|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.