New 2017 Citroen C3 WRC concept unveiled | CAR Magazine

New 2017 Citroen C3 WRC concept unveiled

Published: 28 September 2016

► Citroen’s latest rally car set for Paris reveal
► Humble C3’s been given quite a workout
► Makes its competition debut in Monte Carlo 

After 15 consecutive seasons at the top flight of rallying, Citroen took this year off – not to rest upon its laurels, but instead to hone its new C3 WRC for its competition debut in the new year.

Whoa! You been workin’ out, C3?

As da youf would suggest, the third-generation C3 hatchback – also making its public debut at the Paris motor show – looks remarkably hench in WRC form. 

Don’t be dissuaded from the concept tag applied here, either. While the livery is likely to change before the start of the 2017 campaign, Citroen’s works effort will look remarkably like this – as it ploughs gravel, skates across ice and zips through forests in an effort to wrestle the WRC crown back away from Volkswagen.

With more wings and gills than a restaurant’s waste bin, there’s no doubting that the C3 WRC looks mighty purposeful, but its humble supermini origins are nonetheless apparent. There’s even a solitary pimple blistered into the carbon strip along the bottoms of the doors as a nod to the showroom version’s Airbump panel. 

What will the final version be like?

Citroen Racing’s being understandably coy about exactly what the final bodywork will look like in order to prevent its rivals quickly catching up with any advantage the French team may have developed.

What’s evident is that the the new C3’s increased dimensions work well with the 2017 WRC regulations, with greater freedom to exploit the 1875mm width allowance as well as the protruding front splitter and enlarged tailgate spoiler set further back from the car than in previous seasons.

2016 Citroen C3 WRC

There’s a couple of key mechanical changes ushered in for the new season, too: for the first time electronic differentials are permitted, potentially leading to system advances that will trickle through to production cars. Power’s also increased to approximately 380bhp.

When will we find out more?

The completed, fully prepared Citroen C3 WRC will make its debut in the hands of Kris Meeke at the 85th Monte Carlo Rally, on 16 January 2017.

Read more Paris motor show news

By Keith WR Jones

Former managing editor of the Bauer Automotive hub and car brochure library owner