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Citroen Launches New C3 Aircross For Emerging Markets With Up To Seven Seats

The CMP-based model was designed for the Indian, South East Asian, and South American markets in mind and is different from the EU-spec Citroen C3 Aircross

by Thanos Pappas

May 1, 2023 at 05:59

 Citroen Launches New C3 Aircross For Emerging Markets With Up To Seven Seats

by Thanos Pappas

Many automakers present global models, but Citroen follows another strategy, differentiating its offerings in order to better meet the individual needs of each market. In that context, the Citroen New C3 Aircross is an ICE-powered B-SUV for India, South East Asia, and South America which is different from the upcoming C3 Aircross for Europe and is available in five- and seven-seater configurations.

As with its European sibling, the New C3 Aircross belongs to the B-SUV (subcompact) segment. However, with a length of 4.32 m (170.1 inches), it is 170 mm (6.7 inches) longer than the outgoing EU-spec C3 Aircross. It is also 339 mm (13.3 inches) longer than the New C3 that is already offered in India and South American markets.

Read: 2024 Citroen C3 Aircross Coming With A Larger Footprint In Mild Hybrid And EV Forms

Predictably, the New C3 Aircross looks like the New C3’s bigger brother. The model adopts an SUV stance with split headlights, sculpted fenders, discreet plastic cladding, C-shaped taillights, a wraparound rear windshield, and a duo-tone livery. The French automaker has already presented its new emblem, but the B-SUV retains the double chevron on the grille as one of the last new models to get it. The company said that there will be “minor variations between each market” although they didn’t specify them. It remains to be seen how different will the EU-spec C3 Aircross look in terms of exterior and interior design.

Inside, the dashboard is derived from the New C3, including the 7-inch digital instrument cluster and the 10-inch infotainment touchscreen which is available in higher trims. Besides the five-seater model, there is also a seven-seater variant with a 2+3+2 layout. The three-row option gives the Citroen New C3 Aircross a competitive advantage in South America, while answering the needs of the customers in India and Indonesia where SUVs and seven-seater MPVs have proved to be quite popular.

The cargo space has a capacity between 482-511 lt (17-18 cubic feet) in a five-seater configuration, with the third row being removable. Other features include Citroen’s comfort-oriented seats, powerful air conditioning, and a special “ventilation module” for rear passengers that is mounted on the roof. Practicality is further enhanced with five USB ports for charging, in-cabin storage, and cup holders that double as smartphone holders.

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The New C3 Aircross is based on a stretched version of the CMP architecture which will also be used by the EU-spec C3 Aircross, albeit with different tuning and powertrain options. The R&D of the model was completed with “regional input”, adapting to the needs of local customers.

The SUV will be initially offered with a non-electrified turbocharged 1.2-liter PureTech petrol engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission sending power to the front axle. Still, the 200 mm (7.9 inches) ground clearance in combination with the suspension tuning, the torsional stiffness, and the underbody structure make it capable in light off-roading scenarios and in the rough roads of those specific markets.

The Citroen New C3 Aircross will be produced in two locations – Porto Real, Brazil, and Thiruvallur, India. The market launch in India and South America is expected later in 2023, with Indonesia following in 2024. As for Europe, it will get its own C3 Aircross sometime in the next few months.

The company said that the New C3 Aircross is the second of three new models “specifically aimed at international growing markets under Citroën’s C-Cubed program” between 2022 and 2024, following the New C3. Helped by this offensive, Stellantis hopes that 30% of Citroen’s global vehicle sales will come from markets outside Europe by 2025.

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