Citroen unveiled its production-spec C3 today ahead of its India launch in the first half of 2022. Citroen’s C3 is the first model in the C-cubed programme and has been developed specifically for emerging markets such as India and South America. More than 90 percent of the C3 will be manufactured locally here in India.
In the first instance, Citroen has steered clear of calling the C3 a compact SUV. Despite having crossover cues, the C3 is not a crossover. In a statement by Citroen CEO Vincent Cobee, he called the model a “hatchback with a twist”. Citroen is planning to launch a more upright compact SUV in India shortly after the C3.
In its category as a cross-hatchback, the 3.98 m tall C3 has its appeal for its high suspension, high bonnet, and elevated driving position. Citroen’s styling is typical of the brand – quirky and cool. There are two split-LED headlights on the front fascia, connected by Citroen’s signature double-slat grille. Citroen’s trademark logo is neatly incorporated in the grille, and it seamlessly combines with the LED Daytime Running Lamps in the headlamp cluster.
A black cladding all around further emphasizes the SUV appeal of the C3. Additionally, the front bumper, side cladding, roof rails, and dual-tone diamond-cut alloy wheels receive orange accents. There are rectangular tail lamps on each end of the C3’s tailgate, as well as a dual-tone bumper on the back. The C3’s dual-tone colour options will be customizable by customers as well. The C3 looks like a smaller version of the C5 Aircross, which is already available in India.
Citroen’s quirky design is carried out on the inside as well with a bright orange panel running the width of the dashboard. A dimpled effect on the panel and complicated air-conditioning vents make this panel interesting to look at. There’ll also be an Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible touchscreen infotainment system on the dashboard. In addition to the screen, there’s a handy smartphone holder. Similarly, dashboard panels and seat fabrics can be customized.
Photos depict a chunky three-spoke steering wheel and an instrument cluster with a digital display, but on the flip side, the mirrors can be adjusted internally, there are manual controls for the air conditioning, and the front seat features integrated headrests.
According to Citroen’s press information, the car offers “market-leading comfort and spaciousness.” The exact dimensions of the vehicle haven’t been disclosed yet. There are large (albeit fixed) headrests on the rear seat bench, indicating that the bench was designed for two adults. On the rear of the car, there’s no centre armrest, and you can see that the rear window controls are located on the centre console between the front seats.
Citroen C3 is based on CMP modular platform, which will also be used in a sub-four-metre Jeep SUV. The platform has been heavily localized for India with over 90% of the components sourced locally. The C3 is expected to be positioned quite aggressively in its segment by Citroen.
Citroen hasn’t revealed the C3’s engine details, but the 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine is expected to power it in India. There won’t be any diesel engines available. An Automatic transmission and 5-speed manual transmission will be offered.
Expected Launch Date and Rivals:
The Citron C3 will be manufactured at the Thiruvallur plant in Chennai, and series production is expected to begin in December. The price announcement for the C3 will take place in the first half of 2022. Citroen will expand its dealer network in India in anticipation of the launch of the C3; currently, its dealer network in the country is limited to a few La Maison flagship stores, as well as an online sales platform.
Although Citroen hasn’t made any announcements about the pricing, the company stressed that it would be highly competitive compared with other hatchbacks. Due to this, it will compete against models such as the Maruti Suzuki Ignis, the upcoming Tata Punch, and possibly even models higher in the segment, like the Maruti Suzuki Baleno.