ergonomic design, ensure that the cabin satisfies the requirements of the most demanding professionals. The load height has been lowered to make the loading area even easier to access.

The new Relay features new diesel engines adapted to each version. The range is available with a choice of three engines: the 2.2 HDi 100 (74 kW/100hp DIN), the 2.2 HDi 120 (88 kW/120hp DIN) and the 3.0 HDi 160 (115 kW/157hp DIN). All three engines are mated to manual gearboxes, with six speeds in the case of the last two.

The new Relay boasts a broader range of equipment and a wide array of options rarely seen on the LCV market, including a heat-reflecting windscreen, automatic lights and wipers and rear parking assistance with a colour camera.

The new Relay has surefooted, precise road manners. Vehicle safety is further reinforced by ABS, fitted as standard and ESP, optional depending on the versions.

A robust front end

The styling of the Relay suggests both dynamic performance and robust strength. The front end of the Relay features taut lines enhanced by the high-mounted boomerang shaped headlights. The bonnet flows seamlessly into the windscreen, which reflects the curve of the wings. The protective bumper wrapped round the front end clearly identifies the Relay as a commercial vehicle. The Relay's new "cross mesh" radiator grille integrates perfectly with the bumper, as do the chrome-plated chevrons that underline its identity as a member of the Citroën family.

A profile adapted to frequent use

The contemporary styling of the Relay gives it a lively, powerful look. The lines are bold, and clearly defined. The sides feature wide protective mouldings that even extend to the wheel arches on the heavier duty models. On the panel vans, additional protection provides added solidity. The new Relay is also well protected against the minor impacts that are a common occurrence in city driving.

The sliding side door and rail integrate perfectly with the overall design. The door handles of the Relay are of a new design. Positioned vertically, they provide excellent grip as well as making it easier to open the doors with either the right or left hand. At the same time, the large rear view mirrors reinforce the robust look of the waist line. Fully protected by the mirror housings, the indicator repeater lights are also easily visible to both motorists and pedestrians.

An efficiently designed rear end

The rear end of the new Relay is generously sized. Its low position underlines the vehicle's easy loading and unloading capacities. An anti-slip coating ensures user safety. The link with the protective side crossbars illustrates the emphasis placed on quality of design. Protective mouldings on the lower part of the rear swing doors provide further protection against impact. The rear lights are high-mounted and of vertical design. They combine modern styling with functional efficiency in terms of both protection and visibility.

A wide choice of colours

The new Relay is available in a choice of solid colours (including Polar White, Tiziano Red, Pacific Blue, Impérial Blue and Carioca Yellow) and metallic colours (including Arctic Steel, Iron Grey and Deep Red).

Interior styling, combining comfort and functionality

The Relay cabin takes its inspiration from the world of passenger cars, while also emphasising the ergonomics necessary for commercial vehicle activities: it becomes an extension of the office. The design of the dashboard sets the highest standards in driving pleasure for drivers of the new Relay. The driving position is designed to be comfortable, functional, ergonomic and modern.

The quality of the interior finish is immediately visible from a glance at the door panels, which feature an attractive, durable trim rather than bare metal. The seats have been modified for greater comfort and also gain new upholstery.

The cabin of the new Relay is designed to provide maximum comfort-in-use for the occupants, and valuable assistance during periods of intense activity. Relay provides continuous support for the user. The controls and indicators fall naturally to hand or are easily visible, thus helping the driver to concentrate on the road.

Large windows create a bright interior with a wide field of vision for all the occupants. The understated interior design, of consistently high quality, places the emphasis on comfort, ease and convenience, to create a real feeling of safety.

At the same time, vehicle seats are designed to offer maximum comfort and support, for improved working conditions. The seats of the Relay feature removable, height-adjustable head restraints and adjustable backrests, with armrests and fore-and-aft adjustment. Depending on the options selected, the seats may be modular, with other adjustment functions. Cleverly positioned stowage compartments are provided underneath.

Features to simplify life on board

The new Relay is designed to provide superlative acoustic comfort and thus to limit vibration inside the cabin. To this end, noise emissions have been considerably reduced at source.

The dashboard of the new Relay is compact and practical in terms of its ergonomics and stowage. It retains the dash-mounted gearlever, which is ergonomically-friendly and frees up space, and is equipped as standard with an adjustable dashboard desktop, together with a document clip. This enables the driver to keep all forms and other professional documents within easy reach.

The Relay is fitted as standard with a 12V connector in the centre of the dashboard, ideally placed to hook up a laptop or telephone. It is also equipped with a cigarette lighter and removable ashtray, placed in the centre of the dashboard where they are accessible to both driver and passengers.

With up to 10 stowage compartments available, the new Relay meets the needs of customers who like things to be well organised. The many stowage compartments are cleverly positioned. They include several cubbies, a lockable glovebox with room for a laptop, and compartments on the central console (open, closed or cooled depending on options).

The lower part of the doors features a generous stowage bin, and two other compartments are accessible under the seats. The Relay is also available with a vast overhead optional stowage compartment, invisible from outside the vehicle, boasting a capacity of 22 litres.

The new Relay's electronic instrument cluster provides full and detailed information. For a relaxed journey, the multifunction screen displays the time and overspeed warning, amongst other functions. The instrument cluster also features a large number of warning lights.

An adaptable loading area

The new Relay range offers a wide variety of body styles, providing greater flexibility and bringing real improvements compared with former generations of commercial vehicles.

These major upgrades include:

* an increase in gross vehicle weight, which has now been extended to 4 tonnes. To achieve this, the rear axle has been specially designed to support the increased load.

* useful volume increased to 17 m3

* significant accessibility, as the height of the loading sill on the new Relay varies between 53 cm and 56 cm depending on the versions.

It can be lowered by a further 7 cm using the new pneumatic self-levelling rear suspension (optional on all models), which is new to this sector and ensures that the new Relay is right at the forefront of the market. This suspension also maintains the vehicle at a constant height, regardless of load conditions, and significantly improves comfort in versions designed to carry people. This characteristic is particularly important on the heavy duty versions since, in this segment, the new Relay will be competing with rear wheel drive vehicles with higher load sills.

The accessibility of the loading compartment, much praised by users of the present Relay, has been maintained and enhanced. The new Relay is even more practical with:

- new handles enabling safer and easier handling of the doors

- a rear bumper with a broader non-slip step

- rear doors with four locking points, which open to 96 degrees, providing maximum accessibility to

the loading area. At the same time, a cleverly designed foldaway door strap makes it possible to

open the door to 180 degrees. For specific applications, the doors can be opened to 270 degrees

(optional).

- efficient load area lighting. An optional 12V connector is provided on the rear right-hand pillar,

together with a rechargeable mobile lamp.

High-performance engines

Each of the engines available with the new Relay is designed to stand up to the most demanding operating conditions and to provide all the power required by the user, regardless of driving and load conditions. The innovative technologies featured on these engines set high standards in driveability and performance, while also bringing savings in terms of fuel consumption and maintenance.

Three diesel engines are now available:

* the entry-level 2.2 HDi 100 (74 kW/100hp DIN), combining low fuel consumption with comfort-in-use. It is particularly well suited for urban use and is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox.

* a mid-range 2.2 HDi 120 (88 kW/120hp DIN) engine, striking an excellent compromise between performance and fuel consumption for combined usage. It is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox.

* the top-of-the-range 3.0 HDi 160 (115 kW/157hp DIN) for applications demanding power, torque and strong acceleration. This engine is mated to the 6-speed manual gearbox.

For Citroën, environmental protection and quality of life in the city are key issues for all the vehicles in its range. The Relay thus features new-generation direct-injection common rail engines that comply with the Euro IV standard. As part of this Euro IV standard, the Relay's HDi engines are equipped with the EOBD (European On Board Diagnosis) system. Installed on board the vehicle, this system is designed to control emissions.

It is able to detect any potential malfunctions that could lead to the vehicle exceeding authorised emission thresholds for carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, etc. The EOBD monitors a number of functions, including the efficiency of the catalytic converter, and any failures when the engine is turned on. A special indicator on the instrument cluster gives the driver timely warning of any problems on the pollution control systems.

Remarkable dynamic qualities

The new Relay addresses the safety issue as a whole, from on-board comfort (for full driver concentration) to impact resistance. The new model features completely redesigned structural architecture, placing it among the leaders in its category both for its road manners and for its ability to protect passengers and their load.

The Relay's running gear is particularly well designed, with a view to optimising suspension comfort, on-road stability and admissible load. The front suspension is of the McPherson wishbone type with an anti-roll bar. The front axle with independent wheels optimises road behaviour and comfort in use.

The Relay also gains single-leaf or (optional) dual-leaf rear suspension. Looking beyond the issue of weight gain, this feature improves acoustic comfort. All models feature optional pneumatic self-levelling suspension at the rear.

The comfort-in-use of the new Relay is also illustrated by the presence of variable-power steering as standard, except on the 100hp engine, which has fixed power steering. For the other engines, the level of assistance depends on vehicle speed: significant at low engine speeds for easy manoeuvring, lower at higher engine speeds for greater precision and driveability.

The wheels of the new Relay are equipped with 15-inch tyres for vehicles of between 3 t. and 3.5 t. and 16-inch tyres for vehicles of between 3.5 t. and 4 t. The braking system of the new Relay has been resized for improved efficiency, endurance and reliability. All models are fitted as standard with four disc brakes. The parking brake function is provided by small additional drums integrated in the rear brakes.

The Relay also features ABS and EBA (emergency braking assistance) as standard, with optional traction control and ESP. At the same time, the optional ESP provides assistance for hill starts. In addition to the driving comfort provided, this feature contributes to safety since it provides valuable assistance in difficult manoeuvres. The driver is able to handle the vehicle more easily.

At the same time, the overspeed warning (standard) allows the driver to set a maximum speed. If this is exceeded speed, a sound signal is emitted, an indicator lights up and a message is displayed on the instrument cluster. This feature provides peace of mind for all types of journey.

Protection at all times

In terms of passenger protection and impact resistance, the new Relay possesses all the qualities required. The passenger compartment is designed to provide maximum protection for the occupants. Its robust design and sizing controls the energy released in the event of impact.

This high level of protection is provided by:

- a reinforced cantrail line,

- a front bumper with an integrated metal beam and impact absorbers,

- optimised sizing of the front axles,

- an engine compartment layout which has been designed to limit cabin intrusion and minimise driver injury in the event of an impact,

- stiffer front doors to provide greater overall stiffness (interlinked front and central pillars),

- optimised front overhang,

- an efficient system to attach the engine to the cradle,

- the battery placed under the cabin floor.

The height-adjustable front seatbelts feature pyrotechnic pretensioners and force limiters. Failure to attach the seatbelt activates a warning. The indicator on the instrument cluster is linked to a sound signal. In this way, the driver receives systematic warning. Passengers also reap the benefits of the new Relay's upgrades in terms of passive safety. A total of six airbags are available: a driver's airbag is standard and front passenger airbag, side airbags and curtain airbags are optional.

The new Relay also boasts a wide array of safety equipment to make it easier for the driver to cope with difficult situations and to protect the cargo. To prevent break-ins, the vehicle no longer has interior locking knobs. They are replaced by a button on the central section of the dashboard. The driver pushes the button once to lock all doors and again to unlock them. The armrest on the driver's door includes a function to lock and unlock the loading area, independent of the cabin doors.

The new Relay also features deadlocking as standard. A red LED, visible from the outside, shows that this function is active. The vehicle is also fitted with an engine immobiliser and transponder as standard. A perimetric alarm and tow-away protection are optional. To make it easier to find a stolen vehicle, the chassis number is printed at the bottom of the windscreen. Automatic headlights and wipers are optional.

Equipment that makes all the difference

Depending on the version, the new Relay offers functions never before seen in this category, designed to give the driver greater control and to enhance driveability. Options available include a speed limiter, electronic parking assistance with reversing sensors and a colour TV camera at the rear, sending images to the central rear view mirror. To allow the driver to manoeuvre safely, this camera is activated when the driver puts the vehicle into reverse at low speeds.

The new Relay places particular emphasis on thermal comfort, to meet the needs of specific driving conditions. The ventilation and heating rely on a system of multiple, adjustable central and side air vents. Controlled by two functions on the dashboard, these systems are intuitive to use. The main improvements compared with previous versions concern: optimised air circulation and diffusion, perfect temperature control, and silent operation.

The air conditioning is available in two versions: one manual and one fully automatic, for comfort and ease of use. At the same time, particular emphasis has been placed on the climatic comfort of rear passengers in combi versions. Placed at the rear of the vehicle, a special manifold with individual outlets ensures passenger comfort.

The Relay also features a complete audio/telematics offering for the era of communicating LCVs. The offering includes a dashboard-mounted single CD, with or without MP3, Bluetooth telephone pre-equipment, and Bluetooth telephone pre-equipment with navigation and fleet management functions.

The Relay is also offered with a number of other accessories, including:-

- loading rollers,

- interior floor protection,

- a protective grid for animals,

- a removable trailer coupling,

- a ladder,

- rear proximity detectors.
 

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