By Brendan Moore
Citroen unveiled its new C3 supermini this morning in Paris, and the new car gives a very good account of itself.
More than ever, the C3 makes a statement. And, if this car could talk, it would say something along the lines of, “I’m smart, I’m young, I’m good-looking and I’m ready to do something fun.”
In most auto markets of the world, that is a guarantee of sales success. And it appears the new C3 has the goods to be successful.
Citroën is calling the C3’s new look “Visiodrive”, which refers to the airy greenhouse styling, particularly the huge new wrap-around windshield that extends very far back into the roofline. The tint on the huge windshield gets darker as you go up, thereby ensuring the occupants won’t get roasted on sunny days.
The design of the new C3 is tighter and more active. It is more upscale, and this theme continues in the interior, which is higher-quality than the previous C3, as well as the C3’s European competition.
The new C3 also has excellent environmental credentials. The new car will be the first Citroen to get below 100g/km for CO2 emissions, with the 90hp diesel engine coming in at 99g/km. Citroën has also committed to new engines in 2011 model year that will get a diesel to 90g/km and a petrol version under 100g/km, all thanks to the French firm’s engineering improvements, including the addition of stop-start technology and new six-speed automatic transmissions.
The car also weighs no more than its predecessor, despite having more safety equipment, more features, more sound-deadening, etc.
Technologically, the new C3 also appeals to children and adults alike with its MP3 audio system, USB and full iPod compatibility, Bluetooth hands-free kit and satellite navigation.
The current C3 cannot be produced quickly enough for demand. It is not wild speculation, then, to suggest that the new, more efficient, more attractive and better-equipped C3 will be a hit.
It’s just too bad that PSA (Peugeot-Citroën) did not take advantage of the meltdown of the American auto market to re-enter the US. When you speak to the people at PSA, they tell you their cars are too quirky, too small, too French, etc., to be popular with Americans, but I think this vehicle has universal appeal. Even among Americans, the “bigger is better” people.
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