New C3 is same length (3.99m) as outgoing car but 4cm lower

New C3 is same length (3.99m) as outgoing car but 4cm lower

The next Citroën C3 has been shown to the media at a special event ahead of its public debut at the Paris motor show show in the autumn. Developed  on PSA's elderly PF1 platform using the B618 project code, the new model sports an evolution of the C4 Cactus' Airbumps.

"The new C3 has all the Citroën brand markers and all the qualities to give the brand new impetus. A major challenge for our best-seller, which accounts for almost one sale in five in Europe for Citroën. A comfortable car with real personality, it is set to appeal to new customers looking for a modern car of character," said Linda Jackson, Citroën's CEO.

To be available from late in the fourth quarter, the new shape car has an especially distinctive front end, as Citroën attempts to turn back the clock to the days when its cars looked like nothing else on the road. The exterior comes with a standard two-tone effect and the buyer may select one of three colours for the roof, plus other choices for the foglamps, mirror surrounds, C pillar and Airbumps.

The looks hide a thoroughly conventional B segment five-door hatchback which arrives at an opportune moment for the brand: both the VW Polo and Ford Fiesta are now close to the end of their lifecycles.

The next C3 had been expected to be the first car to use the 'upgraded low CO2 small car platform for Europe and other regions' which GM and PSA announced they were developing in October 2012. The next Peugeot 208, DS 3 and Opel/Vauxhall Adam should also have used this architecture. However, in October 2013, PSA said the "B-common platform project is under review" but provided no other details. Opel and PSA subsequently went their separate ways, with the former choosing to base its next generation B segment models on GM's Gamma 2.

PSA's PF1 platform has been renamed for its use as the basis for the new C3, Citroën telling the media that the car uses 'Platform A'. This will not be the case for the Peugeot 208 and DS 3 successors, though. They will be based upon the more modern EMP1 architecture.

In addition to featuring Airbumps on its doors, the other main novelty on the new C3 is the availability of Citroën ConnectedCam. This integrated and connected HD camera system films moments from a road trip for immediate sharing on social networks or for subsequent viewing (or as evidence in the event of an incident). Driver assistance systems include 3D connected navigation with speech recognition, reversing camera, lane departure alert, and blind spot monitoring.

Engines at launch will be from PSA's PureTech and BlueHDi ranges, while the EAT6 latest-generation transmission also features. There's a choice of three PureTech three-cylinder petrol engines, with manual transmission: PureTech 68, 82 and 110 (Stop & Start). And there are two manual diesel powertrains: BlueHDi 75 (Stop & Start) and 100 (Stop & Start). The EAT6 automated manual transmission from the C4 Cactus and other Groupe PSA models will also be available in the C3.

Later in its life, the new C3 should be one of the first cars to be fitted with diesel engines from PSA's DV-R family. The company stated in a September 2013 media release that DV-R units will enter production in 2017-2018, replacing the existing 1.4 and 1.6-litre units. The new family of engines will comply with the Euro 6.2 emissions standard beginning in 2017.

The first DV-R "production module" as Groupe PSA terms it, is to be installed at the Française de Mécanique facility in Douvrin in northern France. It will have an annual capacity of 640,000 engines. In 2018, a second production module with an annual capacity of 640,000 engines will be installed at the Trémery facility in eastern France.

In May 2014, media reports claimed that PSA had decided to shift the majority of European production of the next C3 to Slovakia. It was said that only around 10% of build would be at Poissy in France.

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