Flex-fuel vehicles now dominate automotive sales in Brazil and their market share continues to grow.This has prompted Citroën do Brasil to introduce its first car that can run on petrol, alcohol or a blend of the two.
The new locally-made C3 model, called the C3 Flex, has a 1.6-litre 16-valve engine developed jointly by PSA Peugeot Citroën and Bosch. It’s the same engine used since last May in PSA’s Brazilian-made Peugeot 206 and 206 SW (wagon) models.
Power output varies between 110hp and 113hp depending on the fuel used.
Following the launch of the C3 Flex, Citroën will no longer sell the C3 with the petrol-only 1.6 litre 16-valve engine in Brazil – that motor will be reserved for export versions.
Next year the flex-fuel engine will also be installed in the locally-made Citroën Picasso minivan model and in the Argentine-made Peugeot 307 hatchback that is imported into Brazil.
PSA has also begun production of a flex-fuel 1.4-litre eight-valve engine in its Brazilian Porto Real plant, in Rio de Janeiro state.
The new engine will be available in the Peugeot 206 range by year’s end and in the C3 during 2006.
Citroën is the seventh automaker to enter the flex-fuel segment in Brazil. Europe-based Volkswagen, GM, Fiat, Ford, Renault and Peugeot already produce such models.
And the Japanese are coming. Honda has already developed a flex-fuel engine which will go into its its Brazilian-made Fit (Jazz) model by 2006 and Toyota plans to have a flexible engine market-ready in 2007.