Citroen C3 at 2009 Frankfurt motor show

Published: 29 June 2009

These are the first pictures of Citroen’s new C3 supermini, a funky five-door that the French company hopes will steal sales from potential Ford Fiesta, VW Polo and Renault Clio customers. And in three-door form it will become the DS3, as Citroen’s tries to take itself up-market and appeal to Mini buyers.

I rather like the new Citroen C3 – tell me all about.

Citroen started to design cool cars again when it penned the C4, but it’s been the recent C3 Picasso that has really captured the automotive industry’s attention. Now the company’s done it again with the new C3, with a silhouette that’s similar to the C4 Picasso, a new family face, and rear lights that are remarkably similar to those on the new Vauxhall Astra.

The standout feature is the enormous glass windscreen though, which stretches back past the A-pillars so the cabin is flooded with light – it’s an outstanding feature on such a small car. Citroen is rightly proud – it’s tagline for the new C3 is ‘a touch of glass’ – and claims the ‘progressively tinted windscreen offers a truly panoramic field of vision – along with optimum overhead sun protection’.

And inside?

Almost identical to the DS Inside concept, with only a new gearstick and some trim detailing being the obvious differences. Ahead of the driver are three dials – two analogue and one digital ­­­– while a large Fiat 500-esque spar dissects the dash and surrounds the sat-nav screen. Citroen is promising ‘exceptional interior space and a refined, high quality interior’.

The new C3 is 3.94m long and 1.71m wide, up from the current car’s 3860mm and 1667mm. A five-door Fiesta is slightly bigger at 3950mm wide and 1772mm long, but it’s 295 litre boot is a few units smaller than the C3’s 300.

When can I buy one?

The new C3 goes on sale in the UK in early 2010, and while powertrain details are still scarce, Citroen has revleaed there will be a diesel model that emits just 99g/km.

In 2010 the three-door upmarket DS3 version will also go on sale. Then in 2011 the C3 will get Citroen’s second-gen stop-start technology – which will take emissions for the diesel-powered cars down to 90g/km – and new three-cylinder petrol engines with CO2 emissions of under 100g/km.

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By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy