Set to hit Citroën showrooms late this summer in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia and South America, the 2017 C3 takes a few styling cues from the carmaker’s popular C4 Cactus model, such as an elevated front end and “air bumps” on its side.
C3 images courtesy of Auto Express.
The Cactus was launched in 2014 and in its first year of production Citroën was able to increase capacity to achieve 80,000 sales in Europe while at the same time significantly increasing profitability as discounts given on the C4 Cactus have been smaller.
Brandishing their focus on on interior space, comfort and technology the C3 is targeted toward a specific demographic that prioritizes style and elevates the brand from its middle-market status. “Research suggested that we were ending up third, fourth or fifth on too many buyer’s shortlists,” said Citroën CEO Linda Jackson, talking about the Cactus. “We wanted to make a car that some people would love and that some people would perhaps not love – and be happy with the fact that those who loved it would actually buy one. So far that policy has been a success, and it’s no secret that we intend to learn from that and apply some of the lessons we have learned to other cars in our range.”
“Our future products are about being different and making the owners feel good,” said Jackson. “Our key priorities are designing cars that people immediately know are Citroëns, that are the most comfortable cars in their class, from the quality of the seat to the set-up of the suspensions and including everything from having more storage than rivals, more light in the cabin and sometimes features that even improve air quality. The Cactus’s larger glovebox is a great example of that innovative thinking – by putting the airbag in the roof, we have freed up a lot of useful space.”
Underneath, the new C3 will remain on a modified version of the PSA Group’s PF1 platform. Although a new small car platform, to be called EMP1 in Europe and CMP in China, is under development with Chinese partner Dongfeng Motors for launch around 2018.
Although slightly lower and wider than the existing C3, the new car will still be just under four metres in length. The production C3’s engine line-up will carry over from the current car and feature the PSA Group’s latest Blue HDi 1.6-litre diesel and Puretech 1.0 and 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engines, as it bids to maintain its place at the head of the overall CO2 emissions league tables – a position which is the envy of the other automobile manufacturers like Volkswagen.
Though no prices were announced, prices of the new C3 are expected to rise slightly from current levels.
The gain exposure to the youth market, Citroën also announced that the C3 will spearhead Citroën’s renewed World Rally Championship program in 2017.
Earlier this month the company released photos and a video taken with a heavily camouflaged C3 being rally tested by Kris Meeke on the gravel roads around the Château de Lastours and then in Fontjoncouse, France. View the video here: