New C3 is Citroen of the future

New C3 is Citroen of the future

EV will get radical concept-inspired looks, eco materials, new logo and keen pricing

The next-gen Citroen C3 will go on sale by the middle of the decade as a compact EV with styling and construction heavily influenced by the firm’s Ami quadri-cycle and Oli concept car.

A new C3 EV was confirmed to be in the works by Citroen branding executive Laurent Barria, who said the car will be focused on “accessibility to electric mobility" and lean on design cues and sustainability credentials exhibited by the recently revealed Oli.

Barria added that it will be the first Citroen to wear the brand’s new logo, which means an official reveal is likely to take place within the next year.

Design director Pierre Leclercq has previously said the Ami and Oli “have to influence [Citroen’s] production cars" — indicating that its next models will borrow key ideas from each to kick off the brand’s push for sustainability and affordability.

He said “not one" idea from the Oli concept was being dismissed. CEO Vincent Cobee added that it will take around five years for all the technology on the Oli to make it to market but some of it could come within months.

As such, the new C3 is likely to use a relatively small battery- although not as small as the 0li’s 40kWh unit — targeting a range of around 250 miles. The larger Citroen e-C4 currently on sale uses a 50kWh battery (with a 45kWh usable capacity), which gives it an official range of 219 miles.

An electric C3 is hotly tipped to use a variation of the CMP architecture that underpins the electric version of the currentPeugeot 208, which will shortly gain a 156bhp motor and have a range of nearly 250 miles -figures that the new C3 EV is expected to at least match.

Among the design cues that it is likely to take from the Amiand Oli is the use of identical front and rear bumpers. It’s also expected to carry forward the Oil's utilitarian styling.

In July, product and strategy director Laurence Hansen emphasised the importance of Citroen’s cars straddling traditional segments, in an effort to future-proof them. The e-C4 X and C5 X exhibit this philosophy — the C5 X being an estate-cum-SUV with rugged design cues and the e-C4 X a high-riding shooting brake, also featuring 4x4-esque cladding.

The upcoming C3 will use more recycled materials than current models to push-sustainability. Inside, greater control over the infotainment is expected to be handed to your mobile phone.

This model is expected to be sold in parallel with the petrol-powered ‘New C3’, which is available only in developing markets such as India and South America, where the EV charging infrastructure is less advanced.

The next-generation C3 is expected to undercut existing electric crossovers such as the Kia Niro EV, which starts from £36,245. However, it is unlikely to reach the €25,000 (£22,000) target set out by Hansen for the Oli and instead sit at around the £30,000 mark.

The current petrol-powered C3 is one of the cheapest new cars on sale in the UK, costing £13,995 in its entry-level You guise.

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