With the C3 and C3 Aircross, Citroen in India has tried its hand at core mass segments – the hatchback and the midsize SUV. The French automaker’s forthcoming product, however, will be a bit of a niche one. The upcoming C3X will be a notchback sedan sporting a high-riding stance and SUV-like design cues, and it has once again been spied testing, though draped in heavy camouflage.
- Citroen C3X to measure nearly 4.3 metres in length
- Will be offered with brand’s familiar 1.2 turbo-petrol motor
- Will spawn an EV derivative as well
Citroen C3X to stand out among rivals
The C3X's most distinctive element will be its styling, as no mass-market model currently has a notchback body style, let alone one that is combined with SUV-like design traits. Seen mostly with luxury cars such as the Mercedes-Benz EQS or Porsche Panamera, this body style was first introduced in India in the early 2000s, with models such as the Hyundai Accent Viva and Skoda Octavia. With the latter having been discontinued just a short while ago, the upcoming C3X will be the only mass-market sedan with a notchback body style. This means the entire rear windscreen will be lifted along with the bootlid.
The second most distinctive element will be its high-riding stance. The spy shots clearly show its high ground clearance, which we suspect will be in the region of the C3 Aircross (200mm), meaning it will be perfect to take on Indian roads. But while the likes of the Virtus and Slavia also have decent ground clearance (179mm), they look slightly out of proportion with large gaps in the wheel arches. The C3X's design, however, will complement its ground clearance with more SUV-like cues, such as rugged cladding all around and an upright nose.
As such, the heavy camouflage reveals little in terms of styling, but a close look suggests that the bonnet, front fenders and the front doors will likely be carried over from the C3 Aircross. The C3X, however, will be completely unique after the front door – the gently sloping window line suggests the rear doors will be new for this high-riding sedan, and while the dummy parts do well to conceal the tapering roofline with the notchback tailgate, we expect the rear end to be styled along the lines of the C4X that’s sold in Europe. In fact, the ‘X’ suffix for the India-spec model could come from its European cousin, or alternately, it could also be called the C3 Fastlounge as per trademark filings.
Citroen will be focussing on sharing parts among its models for better economies of scale. Although we haven’t had a proper sighting of the interior yet, expect several elements like the dashboard and seats to be carried over from existing models. The features list will likely be similar to the C3 Aircross as well, which means it will be sparsely equipped as per segment standards. Features such as ADAS, ventilated seats, 360-deg camera and a sunroof will definitely be left out of the mix in order to achieve a competitive price point.
Citroen C3X powertrain details
Just like the other C-Cubed models from Citroen, the upcoming C3X will also sit on the modular CMP platform. Powertrain options will also likely be the same, with the cross-sedan coming with a sole 110hp, 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine, mated to manual or automatic transmissions. There will be an all-electric iteration as well that could join the line-up about six months after the petrol-powered sedan goes on sale.
The sole engine option at launch, however, could be a letdown for some as rivals offer larger, more powerful turbo-petrol engines, while the Honda City also comes with the option of a hybrid powertrain.
Citroen C3X expected price, launch
Though the company has not indicated any timeline for the launch of the C3X, we expect it to arrive around June-July 2024, with the electric version of the crossover sedan coming in January or February 2025.
While the new C3X will be aimed at the likes of the Honda City, Hyundai Verna, Volkswagen Virtus and Skoda Slavia, it will perhaps carve out its own niche as a crossover sedan with distinctive styling. Given Citroen’s price and positioning strategy, it is also likely to be more affordable than the rivals mentioned above.
Image Credit - Charles Naveen