In the Celestial Empire, the PSA group together with its partner Dongfeng have recently suffered a real disaster: if before under the Citroen brand, there were 250-300 thousand cars sold annually, and Peugeot even broke through the 400 thousand mark, then the result of 2018 was 113,867 and 139 162 cars respectively (-14% and -44%). This year it got worse: in January-October, Citroen dealers sold 45,271 cars in China (2.2 times less than a year earlier), and 55,966 cars were sold under the Peugeot brand (half as much as a year ago). In the summer, it was even reported that the French were seriously considering the possibility of leaving the albeit falling, but still the largest market on the planet. So far, it seems that everything has come down to the fact that the JV DPCA (Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobiles) will get rid of two of the four local plants. And against this alarming background, Citroen is preparing the premiere of a small cross-sedan.
Photos of the novelty were added to the base of the Ministry of Industry of China, judging by the nameplate on the stern, it will go on sale under the C3L index. Before us is a “four-door”, created on the basis of the Citroen C3-XR crossover, which, in turn, is built on the old PF1 platform (it also underlies the C-Elysee / Peugeot 301 sedans, they were once sold in Russia).
Recall that the SUV debuted in 2014, it is available only in the “celestial” market. Last year, the C3-XR was updated, a restyled version and became a “donor” for the sedan: the models have a common front design. The lanterns also switched from a crossover, but the tailgate that has grown does not look so harmonious. But for the sedan retained unpainted plastic body kit.
The length of the C3L is 4505 mm, which is 223 mm longer than the original C3-XR. The height of the “four-door” is 1513 mm, for a SUV this figure due to roof rails is 1557 mm. The width and wheelbase are the same – 1748 and 2655 mm. Ground clearance is not specified – neither for a sedan nor for a crossover. Some Chinese forums write that the C3-XR has 175 mm.
The certification authority traditionally does not publish a photo of the interior, but inside the C3L it will probably copy a crossover. That is, the sedan received a two-tone finish, a multimedia system with a large screen, rectangular airflow deflectors and a “truncated” steering wheel.
The engine has so far been declared one, it has also switched from a SUV – this is a 1.2 petrol “turbo-engine” that produces 116 hp. At C3-XR the motor is combined with a six-speed automatic transmission. The crossover still has a 136-horsepower version 1.2 with a robotic gearbox, plus a four-cylinder “aspirated” 1.6 (117 hp) with 5MKP or 6AKKP. Four-wheel drive Citroen C3-XR does not have it and the “four-door”. But for cross-country, the proprietary Grip Control system is provided, which changes the operating mode of traction control electronics – most likely, it also appears in the C3L arsenal.
The sedan will probably go on sale next year. The Citroen C3-XR crossover costs from 94,800 yuan (about 852,000 rubles at the current rate), the C3L should be cheaper.
Like the original SUV, outside of China, the new Citroen four-door is unlikely to appear, although in foreign markets it could well compete with the Renault Logan Stepway.