Citroën has unveiled the New C3 Compact SUV (measuring less than 4m in length) and the model will enable the brand to expand in India and consolidate its presence in South America.
New C3 is the first model in a family of three vehicles aimed at the international market, developed and produced in India and South America and which will be sold in those two regions over the next three years. The model draws inspiration from SUVs for its ground clearance, high bonnet and elevated driver position. The model is all set to be launched in the first half of 2022.
Vincent Cobée, Citroën CEO quoted “Ensuring Citroën’s future requires a greater international presence, by becoming stronger in all the markets in which we operate, including South America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and China, and by opening up to others, including India, which will soon become the third-largest market in the world. We are rolling out an ambitious product plan in order to achieve this, which will see the launch of three internationally-oriented models in three years. Models designed, developed and produced in strategic regions and which will fully represent Citroën’s identity in terms of style and on-board peace of mind. New C3 is a vital part of this international ramp-up and the first stage of the growth strategy. This hatchback, less than 4m long, is aimed at a major segment in India and South America. Modern, connected and tailored to local uses, it is perfectly placed to support Citroën’s growth.”
New C3 is the first model from the “C Cubed” programme launched in 2019 – a family that plans to launch three vehicles with an international focus by 2024, based on three key criteria: the creation of a competitive, market-leading offering, with a strong style, a Citroën experience designed for on-board comfort, and benefiting from a design tailored to the specific needs of its intended countries.
India is a new market for Citroën and one with significant potential that will soon be the third-largest in the world. The brand announced its arrival in 2019 and launched its first import model at the start of 2021: C5 Aircross. As a new market player, Citroën is initially focusing on large metropolitan areas by offering a premium customer experience. Citroën will be betting big with C3, thanks to a strategy of high-level local integration (more than 90%) based on the two joint venture agreements between the Stellantis Group and the companies in the CK Birla Group (car assembly and distribution and power-train manufacturing).
Citroen C3 presents the face of Citroen with the signature front end now present on C4 and C5 X in the current range. It features a dual-stage light signature, with the double chevrons that become chrome bars and continue across the width of the vehicle to the headlights and then separate to form a Y at the ends. The headlights are made up of two separate elements with the position lights, indicators and daytime running lights on the upper level and, on the lower level, the low beam and high beam, with a light guide at the top and another at the bottom. The rear light signature is also fairly prominent and echoes the two horizontal lines visible on the front end which forms a triangle.
C3’s front end combines strength and protection, featuring a high bonnet. The side view is also inspired by SUVs and promotes New C3 by giving it a modern personality. The sides of the vehicle are muscular, set off by protective bubble panels sculpted into the bodywork, combined with fender flares which create divisions through an interplay of light and shadow, producing the effect of larger fenders to give the vehicle a more imposing presence. The large wheels (635mm), high ground clearance (180mm) and short overhangs to cope with angles in the road surface and avoid damaging the front bumper, black wheel arches and bars roofs that increase the height of the vehicle, are all elements inspired by SUVs.
New C3 has opted for two-tone bodywork, with a clear border between the body and the roof, in order to offer customers a wider range of combinations. Eleven customisation variants are therefore available in India, including single-tone and two-tone (body in one colour and roof in another colour). Four body colours are available in India (Ice White, Platinium Grey, Artense Grey and Zesty Orange) and two roof colours (Artense Grey or Zesty Orange).
On entering the New C3, the horizontal dashboard gives an impression of space. New C3 is 3.98m long – very important in India, where high taxes are payable depending on vehicle length – while promising to be spacious. Space onboard New C3 has been designed to be generous, comfortably accommodating five people, an essential point for customers in this segment. In terms of its architecture, the long-wheelbase of 2.54m indicates the higher interior space. It promises passengers in the second-row seats among the largest legroom in the segment (653mm). The front seats give occupants the best elbow room (1,418mm) and market-leading headroom (991mm).
The 10” (26cm) capacitive touchscreen, the largest in the segment, stands out from the dashboard. It offers the Mirror Screen function, in order to reproduce the display of the driver’s smartphone apps. This allows them to view their usual connected tools even when they are in the car. Compatible with Apple CarPlayTM and Android Auto, apps and multimedia content can be easily navigated either by pressing the touchscreen directly or via voice commands.
New C3 will be launched in the first half of 2022 to expand the Citroën range in India and strengthen its position in South America, specifically in Brazil and in Argentina – two markets that each have their own specific characteristics and customer expectations. India recently opened the ultra-modern Chennai plant, eventually set to boast an annual production capacity of 100,000 vehicles. Latin American countries will also welcome New C3, including Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, Peru and Ecuador.