The production-spec Citroen C3 has been globally unveiled today ahead of its India launch in the first half of 2022. The C3 is the first of three models under Citroen’s C-cubed programme, and has been specifically developed for emerging markets like India and South America. The C3 will be locally manufactured here in India with more than 90 percent localisation.
- Developed and styled to cater to Indian tastes
- Will be a petrol-only model with an expected 1.2-litre turbo-petrol unit
- To be launched in the first half of 2022
Citroen C3: exterior design
First things first, while the C3 has its crossover cues, Citroen is steering clear of calling the C3 a compact SUV. The model has been described by Citroen CEO Vincent Cobee as a “hatchback with a twist”. Part of the reason is that a more upright compact SUV is in Citroen’s India product pipeline, and is expected to follow the C3.
Best categorised as a cross-hatchback, the 3.98 meter C3 with its high ground clearance, high bonnet and an elevated driving position does have its appeal. Styling is typical Citroen – quirky and cool. The front fascia features a pair of split-LED headlamps with Citroen’s double-slat grille connecting the two units. The Citroen logo is neatly incorporated in the grille itself and it seamlessly merges with the LED Daytime Running Lamps in the headlamp cluster.
The C3 features heavy black cladding all around, further accentuating the SUV-appeal. It also gets orange accents on the front bumper and side cladding, blacked out pillars and roof rails, and dual-tone diamond-cut alloy wheels. At the back, the new C3 gets a relatively upright tailgate, with rectangular tail-lamps on each end and a dual-tone bumper. Citroen will also allow customers to customize the dual-tone color options on C3. Overall, the C3 does look like a smaller sibling of the C5 Aircross that’s already on sale in India.
Citroen C3: interior and features
Citroen’s quirky design theme continues on the inside as well with a bright orange panel running the width of the dashboard. The dimpled effect on the panel is interesting, as are the complex-looking air-con vents. Taking centre stage on the dashboard is a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system that will feature Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. There’s also a nifty smartphone holder beside the screen. Just like the exterior, the color of the dashboard panel and seat fabrics can also be customized.
Photos reveal a chunky three-spoke steering and a digital instrument cluster but on the flipside, internal adjustment for the mirrors, manual air-con controls and single-piece front seat with integrated headrests also suggest where costs have been saved. Plastic quality will be something we’ll be able to ascertain only when we see the C3 in the metal.
While exact dimensions haven’t been revealed as yet, Citroen’s press information mentions ‘market-leading comfort and spaciousness’. Notably, the rear seat bench's bolstering and two large (albeit fixed) headrests suggest it’s been designed for two occupants. There’s no rear centre armrest and a quirk visible in the pics is the position of the rear power window buttons that sit at the centre console between the front seats.
Citroen C3: platform and engine
The Citroën C3 is based on the CMP modular platform that will underpin other vehicles, including a sub-four-metre SUV from sister-brand, Jeep. The platform has been heavily localised for India with more than 90 percent components being locally sourced. Citroën is expected to position the C3 quite aggressively in its segment.
While Citroen hasn't revealed the powertrain details yet, the C3 is expected to be powered by a 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine in India. There won’t be any diesel engine on offer. Transmission options will include a 5-speed manual and a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Citroen C3: launch timeline and rivals
The Citroën C3 will be produced at the Thiruvallur plant in Chennai, with series production set to commence from December this year. Price announcement of the C3 will then take place in the first half of 2022. In the run up to the C3’s launch, Citroen will expand its dealer network in India which is currently only limited to La Maison flagship stores in select few cities, along with a dedicated online sales platform as well.
Citroen has been very tight lipped on pricing but have stressed it will be very compettitive when comapred to other hatchbacks. As such, it is expected to rival models like the Maruti Suzuki Ignis, the upcoming Tata Punch and to an extent, higher segment cars like the Maruti Suzuki Baleno as well.