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Citroën Launches the New C3; 99 g CO2/km Model Available From Launch

The new C3 with Zenith windshield. Click to enlarge.

Citroën is launching the new version of the C3 supermini (earlier post)—a best-seller that has sold more than two million units since its introduction. (The C3 was also Citroën’s first production vehicle fitted with a stop-start system, beginning in 2004. Earlier post .)

Controlled weight and aerodynamics (Cd 0.30) contribute to management of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions; a 99 g/km HDi DPFS 90 diesel version is available from launch. This will be the first full production Citroën to emit less than 100 g CO2/km.

The C3 can be fitted with three HDI units (70, 90 and 110 DPFS) and four Euro5 gasoline engines (1.1, 1.4i, VTi95 and VTi 120). All are mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox, except for the HDi 110 DPFS, which is fitted with a 6-speed manual, and the VTi 120, with a choice between the 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic.

Over a combined cycle, all the diesels emit less than 118 g/km, while the gasoline engine emit between 134 g/km and 160 g/km CO2. The new C3 is fitted as standard with fuel economy assistance in the form of a gear change indicator.

In 2011, new powertrains for the C3 will include the second-generation Stop & Start system. Mated to automated 5- and 6-speed gearboxes, two diesel versions will emit 95 g/km and 90 g/km CO2. A new generation of 3-cylinder gasoline units will enable models emitting less than 100 g/km CO2.

In 2008, PSA Peugeot Citroën announced it was developing a new family of 1-liter 3-cylinder gasoline engines with power ranging from 70 to 100 hp (52 to 75 kW) to bring to market vehicles with CO2 emissions below 100 g/km without additional technology. (Earlier post.)

PSA will set up two manufacturing sites for the 3-cylinder unit, one in France, the other in Eastern Europe. The first facility, with an annual capacity of 600,000 engines, will be operational as of 2011. It will be located in France on the PSA Peugeot Citroën site at Trémery. A second facility will be set up in Eastern Europe by 2012.

Citroën worked to keep weight of the C3 down to a minimum. Specifications for styling included architectural constraints targeting weight loss—for example, the choice of a rectilinear rather than angled dashboard cross-member. The development of a new rear axle also brought the weight down by 13 kilos (29 lbs).

The C3 also features what Citroën calls the Zenith windshield—with an exceptional length of 1,350mm, the windshield expands the front occupants’ field of vision by 80° upwards by removing the upper beam. The glass at the top 25 cm of the windshield is progressively tinted, for a smooth transition from the strong sun protection above the front passengers to the standard clear glass for looking forwards.



Great to see more and more cars < 120 and 100 gms CO2.

Especially the petrol Stop/Start ones.

There should be no need for a diesel engine in a car this size.



Agree with you that the gap is closing between improved gasoline & diesel fuel ICE, specially for for very small cars.

We will probably see many more sub-100 CO2 g/Km mini + sub-compact + compact cars in 2010/11/12.

Fortunately, fuel consumption seems to go down with CO2 reduction. Most cars under 100 CO2 g/Km will do at least 50 mpg. It is a real win-win solution.


mahonj, HarveyD: You know nothing about Europe. That is why Citroën offer 3 diesel engines for C3? 40% of C3 cars will be equipped by diesel engines, compared with Your funny hybrid average in US (3%).
The gap is not closing and C3 in not enough small car. And customers in Spain, Italy, UK and France use their cars for long journeys, when gasoline is too thirsty. Even C1 (really small city car) is sold with 30% of diesels...



The key is IMPROVED gasoline (or equivalent) ICE vs current diesel fuel type. The gap is closing regasrless of the love affair with diesel in Europe.

The historical 25% to 35% energy (BTU) consumption spread is being reduced with cleaner more efficient non-diesel ICE.

I used a 2009 automatic Diesel Passat this weekend and I woundn't mind paying and extra 10% to 20% for the B-10 gasoline type. I got nowhere near the low diesel fuel consumption claimed. Driving was done at normal speed. I'm not a race car driver.


I live in Ireland, and I drive a diesel car.
So I know about diesel cars in Europe.

A local example:

They have linked motor taxation to CO2/km levels in Ireland which has lead to an even greater uptake of diesel cars in the last year or so. This will, over time reduce the CO2 emissions from Irish motoring.

However, it has had the unwanted effect of increasing Local pollution due to particulates, NOx, whatever, due to the increased number of diesels.

This is very noticeable in Dublin (where I live) [ In Europe ].

Hence, I said there should be no need for a diesel engine in a small car, if the petrol ones have got so efficient. I was hoping to lower urban air pollution,
in Europe, by diesels.


What kind of system will be the second generation Stop & Start system for 2011? How different will it from the 1st one?


As long as the taxing of motor fuels artificially increases the price of gasoline to be ~20% higher than diesel, the public will buy diesels. As long as the consumers buy diesels, the car manufacturers will happily produce them.



Diesel fuel used to be about 4 to 8 cents/L higher in our area but the price trend has been reversed for the last few months. Presently, Diesel fuel cost slightly less than gasoline.

As far as I know, taxes have not changed much.

Can you explain what is going on?

Retail price based on energy content may be fair? Long haul truck owners + farmers may not like it.


a possible reason for the relative drop of diesel prices vs gasoline ones could be increased gasoline demand in NA this summer vs diesel demand (crude oil use was higher than expected).

The key point is that a refinery always produces fixed ratio of light distillates (gasoline) vs heavier distillates (diesel plus jet fuels) from the given crude oil stock. In order to change that, major modifications are needed, it takes 2+ yrs to do it, plus costs. US refineries (and likely Canadian) are set to produce higher pct of gasoline, while in Europe (and most of the rest of the world) they produce more diesel. There was a good article on that in Car&Driver a few years back.
To complicate things further, there is also some transantlantic trade in distillates (due to different pattern of production and consumption). If consumption pattern changes, prices change.

Another reason for variation in diesel prices could be changed demand for jet fuel, as both are produced from the same class of distillates, increased jet fuel demand leads to higher diesel prices.

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