Citroen appears to be targeting segments where customers love to try something new
Bullish on the Indian market, French carmaker Citroen has planned a slew of product launches in the country. The first of these was C5 Aircross, which was launched in April at a starting price of Rs 29.9 lakh.
Two New Cars
Citroen’s second product will be a a premium hatchback and a crossover UV in the sub-4 meter UV. Both these cars are expected to debut in a few weeks. Internally, these are codenamed CC21 and CC21x.
As per the leaked scale model, the new Citroen hatch for India is going to be christened as C3. We are expecting the crossover to be christened as C3 Aircross. It will enter the sub 4m UV segment. This is another fast-growing segment dominated by the likes of Maruti Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Tata Nexon, Renault Kiger and Nissan Magnite.
The strategy may be similar to the one used by Hyundai for its i20 and i20 Active. Citroen rugged-styled hatch could have a beefier profile, higher ground clearance, bigger wheels, and more responsive power delivery.
Citroen premium hatch and crossover will be utilizing the C-Cubed platform, which is based on the triad of Cool, Comfort and Clever. Cool is all about the car’s design and its unique character. Comfort is focused on providing optimal ease of use and wellbeing for all occupants. Clever seeks to achieve a high level of local integration in line with market dynamics.
Considering that the sub-4m crossover segment is a hotly contested one, Citroen has its work cut out but the company seems to know what it is up against. The Citroen mini SUV for India will have a local content of around 90-95% right from day one thereby allowing the automaker to arrive at a competitive starting price point (of around INR 7 lakhs, ex-showroom). Unlike most new OEMs in India, Citroen will also localize its powertrain to achieve the high localization level.
It is being reported that the sub-4m French crossover will essentially be a shortened version of the Euro-spec Citroen C3 (measures 4,145 mm) in terms of styling but the underpinnings would be different. Suffice to say that the crossover will look nothing like its rivals both inside and outside.
Citroen C3 Engine
Not much is known about Citroen’s hatch for the Indian market. It hasn’t even got a name yet. However, it is likely that the hatch will be utilizing a 1.2-litre turbo petrol motor. It is rated to deliver 118 bhp of max power and 150 Nm of peak torque. It will be mated to a 5-speed manual and automatic transmission.
One of the unique capabilities of this engine is that it can run on both petrol and ethanol blends. This makes it suitable for future needs, wherein the government has planned to increase blending of fuel-grade ethanol with petrol. The target is 10% blending by 2022 and 20% by 2030. Blending of ethanol with petrol will help the country to reduce dependence on crude oil imports. Citroen premium hatch is expected to be offered in petrol-only format. A diesel variant is unlikely.
Keeping the government’s big push for electrification in mind, Citroen’s India-specific platform would be engineered to be compatible with hybrid and fully electric propulsion systems. Citroen seems to be making all the right moves to fit in the Indian scheme of things but execution is going to be the key. Interesting times ahead.
With three products in three different segments, Citroen is clearly aiming for a diversified portfolio in the Indian market. The sub-4 meter SUV and premium hatch will also work as volume generators for the company. Both these products will be ‘made for India’ and could be utilized for global markets as well.