The new Citroën C3 supermini has been unveiled, with the British boss of the firm Linda Jackson describing it as “a comfortable car with real personality, set to appeal to new customers looking for a modern car of character”.
As the second model in the brand’s new-age makeover, the styling of the new car is clearly in the mould of the Cactus, from the slimline running lights and low-mounted main headlights to the matt black lower body and distinctive ‘airbump’ protection panels. It’s still compact at 3.99m long, but there’s an extra 2cm of shoulder room and a decent 300-litre boot.
The new C3 is based on the upgraded ‘Platform A’, which is closely related to the structure under the DS 3 and the C3’s Cactus sister car. The C3 will be offered only as a five-door model.
The company says Platform A has an ‘H-brace’ under the front seats to improve side impact crash performance, and it’s thought the new C3 is the first model with its body constructed using both conventional welding and structural adhesives.
This latter move - designed to increase the rigidity of the body - is part of Citroën’s engineering plan to make its cars among the most refined in their respective classes. Suspension tuning will be biased towards longitudinal comfort, with relatively relaxed damping settings.
Three PureTech three-cylinder petrol engines will be offered. PureTech 68, 82 and 110 Stop & Start are all paired with a standard manual gearbox. There will also be two manual diesel powertrains: a BlueHDi 75 Stop & Start and 100 Stop & Start. The company will also offer the new EAT6 six-speed automatic transmission for the C3 range.
The C3’s interior - designed to give “an unmistakable impression of well-being” - is arguably better resolved and better organised than the Cactus's interior. It gets conventional dials and a lower-mounted central touch screen.
The air vents are now mounted at face level and the centre console storage looks more useable. The C3’s seats are said to be a step on from those used in the Cactus, thanks to their two-stage foam padding. Citroën is also promising class-leading sound proofing.
Citroën will be pushing extensive customisation with the C3, offering nine body colours and three roof colours, for 36 possible colour combinations. There will be four interior themes, including Urban Red, which gets red stitching and a red dash panel finish.
One unusual option will be the Citroën ConnectedCam, a windscreen-mounted wide angle camera with GPS and Web connection. A single click can send images directly to social media networks. It can also be used, when the car is stationary, to make 20sec videos.
Also on the option list is a 3D sat-nav system with real-time traffic information, reversing camera, hill start assist, blind spot warning, driver fatigue warning and a Citroën SOS service with live assistance.
UK sales are expected to start in January next year, with pricing as yet unannounced. The current C3 model starts from £11,280.
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