Grainy spy images show the next-gen DS-inspired Citroen C1, due by 2012, for the first time

Citroën is planning to give its baby model a dash of DS-like style for this next generation, due by 2012.

These grainy spy images of a prototype C1, almost certainly captured on a mobile phone during a customer clinic, reveal that Citroën is planning to incorporate much more adventurous surfacing than on the current car. That is particularly apparent around the C-pillars, which morph into a roof-mounted rear spoiler.

The next-gen C1 does retain some elements of the current car, however. The rear hatch appears set to remain as a single piece of glass.

See the first spy pics of the new Citroen C1

Citroën needs the C1 to grow up slightly, having axed the C2 in the spring. So the next-gen model will be around 15cm longer than the current car. That should push its dimensions towards those of the 3.6m-long Renault Twingo, seen by PSA Peugeot Citroën as a key rival.

The new C1 will, as now, be cast from the same mould as Peugeot’s baby car (to be called 108) and Toyota’s Aygo. Individualisation of all three models will be focused on the front and rear ends. Concerns over cost mean some of the side body panels are almost certain to be shared across the trio.

The C1 is likely to have more daring styling than the 107, though, as part of PSA’s strategy. The firm’s product chief, Vincent Besson, told France’s l’Automobile magazine that Citroën would be the brand “taking risks, opening new territories” while Peugeot would be “the reference”.

Read Citroen's plans for more DS models

At the heart of the new cars will be a new three-cylinder engine, developed by PSA. In normally aspirated 1.0-litre form, it is said to develop just 74bhp, but the range will include more powerful variants, including a 133bhp 1.2-litre turbo version. The more modest unit is said to be delivering 95g/km of CO2 emissions in a C3, so it should be capable of less than 90g/km in the smaller, lighter C1, 108 and Aygo.

The new powerplants will be made at a factory in Douvrin in the Pas-de-Calais region. PSA announced in the spring that it is investing €175 million (£148m) in the facility in preparation for three-cylinder powerplants. The factory will be able to build up to 320,000 units per year, starting in 2013.

C1 sales are said to have held up better than those of the 107 and, in particular, the Aygo. Toyota sold fewer than 8500 examples in the car’s ‘domestic’ market, France, between January and September, but Citroën shifted almost 24,000 C1s there during the same period. The car represents 10 per cent of the company’s ‘home’ sales.

Read Autocar's road test of the current Toyota Aygo

Toyota has already recommitted to a continuation of the current production contract, under which all three models are produced at a plant in Kolin, Czech Republic. Its input into the project is said to have been important in maximising the cars’ profitability.

Citroën is being freed up on the C1 because it is already working on a separate range of purer, more minimalist models that will sit alongside it in its line-up. These new models will have fewer ‘premium’ features but, crucially, not a radically lower price.

The first car in this new strategy is likely to take styling cues from the C-Cactus concept, shown at Frankfurt in 2007. PSA design boss Jean-Pierre Ploué told Autocar in the summer that the new sub-brand — which Citroën considers a separate division, along with DS, its regular models and Picasso MPVs — will be “a brand not defined by price but by simplicity and ingenuity of design”.

Insiders say that while the C-Cactus’s looks are being toned down for production, its core shape is being retained to produce a radical-looking five-door. It’s likely to arrive soon after the C1, in late 2012 or early 2013.Citroën still plans to use the C1’s small increase in size to broaden the model’s scope. The new baby’s line-up is likely to include everything from three-door and five-door variants to a spec-laden ‘Exclusive’ trim level.

John McIlroy

See all the latest Citroen C1 reviews, news and video

Our Verdict

Citroën C1
There's much to like about the C1, but it is too expensive against talented rivals

The Citroën C1 is the cheapest of the C1-107-Aygo triplets. The city car is cute, but noisy and basic

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Comments
9

22 November 2010

[quote Autocar]Citroën is planning to give its baby model a dash of DS-like style for this next generation, due by 2012[/quote]

Don't mind this. Looks pretty doable, large wheels and no door handles aside that is

22 November 2010

So they are making the C1 bigger, more luxurious & sportier, & bringing out a new Citroen hatchback with the bare essential features to be a "simple" car... isnt that what the C1 was??? Come on Citroen, the C1 is the best car you have built for ages! A nice simple small car that doesnt pretend to be anything else, & is all the better for it. Don't ruin it!!!

currently a happy owner of a Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin :)

22 November 2010

As an Aygo owner myself, this story interests me. I can't see why they've felt the need to increase the size - the size is one of the best things about the triplets anyway! That and the simple construction, bare-metal interiors etc etc. If they try shoving it upmarket, it won't work... just look what happened when Renault tried doing that with the Twingo, which hasn't done terribly well over here. Good to see the glass hatch is remaining, and there's some definite design cues there from the Peugeot side of things (particularly from the rear 3/4s) but if they're not careful, all three cars are going to end up looking fussy. I hope they don't forget how successful these three cars have been - they're all about simplicity and economy. I just hope they don't make them too 'luxurious'.

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

22 November 2010

As a C1 owner, I agree with roverfan1984 that the C1 is a nice simple car, but the pics shown seem to suggest the influence of a Chevrolet Spark, with its swooping lines and disguised rear handles. I was going to change my car, but I may just wait until the new C1 appears and compare it with the new Skoda Lupo model which is also due in 2012. The C1 isn't the biggest car in the world, but you're not lugging around loads of superfluous bodywork which doesn't get used and the biggest plus it has it that it's a cheap car to own. £20 road tax is good and it's excellent on fuel. Hopefully the new model doesn't spoil that by getting too big, although 15cm isn't going to mean it's too big for my garage!

22 November 2010

[quote Mini1]I can't see why they've felt the need to increase the size[/quote]

I can. The boot is very small, and a little more space inside would convince a few more people they arent just for the town/city.

It would be good if they can manage the increase in size without an increase in weight too.

You are right about not going too upmarket though. the simplicity is one of the best features of these cars.

It would be wonderful if this 1.2 turbo could find its way into the current cars before the switch to the new car. It sounds like the engine its been crying out for.

22 November 2010

I hope the C1 doesn't end up looking like this - its far too fussy. To me the styling of the C1 and 107 suit the type of car they are, and the market they are appealling to. On appearances alone, I think the Aygo is the least successful of the three, because of its more complicated body shaping.

I'm not sure about the increase in size, as I know quite a few people who have bought one mainly because of its very compact dimensions. Still, in a few years time it will allow Citroen to slot in a new smaller model underneath, the C0.5 perhaps.

22 November 2010

Larger larger... Stop that!

How to park the cars in the future?

Else it seems interesting. Wait and see...

22 November 2010

15cm isnt much maybe its going to be the saxo that the C2 never was. The styling looks great as far as one can tell but the best bit is the engines zero road tax 1.2 turbo go cart.

This could be a real winner hopefully the car the C2 always should of been a real replacement for the saxo/106.

Do we think they will make a DS1???

23 November 2010

If it is to be bigger, albeit only by a bit, perhaps Citroën will call it the C2 and leave room for a super-small C1 later.

It's a problem for a manufacturer to adopt a numbering system based on size though because they become hostages to their own devices.

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