Sam Philip29 June 2009

New Citroen C3: first look

Citroen's new supermini gets greener and much glassier...

New Citroen C3

See more Citroen C3 pics

Citroen has given us a first look at its new C3, set to reach the UK early next year.

It's a bit bigger than the outgoing model - around nine centimetres longer and four centimetres wider - and retains a similarly bubbly profile, though with a wider track and slightly tauter, sharper sheetmetal.

And a whole lot more glass. Check out that huge windscreen-slash-sunroof, which becomes progressively more tinted as it sweeps back over the driver's head. That's a lot of air, right there.

The C3's bigger footprint means more interior space - there's extra legroom in front and back, though bootspace remains the same at 300 litres.

It'll be green, too. From launch, we'll see a 90bhp HDI diesel which will emit just 99g/km of CO2, qualifying the C3 for free road tax. In 2011, we'll see second-generation stop-start technology lowering emissions to around 90g/km of CO2.

Before then, though, Citroen will offer the C3 with an all-new 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine, unrelated to the Toyota-PSA three-pot in the Aygo, C1 and Peugeot 107. It should manage CO2 emissions under 100g/km, the first time we'll see such impressive emissions from a non-hybrid petrol car.

Expect posher materials and improved noise insulation in the cabin, and - if you're feeling so inclined - an integrated air freshener. Mmm.

We won't see a three-door C3 as such - the upmarket DS3 will plug that gap in the Citroen line-up.

So what do we reckon? Further evidence of the Citroen design renaissance... or a bit of a let-down after the funktastic C3 Picasso

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