► New C3 on sale in autumn
► Stand-out design quirkiness
► To be revealed in full soon
Citroën is readying a new C3 hatchback to enter the supermini fray, and if this camouflaged prototype is anything to go by it’ll look anything but run-of-the-mill. The car is due to be unveiled this month, with UK sales expected in the autumn.
Click here to read CAR's review of the current Citroen C3
The headlights’ outlines visible under the swirly decals suggest a similar inverted design to the C1 city car, with the main headlights below and the slimmer daytime running LED lights above.
Citroën’s design strategy
The leftfield C4 Cactus is the most outlandish-looking car in Citroën’s range currently, but may not be alone for much longer. Eye-catching design is considered a key USP for the company’s future models; brand CEO Linda Jackson has told CAR: ‘Citroen has the capacity to differentiate from other brands especially through design. A Citroen parked on the street should be noticeable at first glance.’
The new C3 takes influences from the Cactus, with its bluff, SUV-style front end. It’s clearly a five-door car, with a long wheelbase suggesting plenty of rear space, and potentially seating five.
Along with bold design, Citroën has gone on record in suggesting comfort will be a key priority in its future models. ‘Comfort is part of our DNA - we have to be better than the competition in this area,’ says Jackson. So expect a suspension tuned more for cushy ride quality than hot hatch handling.
Engines are likely to come from Peugeot-Citroën’s existing stable. The lightweight Cactus, for example, uses a mix of three-cyl petrols and four-cyl diesels, as does Peugeot’s own 208 supermini. Citroën's new C3 looks better equipped to take on the UK’s supermini darling, Ford’s Fiesta, which is also due a changeover: just this week we spied the 2017 Ford Fiesta for the first time.