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Citroën to grow hybrid pool?


Citroën is set to debut a diesel-electric C4 prototype...

Citroën is set to unveil a diesel-electric hybrid version of its C4 hatch.

The prototype will be officially debuted on January 31 and is in response to the call by French president Jacques Chirac that such technology should be readily available and affordable within 10 years. Says Citroën, the marque will beat that mark by a margin -- it plans to have a production hybrid hatch on sale by 2010.

Citroën says it believes that the diesel-electric hybrid is a more effective method to reduce fuel consumption and emissions than petrol-engined hybrids. With conventional diesel engined cars bettering or at least matching the current crop of petrol-electric hybrids in real world conditions, the maker could have a point.

Citroën has a long term commitment to diesel. It has also pioneered electric cars with versions of the Berlingo and Saxo available in Europe in pure electric forms.

The French car maker is also working on alternative technology and opened a new research centre for development of fuel cells at Carrieres-sous-Poissy, northwest of Paris earlier this month.



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