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Citroen Australia eyes off new DS3 automatic

Automatique: After the launch of the facelifted DS3 last month with a six-speed manual gearbox only, a new automatic option has been introduced for overseas markets.

Six-speed auto transmission confirmed for Citroen DS3 but local arrival unclear

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Citroen logo12 May 2015

By TUNG NGUYEN

CITROEN has announced that a new six-speed automatic gearbox will be made available on its funky DS3 light hatch, and the French car-maker's Australian importer is investigating a possible local debut.

In Europe, the DS3 will be offered with an optional EAT6 transmission, the same shifter found in the C4 Piccaso , and will be pared to the same 121kW/240Nm PureTech 110 four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, improving both fuel efficiency and emissions output.

Fuel economy with the new transmission is rated at 4.7-litres per 100 kilometres in the hatchback and 4.9L/100km for the cabrio version, an improvement over the 6.7L/100km figure of the pre-facelifted version matched with the dated four-speed automatic.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions also drop to 108 grams per kilometre in the hatch and 112g/km in the drop top, representing a 28 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions.

Aside from the two extra gears, the new automatic transmission also features a smaller oil pump and redesigned hydraulic distributor that can sense the engine flow and adjust the oil flow accordingly, making the transmission more efficient by reducing internal friction.

According to Citroen, the new transmission is designed to cater to all driving styles, emphasising its flexibility.

“The engine and transmission combination accommodates the most relaxed and the most enthusiastic driving styles,” the company said in a release.

“Gear shifts are faster and smoother, providing enhanced drivability, responsiveness and acceleration.”

The mid-life refresh of the DS3 was introduced in Australia last month, with Citroen Australia saying at the time that a suitable automatic transmission could not be found.

Although 50 per cent of the previous DS3's were sold with an automatic, Citroen Australia PR and communications manager Tyson Bowen told GoAuto that the local importer decided to hold off on introducing an auto with the facelifted version until an appropriate unit was confirmed.

“One of the reason we didn't go with the current offering (four-speed auto) is that we were confident that there would be something else on the way,” he said.

“Whilst not confirmed yet, we're certainly in discussions about the when and if and how and all the things that relate to the market to make sure it's the best proposition we can put forward.”

The French car-maker has sold 34 examples of the DS3 in the first four months of this year, and while it's a drop of 22.7 per cent over the 44 it sold over the same period last year, the fresh-faced light car has only been on sale for three weeks.

Citroen found 134 new homes for its DS3 last year, a drop of 34.4 per cent over total sales figures in 2013.

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