Like Ferrari in Formula 1, Citroen is no stranger to the World Rally Championship scene. The French automaker’s capability in making a car go crazily fast on almost any type of surface is apparent where they grab the manufacturer’s title a number of times with cars like the Xsara, C4 and DS3. While it was a surprise that Citroen withdrew their works team for the 2016 season, it is a different story for 2017.
Citroen had recently released a set of pictures, showing a first peek of their 2017 WRC contender. The French company will be using their new C3 to conquer the rally stages, and mind you, the road version of this car has yet to make its debut to the public.
Instead of sticking to their existing DS3 and updating it to the FIA’s regulations, Citroen has decided to separate their competition department from the DS brand and developed a new generation of racing cars on the platform of the upcoming C3. Giving the new C3 WRC its first test run is driver Kris Meeke at the gravel roads of Chateau de Lastours and Fontjoncouse.
Powering the car is a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that pushes out 380-horsepower. The weight has been reduced by 25kg and the addition of an electronic centre differential gives the car improved traction.
“With the power and the aerodynamic efficiency, these cars are fascinating. After my first run, one of the mechanics filmed the expression on my face. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the big smile on my face spoke volumes about how much I had enjoyed driving the car,” said Kris.
“All the factors we had wanted to improve – the noise, impression of speed and aggressive design – are already in evidence, even though this was only the car’s very first test outing,” said Yves Matton, Team Principal of Citroen Racing. “I think rally fans are going to like the new generation of WRCs.”