Citroen launched its first budget car earlier this year in the form of the C3 AirCross – a sub-4 meter crossover that can seat five. The French automaker seems to have bigger plans for the C3 AirCross, quite literally. Recently, a heavily camouflaged 7 seat version of the Citroen C3 AirCross was spotted testing on Indian roads giving rise to speculation that a 3 row version of the crossover was being readied for launch. There’s no official word from Citroen though. Automakers routinely test out different variants/body styles of cars and not all cars that are tested make it to the production line. So, until there’s more clarity about the C3 AirCross with 7 seats, it’s too early to assume that the longer version of the crossover will indeed be launched in India.
Coming to the Citroen C3, the car sits in the segment occupied by the likes of the Tata Punch and the Maruti Suzuki Ignis. With prices starting from Rs. 5.7 lakh, the Citroen C3 is one of the most affordable sub-4 meter crossovers sold in India. There are two petrol engines on offer, both three cylinder units displacing 1.2 liters. While one engine is naturally aspirated, and makes 80 Bhp-115 Nm, the other is turbocharged and produces a class leading 109 Bhp-190 Nm. In fact, the Citroen C3 Turbo makes more power than even bigger SUVs. Both engines get manual gearboxes – the non-turbo engine is paired with a 5 speed manual while the turbo petrol engine gets a 6 speed manual.
The C3 AirCross will get a CNG-Petrol dual fuel model in the coming months, and testing of the CNG powered variants has already begun. Also on the anvil is a 6 speed torque converter automatic gearbox as the Indian market is showing a big shift towards automatic gearbox equipped cars, even in budget segments. Both the CNG and Automatic variants of the Citroen C3 are likely to be launched sometime next year. With the addition of these variants, Citroen will be looking to cater to a wider section of the market, thereby increasing sales.
Citroen is also working on an all-electric variant of the C3 AirCross. A launch timeline for the same has been revealed. The C3 AirCross Electric will be launched in the first quarter of 2023, and could possibly be one of the most affordable electric cars in India. We expect a price tag of about Rs. 12 lakh for the C3 Electric. Like the petrol-powered version of the C3, the all-electric version of the crossover is likely to pack value. Features such as power windows for all doors, steering-mounted audio and Bluetooth controls, electrically-adjustable wing mirrors, front daytime running LEDs, a digital speedometer and a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto are likely to be on offer in the C3 Electric.