Citroën debuted their new funky looking C3 five-door subcompact today, with loads of customizable options—including several colourful interior and exterior design schemes. The most visible change is the addition of airbumps, a feature carried over from its big brother model – the C4 Cactus. The balance of the C3’s exterior styling builds on the family traits shown in the Citroen C4 Picasso. Things like ultra-slim daytime running lights, neatly integrated into the chrome badge and chunky headlights, with a set of foglights mounted under the bumper.
The rear gets LED depth illusion tail-lights that are similar in execution to the C4 Cactus’s.
The C3 is the first automobile to debut the new ConnectedCAM Citroën system, which is a dashcam located behind the rearview mirror. Images and videos of up to 20 seconds duration are instantly available to share on social media or saved for later, in the case of an accident or some other altercation within camera range. The GPS-enabled dashcam automatically records the preceding 30 seconds and following 60 seconds after the incident with the system’s 16 GB of memory. The driver can also click a button to safely take exterior photos or videos of the view through the windscreen and then share this content through social networks.
The new C3 will be offered only offered as a five-door model and with a choice of nine exterior colours and three contrast shades that appear on the roof, foglight trims, side mirrors and Airbump surrounds. Citroën claims the range will offer a total of 36 different colour combinations.
The interior carries on with the ‘sophisticated simplicity’ of the C4 Cactus. A dashboard with few buttons, and most functions controlled through a seven-inch touch-screen that’s mounted high up in its centre. It also features a coloured dashboard insert that will be available in a variety of finishes and textures.For infotainment the system will support Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink at launch, with Android Auto functionality expected in early 2017.
Interior personalization will be focused on four ‘moods’. As well as the standard configuration, Metropolitan Grey brings softer shades and textures on the seats and dashboard trim, while Urban Red incorporates mixes dark and bright colours, including red stitching, for what Citroën calls a ‘dynamic feel’. The most expensive cabin mood is likely to be Hype Colorado, which has softer, more upmarket materials, special upholstery and a two-tone leather steering wheel.
Occupants have a sense of increased space as the C3 also has the option of a panoramic sunroof.
Citroën released few technical details about the new car, other than saying it will continue to be based on the same PF1 chassis technology that underpinned its predecessor – as well as the Peugeot 208 and the C4 Cactus. Length is 3.99 metres and trunk capacity 300 litres.
The C3’s engine line-up will be PureTech gas and BlueHDi diesels options. The PureTech options will be 1.2-litre three-cylinder engines, producing 67bhp, 81bhp and 109bhp, while the diesels will be 1.6-litre units with either 74bhp or 99bhp. Stop-start will be standard across the range and while the only transmission available at launch will be a manual, a six-speed automatic is due to arrive soon.
The C3 family is set to expand over the next 18 months with a MPV replacement for the C3 Picasso MPV and an SUV version. There was no mention Citroen’s new Progressive Hydraulic Suspension being offered.
Why Citroën chose to reveal the new C3 in Lyon is unclear. Perhaps as a homage to the once great Citroën heritage it had in Lyon that was second only to Paris and to position it as a popular model for mainstream France?