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CitroŽn C3

A car of many talents
The C3 aims to become the new reference in its segment for roadholding/ ride comfort balance and for the performance of its petrol and diesel engines. The C3 sets high standards of on-board well-being and can thus lay claim to a versatility not usually found on B segment vehicles. C3 is both a city runabout – by virtue of its compact dimensions – and a motorway tourer –virtue of its overall performance. 

Compact and easy-to-handle in the city
Compact external dimensions
The external dimensions of the C3, and notably its overall length (3.85 m), place it squarely the category of city runabouts designed to dart in and out of traffic and to take up minimal  parking space. 

New electric power steering
For easy handling in the city, as well as on longer motorway journeys, the C3 features a electric power steering system in which power varies continuously as a function of speed. 

The objective is to satisfy distinct requirements in terms of easy steering: to reduce driver in low speed manoeuvres, and to "read" the road at cruise speed, directing the car precision. The electric power steering satisfies this dual requirement. 
The laws applied by the system to reduce power in relation to speed are transparent to the driver. The transition between high assistance at low–speeds and moderate assistance at higher speeds is gradual and gentle. 

In this way, whatever the driving conditions, the electric power steering system always places the focus on easy steering and safety. 

Electronic parking assistance
This function makes light work of parking manœuvres. Four sensors in the rear bumper detect any obstacles and warn the driver with an audible alarm. The system is activated automatically as soon as reverse is selected.

Driving pleasure over long journeys
With its new engines and equipment, the C3 offer a level of driving pleasure that is worthy of a  full-size tourer. 

A new generation of direct-injection turbo diesel engines
The C3 is the first CitroŽn to be fitted with the new-generation HDi engines developed through  the cooperation agreement between PSA Peugeot CitroŽn and Ford. 

The C3 offers a choice between the 1.4 HDi 50 kW (70 bhp DIN) and the 1.4 HDi 16V 66 kW (bhp DIN) engines, with an air-to-air intercooler and variable-geometry turbocharger. These 1.4 l HDi units are second-generation common rail engines, which offer an attractive to conventional diesel engines of higher capacity. The new powerplants combine the benefits the first-generation HDi engines – low consumption, silent operation, driving pleasure excellent environmental performance – with compact dimensions, low weight and a level performance not usually associated with engines of this capacity.

Using technology to increase driving pleasure
As a result of the technological choices made (design of the cylinder heads, system and direct injection), the C3 combines levels of acoustic comfort and engine hitherto reserved for luxury vehicles.

To meet all requirements, the C3 offers a choice of an 8 or 16 valve cylinder head, developing  kW or 66 kW (70 bhp DIN and 92 bhp DIN) respectively, with torque of 150 Nm or 200 Nm. 1.4 HDi 16V is the most efficient engine currently available in the B segment (47 kW/litre and 65  bhp DIN/litre). 

Each engine type has a corresponding turbocharger. Their small size and low inertia cut times and increase driving pleasure.

The 8V engine is equipped with a fixed-geometry turbocharger, while the 16V engine has variable–geometry turbocharger with an intercooler and multi-valve technology. This applies specific control laws, through which it is able to adapt to driver behaviour by output in accordance with the pressure placed on the accelerator pedal. 

New-generation common rail systems
The injection systems of these new engines significantly improve the precision of injections and notably the pilot injection (a key factor in controlling noise emissions). Moreover, the increased injection pressure helps to improve specific performance levels.

Acoustic benefits and increased reliability
 The compact, lightweight 1.4 l common rail diesel engines were developed without compromises on the acoustic performance and low vibration levels that are essential in a new-generation diesel engine. 

Engines that respect the environment
Combining new-generation common-rail technology with improved combustion control reduced weight, these low–capacity diesel engines enhance performance levels and bring significant cuts in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions with no trade-off in vehicle performance. 
 

1.1i, 1.4i and 1.6 16V, three petrol engines that have won unanimous acclaim
The 1.1i engine develops 44 kW (61 bhp DIN) at 5,500 rpm and torque of 94 Nm at 3,400 Developing power of 55 kW (75 bhp DIN) at 5,500 rpm with torque of 120 Nm at 3,400 rpm, 1.4i engine combines driving pleasure with consistent performance.

The 1.6i 16V engine belongs to the latest generation of petrol engines. Introduced in September 2000 on the new Xsara, it brings the C3 a level of performance and driving pleasure not usually seen in vehicles of this type. It develops 80 kW (110 bhp DIN) at 5,750 rpm with maximum torque of 147 Nm (15.3 m.kg) at 4,000 rpm. Efficient fuel management means that consumption levels are particularly low. 

Comfort and peace of mind with sequentially controlled automatic transmission
This type of automatic transmission system meets drivers' needs by adapting to their individual driving styles, a function that brings significant benefits in terms of driving comfort and – in consequence – safety. The 1.4i engine features the AL4 auto-adaptive gearbox. This gearbox offers three operating programmes :

  • a normal programme, managing six auto-adaptive shift patterns,

  • a Sport programme, managing two auto-adaptive sports shift patterns,

  • a Snow programme, which gives priority to grip.


This auto-adaptive gearbox features sequential gear-change control. With this function, the 
driver can select the gears manually, if he so wishes. 
In manual mode, the driver manages gear selection by pushing the gear lever forwards or 
backwards. In this way, he can adopt a sportier or more dynamic driving style. 
This transmission combines the advantages of an automatic gearbox with those of a manual 
gearbox, leaving the driver free to switch from one to the other.
 

A wide range of comfort equipment
The C3 features a wide range of equipment to make sure that occupants stay comfortable and relaxed, no matter how long the journey.

With its high-quality finish, seat design, acoustic and thermal comfort, generous equipment and simplicity of use, the C3 satisfies – and even anticipates – the requirements expressed by the occupants. As a result, they enjoy a high level of on-board well-being and can complete long journeys without undue fatigue. 

The sheer versatility of the C3 is illustrated by a wide range of functions including the height-adjustable driver's seat, height- and reach-adjustable steering wheel, central locking, continuously variable electric power steering and – depending on the version – front electric one-touch window lifts with an anti-pinch function, HF plip, air conditioning with automatic temperature control, heated, adjustable, electric rearview mirrors and two central arm-rests at the front, among other features.
 


© 2001 Julian Marsh