PARIS - Citroen will introduce its revised Xsara here this week. The lower-medium model will be shown in three different body styles: hatchback, coupe and station wagon.
The original Xsara range was launched in 1997. The Picasso compact minivan, which debuted in January on the Xsara platform, will not be face-lifted.
The main changes are to the exterior of the Xsara. It receives a new hood, grille and bigger, oblong headlamps. Bumpers will now be offered in the same color as the rest of the car's body.
The new Xsara will also be equipped with bigger, 15-inch wheels. It gets antilock brakes, front and side airbags, and air conditioning as standard equipment. Options include satellite navigation, radar parking system, hands-free telephone and on-board computer.
Two new gasoline engines will be offered: a new 1.6-liter, 16-valve, 110hp unit replaces the previous 1.6-, 1.8- and 1.8-liter, 16-valve engines. A 2.0-liter, 137hp unit offers more power.
Diesels include a 1.9-liter, 71hp engine and a 2.0-liter, 90hp, HDI direct-injection unit.
The Xsara has been Citroen's best seller over the past two years. The car sold 291,000 units in 1998 and 305,000 units last year.
Since the Xsara was launched 880,000 units have been built - 72 percent of them sold outside France.
The main markets for the car are Spain, Italy, Germany, the Benelux countries and the UK.
The Xsara will be the last Citroen to utilize the letter 'X' naming system. The Xsara is expected to be replaced in 2003 by a car that could be called C4.
The next-generation model will use PSA's new PF2 platform. That platform will be the basis of the Peugeot 307, the 306 replacement due to go on sale next year.