Citroen C3 Turns on the style

T’S another small car design masterclass from Citroen! Supermini buyers are set to be spoiled for choice as the French giant is putting the finishing touches to its distinctive new C3.

And as these exclusive Auto Express pictures reveal, this is a great-looking three-door. Back in Issue 991, we showed you images of the 2CV-inspired five-door C3, but that model appears pretty conservative next to the outlandish newcomer.

Taking a similar approach to the C4, designers aim to make two distinct versions of the C3 to appeal to very different groups. The practical five-door will offer a more conventional body, while the three-door is intended to tempt younger buyers.

In Issue 1,007, we showed you the revised C2 – but Citroen bosses have already decided that this model does not have a long-term future.

Buyers after a budget machine can opt for the cheaper C1, while the more capable three-door C3 is set to fill the gap between the tiny city car and the next-generation five-door C3. As you can see, the new- comer has a similar appearance to its brother at the front (see panel), where it will have oversized front headlamps to make the body look narrower. The swollen wheelarches are another regular Citroen theme, but it’s when viewed from the side that the C3 is set to turn most heads.

Citroen C3

Designers have taken the bold step of giving the roof a different colour to the body. This is made more striking by the prominent C-pillar, which separates the front and rear windows.

At the rear, the Citroen’s lines are just as eye-catching, with a shallow glass area and huge tail-lights. Having witnessed the success of MINI’s options packages, Citroen is likely to offer plenty of extras, which will include everything from body/roof colour combinations to alloy wheels.

The supermini won’t be officially unveiled until October, when the final details will be confirmed. It is likely to be

based on the same capable platform as Peugeot’s latest 207, delivering much improved handling. This, allied with performance, will be key to the three-door’s success as it aims to take on Alfa’s MiTo (see Page 20).

The firm will also be keen to resurrect its reputation for hot hatches with a new high-performance model. Taking on Vauxhall’s Corsa SRi, the range-topper is unlikely to offer more than around 175bhp, but its feisty handling will be engineered to tempt back fans of the old Saxo VTS and VTR.

Both three-door and five-door versions of the new C3 are set to go on sale in the UK in 2009, but that won’t be the end of the expansion of the small car range. A supermini-MPV model to take on Vauxhall’s Meriva will be added to the line-up in 2010, while a successor to the drop-top Pluriel is also on the drawing board.

[source: AutoExpress]
Other Citroen Cars In www Auto Show:
+ Citroen Displaying NEMO Concept at Bologna
Frankfurt Motor Show 2007: Citroen C5 Airscape - Oh, that was here?
Citroen C-Cactus Concept will debut in 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show
+ 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show Preview: Citroen C5 Airscape - full details, hi-res gallery

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