Big wrap for Citroen

A huge wind­screen sets the C3 apart, writes NEIL McDON­ALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

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.

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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.

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