Citroen has asked its World Rally Championship stars to put the new Dispatch van through its paces on a specially-prepared rally stage.

Although not recommended treatment for regular drivers, Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle are not really regular drivers. The publicity exercise was allegedly to highlight the new Dispatch’s “robustness, versatility and advanced technologies”, although Meeke seemed more interested in its ability to hold a drift through muddy corners and Nagle busied himself with a DIY parts catalogue.

The latest-generation Dispatch arrives in the UK to follow in the footsteps of its predecessors, which have sold some 600,000 units since launch in 1995.

The new model is available in three body lengths, and offers up to 6.6m3 of load volume in XL spec. Optional hands-free sliding doors simplify loading and unloading when you have your hands full, as simply waving your foot under the rear bumper unlocks the vehicle and slides open the nearest side door.

On the rally stage, the only sliding was done by Kris Meeke as he drifted the big van with aplomb. Afterwards, he described the handling as “great” and the Dispatch as “fun to drive”.

Despite the praise from Meeke, Citroen has no plans to replace its new C3 WRC model with the Dispatch in its World Rally Championship assault for 2017, although that would be amusing…

Stuart Masson
Stuart is the Editorial Director of The Van Expert, which came about after the success of sister site The Car Expert. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive industry for over thirty years. He spent a decade in automotive retail, and now works tirelessly to help vehicle buyers by providing independent and impartial advice.