Stellantis’ French brand Citroen is working on three low-cost models, including a Dacia Spring rival codenamed ‘Citroen eCC21’. According to a report from challenges.fr, the donor model of the eCC21, internally called ‘Citroen CC21’, will debut in September 2021.
Initially, Citroen planned to unveil the CC21 on 20 May 2021. However, with the target markets still in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic (and the throes of the semiconductor shortage), it comes as no surprise that the upcoming model is facing a delay. The company will now introduce the new model in India and Brazil simultaneously in September 2021. The report suggests that customer deliveries may begin within a month of launch.
Citroen is developing the aforementioned economy cars under the ‘C Cubed’ program, with plans to manufacture them in the emerging markets mentioned above. They would have a selling price of under EUR 10,000, and their electric variants would also be competitively priced. Moreover, one of the EVs coming from the C Cubed, the Citroen eCC21, is relevant to the EU, where the next-gen Citroen C3 is going pure-electric. In fact, Citroen is now testing prototypes in Europe (pics on Motor.es), and while the budget car may not launch in its original form, there is a big role for its platform or components which would be utilized in erecting the new e-C3.
With inputs taken from spy media, ElectricVehicleWeb has already presented an exclusive rendering of the upcoming Citroen electric car, assigned as the display image of this article. You can count it as a preview of the Citroen CC21 due in May as well, as the electric version would be differentiated with unique styling.
The rendering shows the small hatchback impersonating an SUV with a tall, squarish body, slightly higher ground clearance, two-tier headlamps, and roof rails. The split headlamp setup would include LED DRLs with turn indicators put inside in squarish modules and positioned along on the top, and main lamps positioned below. Citroen designers have been designing split headlamps for years now, from before they were a global trend.
The chunky underbody cladding heightens the tough styling of the micro-SUV, while making it more practical in combating broken roads and speed breakers. The grilles have been closed off, as there’s no combustion engine sitting behind with the need for intensive cooling.
In November last year, rushlane.com had posted an image that revealed the side angle of the donor model of the Citroen EV. It had revealed a squarish rear window that should allow ample light in to illuminate the cabin. The C-Pillar looks thicker due to the angle of the image and the camouflaging. The top-end variant is expected to sport roof rails and a spoiler. Before this sighting, we had spy images of the CC21 from its testing on the Chennai-Bengaluru highway, courtesy of Romit who shared them with motorbeam.com. The road testing of the Citroen CC21 began in early 2020.
Groupe PSA (now Stellantis) plans to launch the budget Citroen electric car in its first market (India) in 2022, The Economic Times reported in October last year. However, with the donor model itself running behind schedule, the pure electric variant may also not arrive on time, at least not before mid-to-late 2022. Citroen will try conquering new markets or markets where its presence is declining, such as Brazil, with the CC21 that seems to have the appeal and versatility to bring customers into its showrooms. The vehicle could become the Citroen C3 series in these countries.
Citroen CC21 – Platform & Manufacturing
Citroen will manufacture the CC21 and the eCC21 in India in Thiruvallur in the State of Tamil Nadu. The company may launch a separate model in Europe with a different design and higher quality in Europe later. “We can use the (CC21’s) platform in Europe, but with visually different vehicles,” Vincent Cobee, CEO, Citroen, said. The European model, most likely the next-gen C3, should also come with a pure electric powertrain option.
The Citroen CC21 and the Citroen Citroen eCC21 will ride on the CMP and eCMP platforms, respectively, though in a considerably pared-down specification and high local content. While the base Euro-spec Citroen C3 costs EUR 14,500, the CC21 would have to start at under EUR 10,000 to compete with established rivals.
Groupe PSA co-developed the CMP with its Chinese partner Dongfeng Motor. The eCMP platform currently underpins many European EVs, including the Peugeot e-208, the Peugeot e-2008, the DS 3 Crossback E-Tense, and the Opel Corsa-e. These e-CMP platform cars share a 50 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 100 kW electric motor. Their WLTP ranges are 340 km, 310 km, 320 km, and 330 km, respectively. Expect a much smaller battery and a more conservative range on the Citroen eCC21 to match the emerging market’s price expectation.