The first of three major steps he intends to take Citroen in the region between 2022 and 2024 has been strongly felt in preview of the new C3.
This compact model is responsible for writing the lines of the first chapter of the strategic plan that the double chevron brand calls C cubed and which plans to launch two other models in the next two years.
Bugle It is in Rio de Janeiro, in the district of Barra de Tijuca, that the mark of the Stellantis group (Peugeot-Citroën and Fiat-Chrysler) opened the media game for this new model.
It was a first contact which even allowed us to drive a little more than ten kilometers at the wheel of what will be the Citroën reference among small cars when it finally hits the streets of Argentina, most likely in October this year.
This Tuesday, a week after this Brazilian contact, Citroën officially launched it on Brazilian soil. In our market, it will make its dealer debut with five versions and two engines. Additionally, it will have a special limited series called First edition.
Before going into these details, a few additional points related to the project in general. Mounted on the CMP platform, the same as that used by Peugeot for the 208 at El Palomar, this C3 is manufactured at the Porto Real automotive hub, located about 150 kilometers northwest of Rio.
It was developed by a team of more than 100 engineers who realized tests of more than 1 million kilometers. This South American product required an investment of 200 million US dollars.
From the hand of this “B-Hatch inspired by SUVs”, according to the manufacturer’s description, and the full impact of the plan C cubedCitroën aims to achieve a market share of 4% in Latin America, for which it would have to double its share in Argentina (position it at nearly 7%) and quadruple it in Brazil.
New language for the region
Now yes. After a brief and dynamic presentation, it’s time to drive. A dozen new C3s, parked at 45°, under the Rio de Janeiro sun, were waiting on the beach of a hotel.
The first impression, the one that always counts, was very good. What spoke in theory of a the hatch resembling an SUV, it was able to confirm itself from the first contact. Of course, we are faced with a B-segment model. Everything in its fair measure.
But this character is paid for with its presence (good ground clearance, good angles of attack and departure) and its design, above all, which makes it clear that it is a new model, than the usual C3 bears only the name and that for nothing is overloaded with “chicks”. It’s a nice car.
Measure 3980mm long, its height is 1,600 mm and its wheelbase is 2,540 mm. The trunk has a capacity of 367 litres.
Access to one of the squares seems fair, the naturalness of this movement must be a little lower. The front seats are not height adjustable, this does not help readjustment.
Once installed, and in particular in the rear seat, the ceiling height is sufficient and legroom is approved. Of all the positions, the standout piece is the 10-inch screen in the media center Citroën Connect touch screenone of the stars of the new C3’s equipment.
Located in the center of the front panel, this multimedia center groups together the configuration commands, radio, bluetooth and smartphone integration. It can be used Android Auto or Apple Carplay.
In the aesthetic section, the detail that stands out is the two-tone panel, with a silver gray or metallic blue panel crossing the entire panel horizontally.
Once on the way, the ride is pleasant, gentle, with a slightly raised driving position, a contribution to the intentions sought by its designers. Descending a bit from the paved road allowed us to verify that it moves well over rough terrain, crossing speed bumps, moving between some rocks, all thanks, in large part, to its good angles of attack (23°) and departure (39°).
The new C3 will arrive in the country with two petrol engines: the 1.6 VTi (16V) with 115 hp and the 1.2 PureTech with 82 hp, which enters the Citroën range for the Argentine market, as it is available in the Peugeot 208. engine will be paired only with a 5-speed manual gearbox.
Side 1.6, there will be two transmission variants: a five-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic, with the possibility of sequential shifts, in addition to the exclusive Eco mode, which further improves the efficiency of the model.
The new C3 will also have standard, in the versions with manual gearbox; with a shift indicator to promote more efficient driving.
On the competition side, the C3 will be in the lot of Toyota Etios, Renault Sandero and Chevrolet Onix, among others. For Argentina there will be five versions, also taking into account the First Edition 1.2 and 1.6 special series.
At this time, the company has not disclosed pricing or specified its arrival; “in the next few weeks” is the only definition of time. Hopefully this new model will debut sometimes in october in our market.
Versions and equipment
Live 1.2: electric steering, air conditioning, dual airbags, stability and traction control with hill start assist, gear shift indicator, daytime running lights (DRL), front electric windows, central locking and digital panel with trip computer.
Live Pack 1.2: it adds a 10″ Citroën Connect Touchscreen multimedia center with Android Auto and wireless Apple Carplay, USB connectivity on the console, a steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth controls, a defroster and rear windscreen wiper, and a height-adjustable front driver’s seat .
Feel: available with 1.2 or 1.6 engines and includes electric rear windows (4 a key), perimeter alarm, height-adjustable steering wheel, LED daytime running lights (DRL), 15-inch alloy wheels, longitudinal roof bars, chrome chevron and body-coloured door handles.
Feel Pack 1.6 VTi 115 HP AT: it adds a rear-view camera, a steering wheel with exclusive coating, 15-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, fog lamps and a six-speed automatic transmission with the option of sequential shifts and Eco mode.
First edition: with the two engines, there will be 1,200 units and the equipment of the Feel Pack version includes roof bars painted in gray, fog lamps with white edging, sides with protectors air cushion with trims in white and inside it adopts carpets in special fabric with First Edition identification.
The Special Series name is also featured on the front door and tailgate identification badges and two-tone bodywork is standard: light blue with white and gray with black.