Citroen has released a shadowy glimpse of its latest offering for India – the C3 compact SUV. Having kicked off its India journey early in 2021 with the C5 Aircross, Citroen is finally gearing up to wade into a more fiercely contested space, with the brand-new, made-in-India Citroen C3 set to make its world premiere on 16 September. While the C5 Aircross – thanks to its premium pricing – remains a choice of a select few, the Citroen C3 will do battle in one of the most competitive segments in the Indian auto industry, taking on firmly entrenched compact SUV rivals.
Citroen’s darkened teaser provides a look at the face of the C3, which, unsurprisingly, is in line with other Citroen models sold worldwide. The iconic Citroen double chevron takes pride of place on the nose, with the chrome extensions flowing into the thin, X-shaped LED daytime running lights. The headlight clusters themselves are positioned below the LED DRLs, fitting low into the front bumper. There’s a large radiator grille, with a faux skid plate expected to add some muscle to the C3’s front-end.
A few months ago, leaked images of a scale model of the Citroen C3 confirmed it will derive several design and styling cues from the C5 Aircross, including plastic cladding, the ‘Airbumps’ texture along the sides, dual-tone alloy wheels, LED tail-lights and a faux skid plate at the rear as well.
The Citroen C3 – being the first model to emerge from the company’s C-Cubed programme – is expected to be based on the PSA Group’s Common Modular Platform (CMP), which already forms the basis for several Peugeot models on sale abroad. The C3 will be manufactured at Citroen’s facility in Tiruvallur, and will have over 90 percent of local content, which will help the company price it competitively.
In terms of engine options, the Citroen C3 is expected to come with a 1.2-litre, three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine putting out around 110 hp and 205 Nm of torque; a non-turbocharged version of this engine could be on offer with the entry-level versions of the SUV. Gearbox options are likely to include a six-speed manual and a six-speed torque converter automatic. There will be no diesel engine option for the C3.
When it is launched in the coming months, expect the Citroen C3’s price to be in the range of Rs 7-13 lakh, which will see it take on multiple rivals, including the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Kia Sonet, Hyundai Venue, Tata Nexon, Nissan Magnite, Mahindra XUV300 and Renault Kiger.