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Citroen : C3


The CitroŽn C3 expresses an innovative approach to automotive design. Dynamic, fluid vehicle lines suggest a cheerful, open personality. The interior space and on-board comfort are visible at a glance. By combining innovative design lines with established references of quality, the C3 gains strong potential appeal.

Innovative high-volume architecture

Citroen C3
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The CitroŽn C3 is a compact saloon with attractive styling and roomy architecture that makes it light, spacious, and accessible. The styling of the C3 suggests a strong personality that expresses the vehicle's many qualities. A mere glance at the car gives an immediate impression of on-board well-being and interior space. The rounded forms and the large glazed area - of the windscreen in particular - draw attention to the interior space with its light, airy atmosphere. At the rear, the elegant vertical lights accentuate the tall lines of the C3, and draw attention to the available height.

A style that suggests strength, protection and safety

The radiator grille, bumpers and - more generally - the compact curves of the C3 clearly express robust strength, protection and safety. The design of the lower body, which forms a continuous flowing line with the wheel arches, contributes to the perceived on-road stance, strength and road manners of the C3.

Citroen C3
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The C3 reveals different aspects of its multi-faceted personality, according to whether it is stationary or on the move. When the car is stationary, it looks open and welcoming, with its strong curves and roomy architecture suggesting generous interior space. When the car is on the move, it takes on a more forceful air, with a dynamic demeanour expressing a well-rounded character.

Amazing space

The C3 is astonishingly roomy for a vehicle in its segment. And since the C3 has an external width of 1.67 m, passengers can take their ease. This generous interior space is also reflected by the interior dimensions. At the front, for example, the C3 boasts exceptional elbow room of 1.40 m.

The most significant progress made by the C3, however, lies in its height of 1.52 m - exceptional for a vehicle of this type - and in the innovative approach adopted to the interior architecture, which draws upon the experience acquired by CitroŽn in the design of its most recent vehicles. This increased height created sufficient room to raise the driving position and make it more upright, while still leaving generous headroom. The height of the other seats has also been raised. This feature gives all the occupants of the C3 a clearer view of the road and is particularly reassuring for the driver. The eye level of the passengers is higher than the segment average, for improved visual comfort.

A glass sunroof of generous dimensions

The glass sunroof expresses the shared contact between the occupants of the C3, or between the car and the outside environment. With this vast sunroof, the C3 gains a bigger glazed area than any other vehicle in the segment. It is made up of a mobile glass panel at the front and a fixed glass panel at the rear. The sunroof is designed to fit flush with the roof of the vehicle. In this way, it does not interrupt the flowing lines of the C3 or detract from its aerodynamic performance. Inside the vehicle, the space available to the occupants is virtually unchanged, thanks to the generous headroom available.

New electric power steering

For easy handling in the city, as well as on longer motorway journeys, the C3 features a new electric power steering system in which power varies continuously as a function of vehicle speed.

Citroen C3
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The objective is to satisfy distinct requirements in terms of easy steering: to reduce driver effort in low speed manoeuvres, and to "read" the road at cruise speed, directing the car with precision. The electric power steering satisfies this dual requirement. The laws applied by the system to reduce power in relation to speed are transparent to the driver. The transition between high assistance at low-speeds and moderate assistance at higher speeds is gradual and gentle.

In this way, whatever the driving conditions, the electric power steering system always places the focus on easy steering and safety.

A new generation of direct-injection turbo diesel engines

The C3 is the first CitroŽn to be fitted with the new-generation HDi engines developed through the cooperation agreement between PSA Peugeot CitroŽn and Ford.

The C3 offers a choice between the 1.4 HDi 50 kW (70 bhp DIN) and the 1.4 HDi 16V 66 kW (92 bhp DIN) engines, with an air-to-air intercooler and variable-geometry turbocharger. These new 1.4 l HDi units are second-generation common rail engines, which offer an attractive alternative to conventional diesel engines of higher capacity. The new powerplants combine the benefits of the first-generation HDi engines - low consumption, silent operation, driving pleasure and excellent environmental performance - with compact dimensions, low weight and a level of performance not usually associated with engines of this capacity.

To meet all requirements, the C3 offers a choice of an 8 or 16 valve cylinder head, developing 50 kW or 66 kW (70 bhp DIN and 92 bhp DIN) respectively, with torque of 150 Nm or 200 Nm. The 1.4 HDi 16V is the most efficient engine currently available in the B segment (47 kW/litre and 65 bhp DIN/litre).

Each engine type has a corresponding turbocharger. Their small size and low inertia cut response times and increase driving pleasure. The 8V engine is equipped with a fixed-geometry turbocharger, while the 16V engine has a variable-geometry turbocharger with an intercooler and multi-valve technology. This engine applies specific control laws, through which it is able to adapt to driver behaviour by adjusting output in accordance with the pressure placed on the accelerator pedal.

New-generation common rail systems The injection systems of these new engines significantly improve the precision of injections and notably the pilot injection (a key factor in controlling noise emissions). Moreover, the increased injection pressure helps to improve specific performance levels.

1.1i, 1.4i and 1.6 16V, three petrol engines that have won unanimous acclaim

The 1.1i engine develops 44 kW (61 bhp DIN) at 5,500 rpm and torque of 94 Nm at 3,400 rpm. Developing power of 55 kW (75 bhp DIN) at 5,500 rpm with torque of 120 Nm at 3,400 rpm, the 1.4i engine combines driving pleasure with consistent performance.

The 1.6i 16V engine belongs to the latest generation of petrol engines. Introduced in September 2000 on the new Xsara, it brings the C3 a level of performance and driving pleasure not usually seen in vehicles of this type. It develops 80 kW (110 bhp DIN) at 5,750 rpm with maximum torque of 147 Nm (15.3 m.kg) at 4,000 rpm. Efficient fuel management means that consumption levels are particularly low. Comfort and peace of mind with sequentially controlled automatic transmission This type of automatic transmission system meets drivers' needs by adapting to their individual driving styles, a function that brings significant benefits in terms of driving comfort and - in consequence - safety. The 1.4i engine features the AL4 auto-adaptive gearbox. This gearbox offers three operating programmes : ∑ a normal programme, managing six auto-adaptive shift patterns, ∑ a Sport programme, managing two auto-adaptive sports shift patterns, ∑ a Snow programme, which gives priority to grip.

This auto-adaptive gearbox features sequential gear-change control. With this function, the driver can select the gears manually, if he so wishes. In manual mode, the driver manages gear selection by pushing the gear lever forwards or backwards. In this way, he can adopt a sportier or more dynamic driving style. This transmission combines the advantages of an automatic gearbox with those of a manual gearbox, leaving the driver free to switch from one to the other.

Multiplex electrics, similar to those of the C5

The electric and electronic equipment supplied for reasons of comfort or safety is increasingly popular with customers, and may also be required by legislation in certain cases. To cope with the increased quantities of data circulating on-board the car, it was necessary to upgrade the electrical architecture and to adopt multiplexing.

Multiplexing involves linking the different electrical components using a limited number of harnesses. The BSI (built-in systems interface) and BSM (built-in supply module) make up the main components of the electrical data network. They process the data from the different networks and send it out to the item of equipment concerned. They process the data from the different networks and send it out to the item of equipment concerned.

The BSI and BSM are interfaced with different items of equipment on the car through multiplex networks that apply two communication protocols (VAN and CAN):

  • a VAN Comfort network (Vehicle Area Network for functions including the instrument cluster, navigation, car radio and air conditioning),

  • a VAN Body network (for functions including the airbags and upper part of the steering column),

  • a CAN network (Controller Area Network for such functions as engine control, electric power steering and headlamps).

Photos: Citroen

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