Citroen intends to conquer developing countries with a line of low-cost models.
Citroen is preparing to expand into the markets of developing countries — inexpensive cars with a suspension prepared for bad roads, a minimum of electronic systems and an ascetic interior are being developed for Southeast Asia and South America. The firstborn of the family will be Citroen C3, and this naming is not accidental.
The fact is that the C3 is an iconic model for the French company, therefore, in all markets where the «double chevron» is presented, its own version of the «troika» is sold. The Russians are familiar with the C3 Aircross SUV, in the European range there is
Externally, the novelty is similar to the European Citroen C3, in philosophy it is closer to the Chinese C3-XR, and in terms of technology it has nothing in common with both models. The basis of the «troika» for developing countries is the current modular CMP platform, while the «global» C3 / C3 Aircross and the Chinese C3-XR are based on the PSA PF1 architecture from the 2000s. However, it is not worth considering the «budget» Citroen C3 for India and South America more modern than European models — the SUV is devoid of all advanced electronic systems.
Citroen engineers were helped to save money by Tata specialists, and the French-Indian tandem got a kind of analogue of the Dacia / Renault Sandero, only even more compact. Due to the peculiarities of Indian tax legislation, the length of the new C3 is only 3980 millimeters, that is, the budget Citroen is twenty centimeters shorter than the Lada XRay and is inferior to it by almost 50 liters in trunk volume (315 versus 361 liters).
The advantages of the novelty are high ground clearance (180 millimeters), minimum overhangs, a plastic body kit included in the standard equipment, an extraordinary design (with the possibility of two-tone body painting), as well as a low starting price — Indian media suggest focusing on the value of 600-700 thousand rupees (593 -692 thousand rubles), and Citroen preferred to keep the price list secret.
Nothing is known about the technical stuffing yet, but the official photos hint at the uncontested 5-speed «mechanics». Probable power units are gasoline «triplets» of the PureTech line with a volume of 1.0-1.2 liters, and for South America, the engines can be reconfigured for the popular ethanol.
But the equipment of the Citroen C3 is not a secret — the top versions will have a virtual dashboard, a multimedia system with a widescreen 10-inch touchscreen (and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) and a scattering of USB connectors. However, there are only two airbags, climate control and power mirrors are not allowed even for a surcharge, the seat upholstery is exclusively fabric, and the waist belt in the middle on the second row and the absence of a central headrest hint at a de facto four-seater saloon. Other signs of economy are door cards made of cheap plastic, ingenious handles for reverse grip and the absence of power window buttons for the rear doors by the driver.
In India, sales of the inexpensive Citroen C3 will begin in the first quarter of 2022, and by the end of the first half of the year, the novelty will reach South America. Note that in both cases we are talking about localized production, because without this, the French company cannot achieve competitive prices.
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Photos are taken from open sources.