Citroën has been busy matching engines and transmissions with its C2 and C3 ranges lately, to produce a 70bhp diesel C2 Furio with Sensodrive paddle-shift transmission, and a Pluriel with the same engine and a manual gearbox. The result is two cars from the same platform with quite different characters.
The Furio comes with war paint and sports seats, though with just 70bhp this car is not going to buckle blacktop, even with 111lb ft of torque. But its low group 3 insurance should make it a realistic prospect for younger drivers.
Sink the ‘auto’ button just aft of the gearlever, and the Furio switches gears on its own. If you’re in no hurry, it gets along adequately. Use more power, and the lottery timing of gearchanges produces head-nodding pauses in power delivery, the Furio feeling like it has driven into a vat of chewing gum. Like most sequential transmissions, this is no substitute for a full auto and occasionally it fails to deliver a clean getaway from rest.
Worse still, the need for sudden acceleration often prompts a pause, caused by the transmission’s ponderings. In city traffic this soon gets frustrating – before long, you’ll find that ‘Furio’ more accurately describes your state of mind rather than the C2’s performance. And another thing, though we suspect this is a rare occurrence: approach a roundabout contemplating a swift burst past the bows of an advancing car, and you have the potential for disaster.