PARIS - Citroen's C3 concept car for the Paris auto show will form the basis of a future supermini intended for launch in 2002.
The C3 is a 4-seater using the Peugeot 206 platform. It is 3670mm long, 1620mm high and 1730mm wide, making it shorter, higher and wider than current superminis. In fact, the C3 is as high and wide as a Renault Megane Scenic while being just 50mm longer than a Ford Ka.
The C3 is powered by an existing 1.6-liter, 65hp PSA engine. The exterior style is characterized by rounded, gentle shapes. The rear hatch opens in two pieces, with the lower half sliding under the top section. Inside, seats slide on rails along the length of the vehicle.
'The C3 has something in common with the 2CV,' said Claude Satinet, Citroen general manager. 'But we did not re-use any 2CV features because they are too rustic for today's drivers.'
Citroen launched the Saxo, its current supermini, in 1996. It was slightly restyled this year. The car has been criticized for being too similar to its sister-model, the Peugeot 106. 'Thanks to the model based on the C3, we are aiming for a 6 percent market share in Europe in 2002,' said Satinet. 'Our current target is 5 percent.'
The C3 stands for Citroen Creation Center, where the car was designed.