First Images of the Next Citroen C3 Show a More Compact C4 Cactus

Following a series of disappointing models, Citroen seems to have decided it was about time it grew some balls and stopped trying to please everyone. Instead of a design nobody found repulsive, but nobody really fell in love with, the French company has no problem polarizing the public with its latest offerings.
2017 Citroen C3 9 photos
Photo: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
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Drawing some inspiration from the love-it-or-hate-it Nissan Juke, Citroen brought us the wonderful C4 Picasso as well as the "I kind of like it" C4 Cactus. With a front end that sees multiple layers of lights stack on top of each other (again, much like the Nissan Juke) to the point where you can't really tell which does what, the new cars can be accused of a lot of things, but being boring isn't one of them.

The current C3 B-segment car, on the other hand, is a snore-fest. The only thing that pulls it out of the ordinary pool is that Zenith windscreen, but a gimmick like that isn't enough to hide a car that's just as boring as a German one, only not nearly so well made. The Citroen CEO, Linda Jackson, nailed it perfectly in one of her analysis: “The research suggested that we were ending up third, fourth or fifth on too many buyer’s shortlists.” Yes, that's what tends to happen when your car lacks that "je ne sais quois" that the French really should know quois.

The new C3 will most likely be a smaller copy of the C4 Cactus, and you won't hear too many people complain about that. Of course, the larger car's design details will need to be adapted for the smaller body and its different proportions, but it's enough to look at what they've done with the C1 city car and it's plain to see it can be done. And, more importantly, it looks quite good.

The spied car literally could not have been wearing any more camouflage without making it a hazard on the road, so it's very hard to tell any details apart, but judging from where the cutouts are, it's clear it'll have those layered headlights. Hopefully, the Zenith windscreen stays as well, and the interior will also receive more high-quality materials than the outgoing model.

Engine-wise, expect the highly-acclaimed 1.6-liter HDi diesel engine to make an appearance, flanked by the two gasoline engines that can be found on the current model as well: the 1.0- and 1.2-liter Puretech three-cylinder units. Even though the C3 won't be geared towards performance, it should spawn a WRC rally car nevertheless.

Some reports say that the new Citroen C3 might be launched this fall at the Paris Motor Show, but since this is the first time the car has been spotted out testing, we doubt that will be the case. However, it does look production ready under all that camouflage, so stranger things have happened.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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