Upcoming Citroen C3 likely to be India's first SUV with flex-fuel engine
French auto giant Citroen is gearing up to introduce its second vehicle in India. After the C5, it is looking at bringing in a smaller model in the sub-compact SUV segment and could be called C3. It is also likely to be the first car with a flex-fuel engine to hit the Indian markets.
Codenamed CC21, the C3 SUV has been spotted several times on Indian road testing in camouflaged form. It is likely to be launch in April next year. However, according to reports, Citroen will officially unveil the C3 SUV next month, on September 16. Production of the C3 SUV is likely to happen simultaneously in the carmaker's India plant in Thiruvallur near Chennai and the Porto Real plant in Brazil.
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According to reports, Citroen is going to fit the C3 SUV with flex-fuel engine which is compatible with ethanol-based fuel, besides a 1.6-litre naturally aspirated engine. The flex-fuel engine is likely to have a capacity of 1.2-litre with turbocharge, mated to either a 5-speed manual or automatic gearbox.
If reports are to be believed, then Citroen C3 could well be the first car on Indian roads to run on such engine, which the Centre seeks to promote alternate fuel. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had recently said that the government is planning to make it mandatory for carmakers in India to produce vehicles with flex-fuel engines, which is compatible with fuel like ethanol-blended petrol. Gadkari had also said that his ministry will come up with a decision to make it mandatory for carmakers to have flex-fuel engine vehicles in its lineup. Such engines are already used widely in Brazil, Canada and United States.
The C3 SUV will be Citroen's first car produced on the brand's new Common Modular Platform (CMP). Citroen has planned the C3 SUV to keep its costs down by as much as possible. For this, the carmaker had entrusted engineers from Tata with the mission of stripping the CMP platform in order to develop a C3 in line with local demand. In fact, Tata Punch, which was recently unveiled, can also be called a technical cousin of the C3 model.