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Future models - Citroen - C3

Citroen uncovers all-new C3

Third 3: The third-generation Citroen C3 hatch will arrive in Australia in a single level of specification, powered by the Puretech 1.2-litre turbo-triple engine.

Mini-Cactus design for connected third-generation Citroen C3 hatch

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Citroen logo30 Jun 2016

By TIM NICHOLSON

CITROEN has ripped the covers off its new-generation C3 light hatch, revealing a mini-C4 Cactus design and a host of new connectivity technology, including an on-board camera that can record accidents or upload videos to social media.

The third-generation light hatch looks set to return to the Australian market after the previous-gen version was dropped from the line-up in April last year after local PSA Group distributor Sime Darby Motors Group could not offer it at a competitive price point against much cheaper Japanese and Korean rivals.

According to Citroen Australia general manager Kai Bruesewitz, the distributor is in talks with the French parent company to introduce the model if it can secure a competitive price and package to better compete in the tough segment.

“The new C3 brings with it a host of innovative and practical features wrapped up in an attractive and fun design,” he said.

“Negotiations are well underway and we are very keen to reintroduce the C3 to Australia if we can deliver a package that meets the needs of Australian customers and complements the overall local brand direction.

“In the likely case that those negotiations are successful, we anticipate launching the vehicle in Australia mid-2017 with specifications and pricing confirmed closer to this time.”

Style wise, the C3 follows Citroen's design theme introduced by the C4 Picasso and Grand C4 Picasso in 2013 and builds upon the unusual C4 Cactus that launched earlier this year.

The split headlights and plastic Airbumps – designed to protect the vehicle from rogue shopping trolleys – running along the lower section of the C3's front and rear passenger doors reference the Cactus, but the new-gen model has a chunkier look that includes crossover styling tweaks such as the black plastics on the wheel arches and side skirts.

At the rear the C3 uses 3D tail-lights, similar to the lamps from the mechanically related DS3, and Citroen says the short overhangs and muscular wings “give the car a ready-to-pounce appearance”.

The C3 is based on the platform used to underpin the Peugeot 208 and DS3 and is also related to the Cactus. It measures 3990mm long, 49mm longer than the outgoing model, 22mm wider (1750mm), has a 74mm-longer wheelbase (2540mm), and is 4mm lower (1470mm) than before.

In a bid to appeal to the connected generation, the C3 marks the premiere of the Citroen ConnectedCam that is an integrated high-definition camera fitted behind the rearview mirror that films whatever is happening on the road in front of the car.

This footage can be either immediately updated to social media or used as evidence of an incident.

It uses a two megapixel, wide angle (120-degrees) camera with GPS and a 16-gigabyte internal memory, and according to Citroen it records everything the driver sees through the windscreen. It automatically activates in the event of a crash and records and stores the footage.

Depending on the variant, it will also feature 3D-connected sat-nav with voice recognition, a reversing camera, a blind-spot monitor and lane-departure warning.

The new cabin follows the theme of the Cactus and is based on the interior design principles of “uncluttered space, overall consistency and full, soft shapes”.

It features a horizontal layout throughout for a feeling of space, with Citroen saying the idea was for it to “feel like an extension of the driver’s home”.

There is a 7.0-inch touchscreen in the centre stack with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, chrome-surround airvents, luggage straps as interior door handles, as in the C4 Cactus, and a trim for the dashboard that can either painted or wrapped in textile, TEP lining, or it is available with stitching.

The new C3 will be more customisable than the outgoing model, with nine body colours and three roof colours on offer for a total of 36 possible combinations, while the cabin can be personalised with Standard, Urban Red or Hype Colorado interior themes.

Citroen is yet to go into detail about the powertrains, but in Europe it will be offered with a choice of three petrol engines – PureTech 68, 82 and 110 with idle-stop – and two diesel engines – BlueHDi 75 and 100 with idle-stop – with a standard manual gearbox and optional six-speed auto.

The French car-maker is also talking up its Advanced Comfort program in the C3, which ensures a comfortable and ergonomic interior.

It has a 10.7-metre turning circle and a 300-litre cargo capacity.

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