Wednesday 9 July 2008

New Car: 2009 Citroen C3 Picasso

Citroen will launch its smallest and most radical MPV at next September’s Paris Show. The C3 Picasso, which has a close mechanical relationship with the PSA’s Peugeot 207 family, sets out to ditch the “worthy” image associated with MPVs.

When it goes on sale in summer 2009 in the UK, it will be the fifth people-carrier in Citroen’s fast-expanding range, and the third to use the Picasso name.

Citroen aims to take advantage of growing demand for the Vauxhall/Opel Meriva-class MPVs over the next few years. Sales went from 20,000 units in 1998 to 600,000 units in 2005, but receded by 15 percent.

The C3 Picasso’s jaunty two-box styling, Citroen design bosses claim “devilish charm”, makes a complete break with other Citroen MPVs, though there are enough cues to maintain a family look. Its 4.08 metre length places it squarely between the C3 (3.85m) and Xsara Picasso MPV (4.28m). However, the C3 Picasso’s generous 1.62m height, near-vertical tailgate and straight body sides give it the biggest seats-down luggage capacity in the class.

Two 1.6 litre diesel engines (90bhp and 110bhp) and two 1.6 litre BMW-PSA petrol engines (95 bhp and 120 bhp) will be available. The diesel engines will emit 125g and 137g/km of CO2. Citroen plan to keep the engine line-up simple. They believe that the C3 Picasso can make life tough for the class-leading Meriva, whose European sales last year plummeted to 125,000 units from the previous year’s 160,000-plus units. The C3 Picasso will also be produced in Brazil by 2009, aiming at the local market and exports to South American countries. Since it uses the Peugeot 207 platform, the car could also be produced in Brazil.

PSA’s Slovakian plant starts producing the C3 Picasso in early 2009 and will produce 110,000 MPVs yearly, along with Peugeot’s 207 hatch. Main rivals for the new MPV will be the Nissan Note, Renault Modus, Skoda Roomster and the upcoming Vauxhall/Opel Mervia, while prices are likely to start at £9,500.

Press Release:

C3 Picasso, Citroën’s new creation

With the C3 Picasso, Citroën is once again shaking up conventional automotive ideas, introducing an innovative concept that is sure to play a leading role in the B2 MPV segment.

The C3 Picasso bears all the hallmark creativity of Citroën and stands out with its bold styling, innovative architecture and outstanding ingenuity. It does more than simply sublimate the qualities of an MPV. The high-set seating and onboard visibility will delight all passengers, while the vehicle’s complete and intuitive modular design will make their day-to-day life a charm. And the newcomer’s nimble roadholding will satisfy drivers looking for pleasure and involvement at the wheel.

The new C3 family body style will be presented at this year’s Paris Motor Show, ahead of launch in first-quarter 2009.

Devilish charm:

Citroën has skilfully played off the opposing qualities of round vs. square, strength vs. charm, modernity vs. retro, and large volume vs. flowing lines to design a vehicle with breakthrough styling and an appealing, impish personality. The C3 Picasso’s pure and functional body styling expresses its fundamental purpose: passenger comfort at all times in all situations. Small outside, big inside

The C3 Picasso’s particularly innovative architecture makes it small outside and cavernous inside. Measuring 4.08 m long, 1.73 m wide and 1.62 m tall, it has a surprisingly compact front end and a strictly vertical rear end. These original proportions provide an incredible amount of cabin room. The boot is equally capacious, boasting up to 500 litres VDA under the parcel shelf with all five seats in place.

Making life easier:

The C3 Picasso revolutionises user-friendliness with its intuitive modular design that allows owners to optimise interior space in record time. The split-fold rear seats slide independently over 150 mm for the comfort of all passengers, whatever their shape or size. The seats can be folded away with one hand in one simple movement using controls on the upper part of the rear seat backs. Combined with a mobile boot floor, this function provides a completely flat loading space right up to the seatbacks in row one. Load length can be further extended by folding the front passenger seat back down into desk position.

Wide-angle view:

The driving position offers unrivalled wide-angle vision thanks to the innovative, three-part windscreen with slim pillars and the high seating position that gives drivers a commanding view of the road. Wrapped in a striking glass envelope, the cabin is flooded with light. At up to 4.52 m with the panoramic roof, the glazed surface on the C3 Picasso is one of the largest in the segment. The MPV as “pleasuremobile”C3 Picasso drivers get a whole new experience of driving pleasure that sets the bar high in the segment. The car’s compact dimensions and tight turning circle make it impressively agile and able to dodge obstacles with ease.

The C3 Picasso has a vehicle attitude worthy of a saloon, bringing drivers complete peace of mind in all driving conditions. The C3 Picasso is also fitted with a range of high-performance, economical engines. It will ship with two new-generation petrol units – the VTi 95 and VTi 120 – and two diesels, the HDi 90 and HDi 110 DPFS, renowned for their driving pleasure and efficiency. These engines provide low CO2 emissions, with the HDi 90 unit emitting just 125 g/km. C3 Picasso models fitted with HDi engines carry the Airdream® environmental signature that identifies the Citroën models with the best environmental credentials.

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