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Xsara Dynactive

New technology for the new century

The Xsara Dynactive makes its world debut on the Citroën stand at the 2000 Geneva Motor Show. A parallel hybrid, the Xsara Dynactive is an ecological vehicle that respects the environment and also the well-being of its occupants.

The Xsara Dynactive is a logical step forward in the approach adopted by Citroën in recent years. The marque's objective is to develop - for each type of customer usage - a vehicle that is both environment-friendly and efficient. The Xsara Dynactive takes this approach one step further. With the all-electric vehicles already on the market (Saxo, Berlingo commercial model ), the hybrid vehicles ( Xsara DynaltoSaxo and Berlingo Dynavolt ), and now with the Xsara Dynactive, Citroën is developing a range of realistic solutions that protect the environment while also meeting the requirements of motorists.
The electric variants of the Saxo and Berlingo are designed to respect the urban environment with a range of 80 km and no CO2 emissions.
The Berlingo Dynavolt combines the advantages of an all-electric vehicle with an impressive range of 260 km, 80 km in ZEV mode, and a reduction in CO2 emissions of between 25% and 100% depending on the type of use.

The Xsara Dynalto could be put into production in the near future. It heralds a new form of driving comfort with a 20% decrease in C02 emissions in the city and a range of 730 km.
The Xsara Dynactive combines driving pleasure and environmental protection. At the same time, it sets high standards of performance with a 35% reduction in fuel consumption and C02 emissions, a range of 1,000 km and excellent ecological performance with no pollutant emissions and no noise in electric mode.

The Xsara Dynactive explores new possibilities in parallel hybrid design. Based on an Exclusive estate, the Xsara Dynactive is equipped with a 55 kW (75 bhp) combustion engine and a 25 kW (34 bhp) electric motor coupled on the same shaft, upstream of the Autoactive automatic gearbox. In this configuration, the electric motor can work with the gear ratios to play a fill role in all phases of driving. The electronic supervisor optimises the use of each powertrain component in order to reduce fuel consumption, limit C02 emissions and enhance driving pleasure.

The Xsara Dynactive can function in ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) mode. In this mode of operation, it produces no pollutant emissions and makes no noise, since it uses the electric motor alone. The Xsara Dynactive has an original powertrain architecture that makes ZEV mode particularly effective in the city. ZEV mode is activated by setting a switch on the automatic gearbox to a specific position. The range is 20 km.

The Xsara Dynactive combines consumption, performance and respect for the environment. Energy efficiency is optimised:

  • The combustion engine is used only when it offers a higher level of efficiency. Otherwise, the electric motor automatically takes over. 

  • The combustion engine cuts out automatically when it is no longer needed, at traffic lights or in traffic jams, for example. And it starts up again automatically when the traffic starts moving. 

  • Energy is recovered during the deceleration phase. The Xsara Dynactive automatically modifies the operation of the electric motor, which becomes a generator. Instead of drawing energy from the battery, it recharges it. Since the use of the electric motor is limited by the energy available in the battery, regeneration takes place automatically when the impact is least penalising for the driver. 

A multifunction screen on the central console shows the flow of energy between the wheels, powerplants and battery in real time. In ZEV mode, the screen shows the range.

The Xsara Dynactive is equipped with an electronic supervisor controlling the engines and transmission on the basis of five possible modes:

  • traction provided by the combustion engine and electric motor together; 

  • traction provided by the combustion engine alone, with the electric motor off; 

  • traction provided by the combustion engine, which also recharges the battery; the electric motor is in generator mode; 

  • traction provided by the electric motor alone, with the combustion engine off (ZEV mode); 

  • deceleration, descent... energy is recovered by the electric motor in generator mode (battery recharge). 


By combining the Autoactive gearbox with the hybrid powerplant, Citroën has made fresh progress towards "made-to-measure" driving comfort. The information on driving style detected by the gearbox affects not only the gear shifts, but also the operating variants of the hybrid powertrain. The Xsara Dynactive allies new technology with volume produced components of proven reliability and moderate cost: the TU engine and the Autoactive gearbox. Working in synergy, these components provide a unique range of services.

The Xsara Dynactive provides the link between the individual pursuit of driving pleasure and the collective pursuit of environmental protection. Its smooth performance and excellent range brings the driver peace of mind - while its low emissions and ZEV mode ensure that it fits in with its living environment.

Characteristics of the Xsara Dynactive

Developed by the research division using digital simulation techniques, the electronic management system is the real nerve centre of the Xsara Dynactive.
The supervisor initiates a dialogue and controls the computers installed on other parts such as the engines, automatic gearbox and battery.

The 1.4l petrol combustion engine (TU3JP) is a modified version of the unit currently fitted on the Xsara. The two main changes concern the fitting of an electronic throttle and the development of a new computer programme that sets up a dialogue with the supervisor and executes its orders. Controlled by the electronic unit on the automatic gearbox, the engine is coupled with a wet clutch.  Offering a capacity of 1,360 cm3, it develops 55 kW (75 bhp) at 5,500 rpm with torque of 111 Nm (11.5m.kg) at 3,400 rpm.  The engine is fitted with the recent upgrades made to the TU range to reduce consumption and improve driving pleasure, notably a new combustion chamber, roller-type rocker arms and new injectors.

The electric motor is fitted between the combustion engine and the automatic gearbox (in the space normally occupied by the converter). Integral with the primary shaft and measuring 70 mm in width, it is a permanent magnet synchronous motor.

The maximum power is 25 kW between 2,000 and 6,000 rpm for minimum voltage of 40 V.  It offers maximum torque of 130 Nm between 0 and 2,000 rpm.  The electric motor performs the following functions: traction, start up of the combustion engine, energy recovery and recharging of the battery.

The Autoactive automatic gearbox's self-adapting qualities and flexibility made it a natural choice for the powertrain of the Xsara Dynactive. The programming laws of the electronic controller have been modified to satisfy the specific operating requirements of the combustion engine and electric motor. To fit the electric motor and clutch into the housing, the automatic gearbox has gained: 

  • a new intermediate housing 

  • a new primary shaft 

  • a wet clutch replacing the converter 

  • an electrically driven oil pump. 


The battery supplying the electric motor is made up of fourteen 12V monoblock units, each with a nominal output voltage of 168V. The traction battery is located at the rear of the vehicle under the floor.

The dashboard of the Xsara Dynactive is fitted with a multifunction screen showing the energy flows generated by the different types of vehicle use.

The modified gear shift comprises five positions, displayed on the instrument cluster:



electric mode (Zero Emission Vehicle)

The Xsara Dynactive also has the following distinctive characteristics:

  • a 12V battery for on-board functions supplied by a high-voltage/low-voltage converter, 

  • an inverter transforming direct current into alternate current for the electric motor. 

The kerb weight is 1.450 kg for the prototype with a long-term objective of 1.300 kg.

Performance (DIN half-load)

0-400 m (s) 
0-1,000 m (s) 
0 to 100km/h(s) 
Top speed (km/h)                                    Acceleration 80 to l2O km/h(s) 
Consumption (CEN 93116 cycle)
Combined (l/100km) 
CO2 emissions (g/km) 


5,2 (54.32 mpg)



© 2000 Julian Marsh