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New sustainable Citroen C3 could only be offered as a lease

Citroen is preparing to debut its next-generation Vauxhall Corsa rival, with replaceable parts and an optional electric powertrain

Citroen C3 - front
  • Mild-hybrid and full-electric powertrains
  • Focus on sustainability
  • Not due until 2024

While Ford is set to discontinue its long-running Fiesta supermini in favour of focusing on its SUV lineup, Citroen is readying a replacement for its C3 hatchback. The upcoming fourth-generation Citroen C3 is set to debut a radical new design as well as upgraded underpinnings, potentially opening the door for an all-electric model to arrive later on.

The best small cars and superminis 2023Top 10 best small cars and superminis 2024

In 2022, the Citroen Oli debuted as a preview of the brand’s latest design language, with its distinctive looks expected to make their debut on the new C3. As you can see from our exclusive renders, the new C3 is likely to have a much boxier shape than before, with Citroen’s newly revised logo stamped prominently on the front and rear. 

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Like the Oli concept, the new Citroen C3 is set to be designed with sustainability in mind. Speaking to our sister publication Auto Express, Citroen boss Vincent Cobée suggested cars could be loaned on a subscription service, then upgraded after a fixed number of years with new bumpers and technology for the next owner. “Let’s say that I lease you a car for, say, £400 a month. You have it for four years, I maintain it because the price includes regular maintenance, you give me the car back, I again check and upgrade it – we’ll design the car so that it can be upgraded; think bumpers, wheelarches, etc. – and sell it, and the second ownership is another four years at £300 a month.”

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“I maintain the vehicle for 15 years, which is a business opportunity but also an opportunity [to lower my] environmental footprint. And by the way, I recycle it at the end. Today, the industry – not the OEMs – recycles 15 per cent of cars. In that model we recycle 100 per cent.”

Citroen C3 - rear

Aside from its eco-friendly, upgradeable body, the new Citroen C3 is likely to borrow its underpinnings from the latest Vauxhall Corsa. Buyers can expect the next-generation Citroen supermini to ditch its diesel engine option in favour of a fuel-sipping mild-hybrid petrol powertrain. 

Thanks to the Corsa’s CMP/e-CMP platform, we’re also likely to see an all-electric version of the C3 as well. Utilising the same tech as the Corsa Electric, the model, likely badged ‘e-C3’ could boast a range of around 250 miles and support 100kW rapid charging.

So when can we expect the new Citroen C3 to arrive? Well, given the Oli concept only debuted a few months ago and we are yet to see the new car testing in prototype phase, a release date before 2024 seems unlikely. It’s also hard at this stage to pinpoint what it might cost; if Citroen decides to allow customers to buy their new car outright rather than via a leasing service, we expect the new car to be slightly more than the current C3’s starting price of £19,245 – EV models are likely to start from around £30,000.

Looking for an EV but don’t want to break the bank? Check out our list of the top 10 cheapest electric cars

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