Vijay Pattni31 August 2012

Citroen reveals the DS3 Cabrio

Canvas-roofed supermini gets Internet premiere ahead of public debut in Paris

Citroen DS3 Cabrio

In just 16 seconds, you too can enjoy the fruits of the Great British Summer on the move: from feeling nice and dry and comfortable, to getting a blast of full-on, cosmically powerful rain and wind. 16 seconds. Welcome to the new Citroen DS3 Cabrio.

That's because the new Citroen DS3 Cabrio can open or close its canvas roof in just 16 seconds, and at speeds of up to 74mph. Handy then, considering our fair nation's propensity to be quite biblically rainy on a moment's whim.

Unveiled today on the Internet - ahead of its public, real-world debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show next month - Citroen has revealed the first details on its drop-top supermini. Except it's not a proper drop-top; that canvas-roof merely folds back a-la Fiat 500C. So that means the roof rails stay in place, while the roof itself winds back and folds up at the back, with the rear window dropping down and out of harm's way. No folding metal hard-tops in sight.

Gallery: the new Citroen DS3 Cabrio

That, incidentally, does mean the canvas-roof is open to a raft of personalisation options, available in a range of colours and designs that form a core part of the DS3's heart. And the canvas itself is woven from three different coloured threads, including a shiny one, that react differently in the light.

The basic dimensions of the DS3 Cabrio are pretty much identical to the hatchback - a hatchback we made our Car of the Year in 2010 - albeit a couple of millimetres shorter, and the additional strengthening (inserted around the boot) to ensure you don't wobble yourself into a panic attack has added only 25kg; barely an American's breakfast.

The cabin space is identical to the hatchback's too, with a 60/40 split-folding rear bench, and the boot space has only had 40 litres chopped out of it (245-litre capacity). There's also a new rear taillight setup comprising 31 LEDs and semi-reflecting mirrors to create a 3D-type effect. Groovy.

As ever, the inside gets lots of attention, with white ambience lighting, acoustic damping (to the lining of the canvas roof), new upholstery including blue leather and colour-coded inserts.

It'll go on sale early next year with, naturally, a version of the 1.6-litre e-HDi diesel emitting just 99g/km of CO2 from launch. This, or the Fiat 500C?

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