The new Citroen e-C3 is designed to be a European alternative to affordable electric vehicles (EVs) from China, as well as a spiritual successor to the long-departed 2CV.
The e-C3 is priced from €23,300 ($37,720) in France. To put that in context, the current C3 hatch starts at €16,590 ($27,600), while the slightly larger C3 Aircross crossover begins at €22,350 ($37,140)
In the UK, the e-C3 looks likely to be a £2000 to £3000 cheaper than the BYD Dolphin, which is similarly sized, but boasts more power and range.
The China-made Dacia Spring starts from €20,800 ($33,200) thanks to its basic 33kW/125Nm electric motor, and 26.8kWh battery.
At launch, the e-C3 has an 83kW electric motor driving the front wheels, which is able to propel the car from 0-100km/h in around 11 seconds and towards a top speed of 135km/h.
Equipped as standard with a 44kWh lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery pack, the e-C3 has a 320km WLTP range rating. It supports AC charging up to 11kW, and DC fast charging up to 100kW.
In 2025 Citroen will launch a cheaper €19,990 ($33,200) e-C3 variant with a smaller battery pack and a WLTP range of 200km.
The new e-C3 is the first Citroen to sport the company’s new, squarer design language that made its debut with the 2022 Oli concept.
Ahead of the driver is a two-spoke flat-bottom steering wheel. In lieu of the traditional analog dials or digital display, the instrumentation display consists of the thin projection-based head-up display strip located high on the dashboard near where it meets the windscreen.
For the entry-level You grade, the centre of the dashboard has a smartphone dock. Utilising an app and the car’s NFC wireless capabilities, the phone can connect quickly to the car, and the driver and front passenger can access phone, radio, and media services.
Other features include 16-inch steel wheels, autonomous emergency braking, manual air conditioning, six airbags, electric mirrors, power front windows, LED headlights, cruise control, and rear parking sensors.
Meanwhile the only other trim level, Max, features a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.
The Max variant also sports 17-inch alloy wheels, a two-tone exterior with contrasting roof, faux leather steering wheel, climate control air conditioning, electric rear windows, wireless smartphone charging, mirrors with heating and electric folding, a 60/40 split-fold rear seat, LED tail-lights, and a reversing camera.
Available safety features extend to lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, and an electronic parking brake.
Measuring 4.01m long, 1.76m wide, and 1.57m tall, the new e-C3 is 19mm longer, 6mm wider, and around 100mm taller than the current C3 hatch.
Highlighting its transformation from a hatch to a crossover, the e-C3 has a ground clearance of 163mm, compared to the 135mm afforded by the existing C3.
The e-C3 is about 140mm shorter and 70mm lower than the C3 Aircross, the next generation of which will reportedly grow in size and become a seven-seater.
To achieve its low price point, the e-C3 is based on a reworked, and Europe-compliant, version of the Stellantis Smart Car platform, which has previously only been used on vehicles developed for emerging markets like India and Brazil.
The existing developing world version of the C3 is based on this architecture, and is a completely distinct model from the C3 available in Australia and Europe. Complicating matters still further, there’s a e-C3 spun off from that car boasting a 43kW/143Nm electric motor and a 29.2kWh battery.
To be built in the same Slovakian plant that makes the existing C3, the new e-C3 goes on sale in Europe from the second quarter of 2024. Australian availability has yet to be confirmed.
It’s possible there will be petrol-based models added to the new European C3 range in the future as the platform supports both pure electric and internal combustion engine drivetrains.
MORE: Everything Citroen C3