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New Citroen C3 Aircross: all-new model spied testing for first time

Citroen’s entry-level SUV will return in 2024 with an all-electric variant

The new Citroen C3 Aircross has been spotted testing and it’ll arrive with some major differences. 

This is the first time we’ve seen the new car testing, suggesting a full reveal will not happen until later this year with an on-sale date potentially stretching into 2024. The biggest change the new model will bring is the introduction of an all-electric option for the first time.

PF1 architecture underpins the outgoing C3 Aircross but this didn’t allow for electrification - we’d expect a new platform from parent company Stellantis to be used with this new C3 Aircross. 

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It’s most likely that the CMP architecture, found on the Citroen C4 and e-C4 models, will be used - accommodating a 50kWh unit shared with the Peugeot e-2008 and Vauxhall Mokka-e. This means a power output of 134bhp and a range of around 217 miles should be on the cards. We expect it to be named e-C3 Aircross as well, following the naming style of the current e-C4. 

Stellantis also has the EMP2 platform which is used by the Astra Electric. This can allow for a larger 54kWh battery pack with 152bhp and 270Nm of torque, and more importantly a longer range of 258 miles. However, given the C3 Aircross will still be pitched as a cheaper alternative to the C4 and C5 Aircross, it’ll probably use the smaller battery.

There will still be internal combustion engine variants of the C3 Aircross available too. These will be made up of the 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol PureTech units seen in models across the Stellantis Group. 

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As for the new images of this test car, it may be heavily covered in camouflage but we can make out plenty of design details already. The overall size will grow over the outgoing C3 Aircross with a longer wheelbase to create extra cabin space. Citroen will take an evolutionary approach to the styling, with a headlight signature influenced by the C4. The third pillar will feature a curve that wraps around the rear passenger window. To mark it out from the C4 as a more practical offering, the C3 Aircross will have plenty of ground clearance and increased boot space.

Inside the C3 Aircross we’re likely to see an evolution of the interior design seen in current models. We expect a softer, more rounded approach than Peugeot’s i-Cockpit, although technology like a 10-inch central screen and digital display could be lifted from the car’s Stellantis siblings. 

Pierre Leclercq, Citroen’s design boss, previously told Auto Express that the French firm will avoid the temptation to move upmarket. “I am so happy to be working for a brand that is not shooting to be premium. This is a popular brand and something I love.”  

With that in mind, we expect pricing to undercut rivals from Vauxhall and Peugeot, reaffirming Citroen’s position as a more budget-friendly brand. With this in mind, expect prices to kick off around the £30,000 mark. 

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Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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