Citroen has pulled the covers from its all-new C3, revealing what it calls a “fresh take” on the light car class in a model that represents one-in-five of Citroen’s sales in Europe.
As previewed in leaked images yesterday, perhaps the most surprising aspect of the new C3’s styling is its adoption of ‘airbump’ technology from its C4 Cactus cousin - although the controversial protection strips aren't featured on all C3 variants.
The airbump system is designed to protect vulnerable surfaces on the car from minor scrapes and scratches, such as those from shopping trolleys, but the strip is far less prominent on the new C3 than on the Cactus.
The C3 also follows the Cactus’ lead by ensuring the 2017 model is the most individualised yet.
Buyers in overseas markets can choose from no less than 36 exterior colour combinations, including separate colours for the roof, accompanied by four interior ‘mood’ options.
The all-new model also brings the C3 into a 2010’s world obsessed with social media, as the car now features cameras (called “ConnectedCam” - a first for any Citroen model) which improve safety and allow photos or video to be uploaded to the cloud.
Also, the ConnectedCam system is essentially a built-in dashcam, and can potentially prove valuable should the footage be required as proof of an incident.
A 16-gigabyte internal memory is available to store footage or pictures, and the camera automatically begins storing video if it senses a collision is occurring.
Inside, Citroen has focused much of its efforts on interior comfort and the extended driving experience, including new seats described by the carmaker as ‘wide and comfortable’.
Shoulder width has improved 20mm over the previous model, while rear-seat legroom has also increased.
There’s a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink along with keyless ignition, a panoramic sunroof, 3D navigation with speech recognition, a reversing camera and lane departure warning.
Power for the new C3 comes from a choice of petrol and diesel engines selected for various markets, including Citroen’s award-winning PureTech three-cylinder petrol unit, matched with manual or automatic transmissions.
Outside, the new C3 is 40mm lower than its predecessor at 1470mm, while the length is 3990mm, width is 1750mm and the wheelbase measures 2540mm. The boot holds 300 litres.
Citroen’s local office is currently in the process of negotiating the return of the C3 to Australia.
The French carmaker declared last year that the C3 lacked key features to match its pricing structure in Australia when it decided to cut the C3 from the local line-up.
The ‘benching’ was designed to be temporary, however, and Citroen Australia General Manager Kai Bruesewitz said the new C3 would be a welcome addition to Citroen’s Australian line-up.
“The new C3 brings with it a host of innovative and practical features wrapped up in an attractive and fun design,” Mr Bruesewitz said.
“Negotiations are well underway and we are very keen to reintroduce the C3 to Australia if we can deliver a package that meets the needs of Australian customers and complements the overall local brand direction.”
Mr Bruesewitz said a positive outcome looked “likely”, and that a mid-2017 launch date was on the cards at this stage.
Should the C3 head our way, pricing and full specifications for Australia will be announced closer to the launch date. Stay tuned to TMR for more.
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