A single example of why WRC is so awesome.

Citroen took off the 2016 FIA WRC championship season to focus on developing it’s new WRC car based on the C3. It’s only been a year, and we’re finally seeing the conceptual version make its debut ahead of the Paris Auto Show. As you can see, the car takes a lot of cues from the road-going C3 but has plenty of extreme modifications that make it suitable for its only purpose – tearing up every rally course it rolls onto. The car was developed in a joint venture between Citroen’s style center and Citroen Racing, and is nearly track ready, minus a few minor adjustments that we’ll talk about later. There’s no telling what’s under the hood of this concept, but we know the official race version will deliver 380 horsepower and be about 55 pounds lighter than this concept.

The important thing to remember here is that this model is just a concept and Citroen has kept certain things about the actual production car out of this Concept. It does feature the same width and aerodynamic features of the car that will be used in WRC, so don’t expect to see too many changes in the future. This new car comes as a push to publicize Citroen’s new C3 as well as proof that Citroen is taking its WRC heritage seriously and looks to expand its impressive portfolio of eight manufacturer’s titles and 96 wins.

So, will the new C3 WRC car be able to live up to the hype that Citroen has built up around its previous WRC performance? It’s hard to say, but let’s take a look at this concept and talk more about what’s to come.

Continue reading to learn more about the Citroen C3 WRC Concept Car.

Exterior

2017 Citroen C3 WRC Concept Car High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Citroen C3 WRC Concept Car High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Citroen C3 WRC Concept Car High Resolution Exterior
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If you were really looking to but a Citroen C3, you’re going to be really sad that yours doesn’t look like this WRC Concept. While it has the same overall form of the standard 2017 C3, there’s so much more going on that makes this car look absolutely amazing and sporty. Up front, the car still packs a production-level hood and the two chevron lines between the headlights, but down below the radiator grille has been enlarged and spots “Citroen Racing” writing on the mesh. The headlights are still recessed in the front fascia below those thin and sleek running lamps. Farther down, however, this baby is a completely different monster. The air dam from the production model is gone, being replaced by a massive front spoiler. The fog lights from the production model have been removed, but the holes remain and will function as vents for airflow through and down pressure creation at speed. The air vents and radiator grille are outlined in yellow while the rest of the front end gets a red, grey, and black livery.

It has the same overall form of the standard 2017 C3, there’s so much more going on that makes this car look absolutely amazing and sporty.

Moving to the sides, the WRC Concept features very pronounced fenders that give this car a wildly aggressive and wide stance up front. These are in place thanks to FIA’s rules for width and tie in nicely with the wider front fascia and front spoiler. These fenders are also notably flat on the top which will help to apply down pressure to the front wheels at higher speeds – something that will surely come in handy on some of those crazy rally tracks. Moving farther back along the side we find smaller but effective side view mirrors that feature some yellow accenting. Down below, the airbump panels are gone to make way for those aggressive sides skirts than swoop upward toward the rear and disappear into the rear brake intakes in the rear quarters. The rear quarters have also been widened quite a bit to bring the car up to FIA specs and to further accentuate the overall look of width and aggressiveness. From the side view, we can clearly see that this concept has been lowered by 2- to 3-inches at least compared to the standard C3. At this point, I have to point out at how nicely the wheels fill the wheel wells and line up nicely with the rest of the body. Yellow accenting can be found on the side skirts, the side of the front spoiler, plus the calipers are painted yellow as well.

The WRC Concept features very pronounced fenders that give this car a wildly aggressive and wide stance up front.

The livery on the side is designed in a way that it almost feels like the grey paint on the front fascia, and wide fenders is actually peeling off and layering across the side of the car. It’s a cool look and very stylish. Up on the roof, there’s a small roof scoop that is likely functional and could allow for some air flow into the passenger cabin. There are various antennas on the roof to allow the driver to communicate with the rest of the team. I have to commend Citroen for going with a white roof while the rest of the car has lots of dramatic color to it. It really helps level out the livery.

In the rear, the most obvious thing to point out is that outrageously large rear spoiler. I mean this thing really dominates just about any other spoiler that I’ve seen recently. It protrudes from the rear hatch and actually sits almost level with the roof. With a two-layer design, it should provide ample downforce in the rear while allowing just the right amount of airflow to pass through it. The Concept you see here features the same rear taillights as the production model, but there are now air passages on the outside of the lights that should help air to pass through from the side skirts. Down below the fascia obviously, sits a little lower than the stock model, but is clear carries the same overall design. There is a rectangular exhaust outlet on each corner that is integrated into a wildly aggressive rear diffuser – at least for a Citroen anyway. Impressive!

Interior

As is the usual case with race cars and concepts, we don’t get to see what is actually going on in the interior. This is a concept that should be nearly the same as the official WRC car, so I would expect this interior to feature all of the common FIA-required safety equipment like racing seats, five-point harnesses, fire suppression system, roll cage, and don’t forget the communications equipment and GPS system. Even with all of that, the Concept and the official WRC car should have an interior that is stripped but still somewhat similar to that of the stock model. Things like carpet and rear seating will likely be removed, but the dash should remain, albeit with some FIA-required modifications. Hopefully, we’ll get a good look of the interior when the car shows up in Paris, so stay tuned for updates in this department.

Drivetrain

2017 Citroen C3 WRC Concept Car High Resolution Exterior
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Here’s where things really get interesting. Citroen hasn’t said what is found under the hood of this concept, but it has said that the engine of the official WRC car will deliver 380 horsepower. From what, though, we have no clue. The road-going C3 comes with the option of three different gasoline engines that produce 67, 80, or 108 horsepower, which means Citroen has somehow mustered up some 270 horsepower in this C3. It says that the engine uses an enlarged turbo flange that is now 36 mm in size, but there is clearly more going on under the hood than an enlarged turbo flange. The old DS3 WRC used a 1.6-liter engine that delivered some 315 horsepower so it could be possible that Citroen managed to scrape more power out of the engine, or it could have gone with a more powerful 2.0-liter engine that could easily make the advertised 380 ponies. For now, that’s about all we know and can speculate on, but there is the fact that the official WRC car will be some 50 pounds lighter than the concept and will have electronic differential control.

Conclusion

2017 Citroen C3 WRC Concept Car High Resolution Exterior
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I have to say that I’m absolutely in love with this concept. In fact, it makes me want to go buy a C3 and modify it to have a similar look with different livery, of course. It wouldn’t be that hard to add a nice wide body kit, a suspension lowering kit, some rally wheels, and a massive spoiler. The problem is, the stock C3 comes with enough power to compare it to a beefed-up lawnmower, so you would have to make some changes under the hood too. Of course, I’m getting a little too far ahead of myself.

As far as this concept goes, it’s absolutely amazing, and I can’t wait to see the official car in action. Something tells me that Citroen could very well dominate WRC this coming season. Stay tuned for future updates about this concept and the official WRC car. Until then enjoy our gallery of photos and the videos Citroen released as part of this concept’s debut.

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Press Release

Citroën Racing is getting ready for its big comeback to the FIA World Rally Championship, bringing with it a new challenge and adventure for a team with renowned expertise. It is also another way for the brand to support the launch of New Citroën C3: an energetic car with a unique shape that packs a real punch under the bonnet.

The world is getting an exclusive first look at the C3 WRC concept car at this year’s Paris Motor Show.

2017 Citroen C3 WRC Concept Car High Resolution Exterior
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Designed by the Citroën style centre in partnership with Citroën Racing, the concept car offers an extreme version of New Citroën C3, muscular and chiselled, with striking visual design. The concept car heralds the arrival of the new rally car that will compete for the first time at the Monte Carlo Rally in January 2017.

Already boasting three Drivers’ World Championship titles* in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), Citroën is also on the way to winning its third manufacturers’ title with the C-Elysée. The C-Elysée has encountered both sporting and commercial success in Citroën’s major international markets.

2017 Citroen C3 WRC Concept Car High Resolution Exterior
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Citroën is making another push in its product offensive with New C3, and is preparing for success in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). The Citroën team is already more than familiar with the WRC, having won eight manufacturers’ titles and boasting a record 96 wins. Such a competitive championship is perfectly suited to the technical foundations of New C3 and its energetic character.

Very close to the finished WRC challenger, the C3 WRC concept car hints at the intentions of the Citroën style centre without giving away its final form. Based on New C3, it retains all of its curves and fresh appeal. This ultra-sporty, brawny, and chiselled version incorporates the stylistic elements of the production model: with its two-level light signature, two-tone body/roof and accents matching the colours of the roof. The exterior also stands out with a chassis 55mm larger than New C3, affording greater aerodynamic freedom including a spoiler for the front bumper.

2017 Citroen C3 WRC Concept Car High Resolution Exterior
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The C3 WRC’s exterior has been adapted for the racing world with bumpers that accentuate the car’s look, as do the dual chrome chevrons that extend across towards the LED daytime running lights. The decorative touches have also been enhanced: the roof is adorned with a gel capsule and a yellow border.

As for the wing mirrors, they have been sculpted from carbon for a real racing look, and come in yellow to echo one of the colours available on New C3.

While the final version that will compete in the WRC will be fully compliant with FIA WRC regulations, the C3 WRC concept car is already almost there. Its width has been designed with these new regulations in mind, as have the front and rear aerodynamic spoilers. The final racing version will take all of these changes into account:

  • Enhanced engine power to around 380bhp, made possible by enlarging the diameter of the turbo flange to 36mm
  • Greater freedom with aerodynamics with a maximum width of 1875mm, a protruding front bumper and a rear bumper fitted with a diffuser
  • An enlarged rear spoiler moved further back for even greater aerodynamic support
  • The car is 25kg lighter
  • Electronic differential control is now allowed.

Committed to an innovative approach, the brand is also unveiling a video showing the C3 WRC concept car in action. Filmed especially for the Paris Motor Show, it was produced by Citroën and ScanLab Projects, a specialist in ‘3D scanning’: an innovative image processing technique using scans and data. The video was filmed in late May at Rally Portugal, along 26km of the Marao course. Filmed entirely in black and white, this artistic direction fits perfectly with the brand’s desire to innovate.

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