Merc has unveiled revisions to its Citan range including Adblue-free Euro 6 engines, twin-clutch gearbox for the petrol and an end to the L-shaped handbrake.
The big news is a petrol-powered Citan 112 equipped with an optional 6G-DCT six-speed dual-clutch gearbox which can be used in either automatic or manual mode. The 1.2-litre 114hp Euro 6 newcomer will appear in dealerships on this side of the Channel in the first quarter of 2016. As yet there is no indication as to whether or not the ’box will also be offered with Citan’s 1.5-litre diesel which is marketed at 75hp, 90hp and 110hp; we hope so.
The advent of the new transmission forms part of a host of changes to the smallest model in the Three Pointed Star’s line-up driven primarily by the advent of the soon-to-be-mandatory-on-vans Euro 6 emission standard.
The product of a joint venture with Renault, Citan is achieving Euro 6 with its diesels through unspecified internal changes to the engine and the use of a storage-type NOx catalytic converter says Mercedes. There has been no need to resort to SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) it adds and that means no regular topping up with AdBlue.
Moving to Euro 6 — Euro 5 Citan vans remain available — has boosted the diesel’s torque by 20Nm to figures ranging from 200Nm to 260Nm depending on the version selected. This translates to a circa 10 per cent boost in pulling power says the manufacturer. There are no changes in maximum power output. Euro 6 Citans can be specified with a fuel-frugal low-emission BlueEFFICIENCY package complete with a start/stop system.
One change VansA2Z can only applaud is the disappearance of the oddball L-shaped handbrake lever at long last, replaced by a conventional one. The cup holder position and power socket have been relocated to make them less intrusive. Good too to see a handle on the inside of the rear tailgate to make it easier to pull shut.
Internal alterations also include the availability of a dual passenger seat — a squeeze in a cab this size — a built-in sat nav system with a 3.5in touch screen and a reversing camera with a display in the rearview mirror.
We went over to Germany and drove the dual-clutch Citan around the centre of Hamburg; and we were impressed. In automatic mode the changes are delivered rapidly and imperceptibly, with no jerkiness or hesitation.
With plenty of performance on tap, the petrol Citan can quickly nip through any gaps that present themselves in urban traffic. That’s because the engine delivers a 20-second torque boost when the kick-down is activated from 175Nm to 205Nm in second, third and fourth gear.
With that capability we were able to forgive Citan for its rather small, low positioned sat nav screen. Could we have something a bit bigger and set higher up in the dash please Mercedes?