The Citroen C21 compact SUV belongs to what Citroen calls the ‘C-Cubed’ family of cars which will also underpin a hatchback and a sedan in the future in India.
We have already told you about Citroen coming to India with the C5 Aircross SUV later this year. The C5 Aircorss will come to India by the CKD route, but for Citroen’s future products for our market, the brand plans to heavily localize them and they will be built according to Indian tastes and requirements.
These new set of vehicles will arrive from 2021 onwards, with one model coming every year. The vehicles are internally being called as ‘C-Cubed’ and they will all be built on the same platform. The product range will start off with a compact SUV, then a hatchback and then a sedan. The term C-Cubed stands for ‘Cool, Comfort, Clever’, according to the manufacturer.
These C-Cubed cars will be based on a modified version of a platform that underpins the Citroen C3 hatchback and the Peugeot 208 in the international markets. Citroen has now started testing this platform in India. A test mule was recently spotted wearing the body shell of a Peugeot 208, but with a slightly higher ground clearance and a massive gap in its wheel wells.
We are guessing that the platform is being tested for the first vehicle from the C-Cubed family which is deemed to be a compact SUV. It is internally known as the C21 and Citroen plans to have atleast 90-95% localization on this product in order to achieve a competitive pricing for our market. The vehicle is in very early stages of testing currently and the production-spec Citroen C21 compact SUV will have unconventional styling, quite similar to newer Citroen models, and will have design cues from the current-gen C3.
Citroen is expected to offer this sub-4m SUV with as many as three engine options under the hood. The range will most likely start off with a 1.2 liter three cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine with a turbocharged version of the same. We also expect a 1.5 liter DV5 diesel engine to be offered with this compact SUV. Gearbox choices would include a locally manufactured 6-speed manual for starters, which will then be followed by an automatic version a little later.
The second product from this C-Cubed family following the C21 compact SUV will be a premium hatchback that will rival the likes of the Altroz and Baleno in the Indian market. A Citroen sedan for India, based on the same platform, is also on the cards. However, at this point it’s not clear whether the model will be a Dzire-rivalling compact sub-four-metre model or a four-metre-plus Honda City rival.