Citroen launched their flagship SUV, the C5 AirCross in the Indian market for a starting price of Rs. 29.9 lakhs ex-showroom. Now, they are concentrating more on the affordable sub-4 metre segment. A test mule of C3 AirCross that is sold in the international markets was spotted in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh and now a similar test mule has been spotted in Delhi NCR. The C3 AirCross is smaller in size when compared to the C5 AirCross but it still does not lie under 4 metres. So, the manufacturer is developing an all-new model for India. The compact SUV will rival the likes of the Maruti Brezza and Kia Sonet in the sub-4 meter compact SUV segment.
The C3 AirCross that was spotted measures 4,154 mm in length, 1,756 mm in width and 1,637 mm in height. Because it exceeds 4-metres it would not be able to take the tax advantages that are offered by the government. It retains the typical design language of the Citroen. So, the squared headlamps with black surrounds, turn indicator placed above and a rectangular grille. The vehicles that were spotted was running on steel rims which means that it was not the top-end variant.
In the international market, the Citroen C3 AirCross is sold with a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine. It produces a maximum of 108 bhp at 5,500 rpm and a peak torque of 205 Nm at 1,500 rpm. The engine is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox.
India specific car in development
The vehicle that is currently in development has been codenamed CC21. It falls under the 4 metres so it would be able to take the tax advantage offered by the government. It is based on Citroen’s Common Modular Platform. The platform has been localized so that the costs can be reduced and the production version is priced competitively in the market. The same platform is used in various Peugeot and other Citroen products.
The CC21 will be running the same 1.2-litre turbo engine but it will retuned to produce less power and torque in favour of fuel efficiency and also because the CC21 is a smaller vehicle than the C3 AirCross. The engine is expected to produce 100 Ps of max power and 150 Nm of peak torque. It will be offered with a manual gearbox and an automatic gearbox.
The CC21 will be the first vehicle in India to come with a flex-fuel engine. This means that the engine would be able to run on regular petrol as well as ethanol blends from 27 percent to 100 percent. This is a good thing because our governments emphasizing increasing the ethanol content in petrol. This will give the first-mover advantage to Citroen. Key competitors such as the Kia Sonet and Maruti Brezza are not yet flex fuel ready.
The CC21 will derive a lot of design elements from C3 AirCross and till now only heavily camouflaged test mules of the new vehicle have been spotted. Unlike the C5 AirCross, the CC21 will be built in India so it would not be priced on the higher side. The C5 AirCross came to India as a CKD or Completely Knocked Down unit. Due to this, its price is higher than its competitors. However, the CC21 (sub-4 meter version of the C3 AirCross) will be heavily localized to keep prices low. Expect it to be priced in the ballpark of the Kia Sonet and Maruti Brezza.