Big wrap for Citroen
A huge windscreen sets the C3 apart, writes NEIL McDONALD
GET the sunscreen out because Citroen has the answer for all those sun worshippers. A panoramic windscreen will be standard on the new C3 when it arrives in Australia in 12 months.
The French carmaker has borrowed the idea from its C4 Picasso people-mover, called the Zenith, to give the new C3 an expansive view of the world.
Combined with slimmer A-pillars, the exceptionally long windscreen expands the front occupants’ field of vision by up to 80 per cent.
But those worried about glare need not be concerned.
The glass has a progressive tint that smooths the transition from the clear front view and provides sun protection from above.
Large visors can be flipped forward to block out the sun.
A five-door will arrive first in Europe. A coupe and Pluriel convertibles are planned.
Ateco Automotive spokesman Edward Rowe says it’s too early to talk specifications or prices for the new five-door hatch, though he expects it to be competitive.
Prices are tipped to be close to the current car, about $23,990.
Australia is expected to get a range of four-cylinder petrol and HDi diesel units, but is unlikely to get the newer frugal threecylinder engines planned for Europe that emit fewer 100g/km of CO2.
The C3 adopts an evolutionary approach to its design, but borrows some cues from the DS Concept hatch. It gets a flatter roofline, more pronounced grille and headlight treatment.
Inside the trim moves up a notch in quality. A thermo-coated colour dash is highlighted with grey or gloss-brushed aluminium and chrome detailing.
In Europe, the C3 five-door hatch is one of the most compact vehicles in its segment.
At 3940mm long, the new car is 90mm longer. The width has grown 43mm.
Citroen has managed to keep the C3’s weight the same as the outgoing model.
Its turning circle has been reduced from 10.7m to 10.2m.
Other fuel-saving features are second-generation stop-start systems as well as new five and sixspeed electronic gearboxes.
Citroen has sold more than two million C3s globally, but the car has not sold in strong numbers locally.
Last year 423 were sold, against a 2007 figure of 696.
The current 1.6-litre HDi turbo diesel has hybrid-busting fuel economy of 4.4 litres for 100km and CO2 emissions of 120g/km.
It’s a wide, wide world: the 2010 Citroen C3 and (below) the panoramic windscreen.