It looks like another French-carmaker is headed for India. Citroen was spotted testing the C3 hatchback on the outer-ring road in Bangalore, with its badges camouflaged.
The car was identified as the 2012 Citroen C3 by CarToq expert Devdath Narayan, as one of the logos had come unmasked. Unfortunately, we did not have a camera or phone handy to bring you pictures of the camouflaged car, but take a look at the car that was launched in Australia earlier this year, and you see how it will fit in well with the Indian car market.
It looks like the Peugeot-Citroen alliance is keen on getting a share of the Indian market, but has been facing too many hurdles. Peugeot had been pursuing plans to build a plant in Gujarat to manufacture cars in India with a 650 million Euro investment, but those plans fell through. The company then said it may get into an alliance with General Motors to make cars.
The sighting of a camouflaged Citroen C3 shows that the French company is serious about the Indian market and is evaluating the C3 as one of its first models for the country. Earlier Peugeot was seen testing the 207 hatchback and 508 sedan in India.
The Citroen C3 makes more sense as it will likely compete in the lucrative premium hatchback segment where the Hyundai i20 and Maruti Swift are popular cars.
The C3 has a very smooth, flowing rounded shape to it. The windscreen is huge and goes into the roof-line lending the cab an airy feel. In Australia, the car is offered in three engine choices – two petrol and one diesel, and it’s likely that Citroen may be evaluating the same for India.
The engine choices include a 1.4 litre petrol engine that puts out 72 bhp of power. There’s also a 1.6 litre petrol unit that puts out 118 bhp of power. The diesel engine too is a 1.6 litre that puts out 91 bhp of power. However, for the Indian market Citroen may reconsider engine choices if it wants to meet small car norms. It has to offer a petrol engine under 1.2 litres and a diesel engine under 1.5 litres.
While it’s always nice to have more choice in the market, buyers can’t really expect this car to appear any time soon, given the hurdles the company has been facing in re-entering India after its exist in 1997. Peugeot then had a tie-up with Premier Automobiles Limited, and made the absolutely brilliant Peugeot 309 in India, but unfortunately the company folded up. Also read: Definitive list of failed Indian cars