C3 i & Pluriel

C3Heavily heralded by the press as a "new 2cv", presumably due to the vague similarity in outline, the C3 was released in 2002 as a slightly more upmarket replacement for the Saxo.

Mechanically, it was more evolution than revolution. Based upon the 206's platform, and using revised mechanicals, the C3 was only available with a rounded five door hatchback body - or as the unusual Pluriel convertible. A short-lived XTR version saw off-road style bodykit, raised suspension and roof bars - but with the same FWD mechanicals as the rest of the range, albeit with the addition of a limited slip differential.

C32004 saw the C3 Stop & Start become available, with a semi-automatic SensoDrive gearbox and an engine management system that used a combined alternator & starter motor to seamlessly stop the engine when the car became stationary, then restart it just before the car was required to move away from rest again. Not the first use of the concept - Volkswagen had had a similar system in the '80s (billed as "Formel E"), the C3's Stop & Start was a more sophisticated implementation of technology that has since become widespread with other manufacturers (notably BMW) seeking to reduce CO2 emissions. The combined generator & starter had been previewed in the 1990s by Citroen, with the Xsara-based Dynalto concept.

2009 saw the C3 badge transferred to a completely new car, but the original C3 remained available for another year as the lower-cost "C3 First".

PlurielThe Pluriel, introduced in 2003, shared the C3's mechanicals and platform, but topped with an electric sliding roof which provided several different degrees of "open-ness". The simplest option was to open the roof to the top of the rear window, which opened as a hatchback. The entire window-and-roof assembly, however, could be rotated under the boot floor, to provide fresh air from windscreen to rear belt line. The hard body sides removed quickly, via a couple of clips, but could not be stored inside the car. However, in this configuration, the car was effectively a true convertible.

The body side seals quickly gained a reputation for being slightly less than weatherproof, which stuck through the car's life despite a redesign massively increasing their efficacy. The Pluriel was discontinued in 2010, and there does not appear to be a Mk2 on the way.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer