Citroën has introduced the brand new C3, a city car that’s roughly the size of a Ford Fiesta.
The Paris-based carmaker has made headlines with futuristic mechanical innovations over the past few decades, but its car have recently lacked even relatively basic tech features. The C3 is out to change that, and it stands out as one of the most modern and connected cars that Citroën has ever built.
The hatchback ushers in a feature called ConnectedCam that’s built around a wide-angle, high-definition camera integrated into the back of the rear-view mirror. The driver can take a picture or shoot films of the road ahead by pressing a button on the mirror, and either save the files on the car’s 16 GB hard drive or immediately share them on various social media networks. Alternatively, the camera automatically turns on if it detects that a collision is imminent, and it records footage for up to a minute and a half.
A 7-inch touch screen on the dashboard displays the C3’s infotainment system. The software is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two features that remain fairly rare in Europe, especially in the economy car segment. Finally, the list of driving aids includes a lane departure warning system, and a blind spot monitoring system.
Styling-wise, the C3 borrows more than a handful of styling cues from the funky C4 Cactus crossover. It gets a distinctive, love-it-or-hate-it front fascia with headlights positioned below the grille, and its doors can be fitted with patented air-filled plastic panels called Airbump that protect the bodywork from dings and dents. Overall, the new C3 looks a lot more mature than the past two generations.
The story is different under the hood, where most of the C3’s engines carry over from the model that’s current found in showrooms. Buyers can choose from a trio of gasoline-burning three-cylinder engines that churn out 68, 82, and 110 horsepower, respectively, and a turbodiesel four-cylinder offered with either 75 or 110 horses. Front-wheel drive and a manual transmission come standard, while a six-speed automatic gearbox is available at an extra cost on some engines.
The Citroën C3 will greet the public for the first time this fall at the Paris Auto Show, and it will go on sale across Europe before the end of the year. It goes without saying that the hatchback won’t be sold on our shores, but Citroën is serious about returning to the United States after a long hiatus so some of the tech features packed into the C3 might be offered here sooner or later.