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Boo: Citroen isn’t planning a C3 hot hatch
A new focus on comfort means no Citroen performance cars are on the horizon
Citroen, it seems, is no longer interested in performance cars. The new C4 Cactus launches with comfort as its forte, something we can expect from all of its future stablemates.
“The car is a place to relax and feel well, to have some quiet time” says the Cactus’s chassis engineer, Nicolas Berlinger. “Performance is not as big a focus anymore – because of CO2 regulations and customer demand.”
That’s despite one of the Cactus’s new innovations – hydraulic bump stops, to make it more comfily suspended – first being pioneered by Citroen’s ZX Rallye Raid (second pic, above), which won several Paris-Dakars.
“For racecars it’s very different,” says Berlinger. “It’s for avoiding high energy transfer during jumps. The setup and technology is very different here, there isn’t really shared knowledge.”
So while Citroen still competes in motorsport, most notably in the World Rally Championship - with the C3 - we won’t be seeing any WRC ethos trickle down into any road cars. In short, there won’t be a C3 hot hatch any time soon.
“We probably have the potential to sell a few with a bit more power, but it’s more important to focus on our new brand strategy of comfort,” says Xavier Peugeot, Citroen’s inopportunely named product director. He says Peugeot GTI and DS Performance models represent the Peugeot/Citroen setup in the hot hatch market.
Citroen’s boss, Linda Jackson, reinforces the point further by saying “the DNA of Citroen isn’t to have very high performance engines”. Given WRC’s three other big players – Ford, Hyundai and Toyota – each makes a thrilling hot hatch, reckon it’s a shame Citroen won’t complete the set?