Citroën has revealed the C3 WRC concept car ahead of this year’s Paris motor show as the French carmaker prepares to return to the FIA World Rally Championship.
Designed by the Citroën style centre in partnership with Citroën Racing, the concept car offers an extreme version of the new C3, as well as heralding the arrival of the new rally car that will compete for the first time at the Monte Carlo Rally in January 2017.
Said to be “very close” to the finished WRC challenger, the C3 WRC design study hints at the intentions of the Citroën style centre without giving away its final form.
The concept 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.
Racing adaptations include bigger 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 gets a gel capsule and a yellow border.
The exterior also stands out with a chassis 55 mm larger than the road-going C3, granting more aerodynamic freedom including a spoiler for the front bumper.
While the final version that will compete in the WRC will be fully compliant with FIA WRC regulations, Citroën says the C3 WRC concept car is already almost there. For example, its width has been designed with the new regulations in mind, as have the front and rear aerodynamic spoilers. However, despite its enlarged size, the concept weighs 25 kg less than Citroën’s 2015 race car.
Under the hood, a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine has been boosted to deliver around 380 bhp, which has been made possible by enlarging the diameter of the turbo flange to 36 mm.