French car manufacturer Citroen is planning to set shop in the Indian market by the end of the first quarter in 2021. The brand plans to bring its flagship SUV first in the Indian market, the Citroen C5 Aircross which is expected to highlight the brand’s design, style, technological prowess. The C5 Aircross will be brought to India via the CKD route and will be assembled at the PSA-CK Birla joint manufacturing facility in Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu.
But the brand’s sales driver is not expected to be the premium C5 Aircross SUV. The flagship SUV is only expected to give the brand a headstart and pave the way for Citroen’s volume driver which is expected to be the Citroen CC21 Mini-SUV, a product specifically developed for the Indian market. The new Mini-SUV codenamed CC21 has been spotted testing in the Indian market as the brand validates the vehicle for our market.
While the CC21 was spied testing under full camouflage cover, a Frech publication reports that the car could carry a ‘C3’ branding and has come up with a speculative rendering of the Mini-SUV giving us a glimpse of what we could expect on our streets in the near future. According to the renderings, the CC21 is likely to come with strong Citroen design traits such as an imposing front apron with headlamps mounted on the bumper, LED daytime running lights fitted flush with the bonnet shutline and incorporated with the double chevron grille, large air intakes on the lower bumper, Airbump style signature side cladding, dual-tone roof, C-shaped LED taillamps, a tailgate applique with Citroen branding, muscular rear bumper and prominent cladding on the wheel arches.
But the pièce de résistance is supposed to be under the hood. The CC21 is expected to become the country’s first bio-fuel vehicle, optimised to work with Ethanol blends starting from 27% to up to 100%. Up to 10% of vehicles do not need any optimisation and the CC21 is able to work with regular fuels as well as ethanol rich fuel. Currently, in the Indian market oil companies offer ethanol blends of up to 5% to 7%. The companies are expected to offer more ethanol rich blends after the arrival of the Citroen CC21.
The Citroen Mini-SUV is also speculated to be offered with a fully electric powertrain, codenamed eCC21. The details on the eCC21 are still scarce and are expected to be revealed soon. However, both the CC21 and the eCC21 are expected to use the CMP (Common Modular Platform) with heavy levels of localisation which will help in keeping the costs to the minimum and Flexi fuel CC21 is speculated to be priced starting the INR 5 lakh mark and the electric version is likely to be priced starting INR 8 lakh mark.
Ethanol is non-toxic, biodegradable and an oxygen-rich fuel that contains 35% oxygen. The fuel is domestically produced from renewable plant sources and is safe to handle, transport and store. Ethanol also helps reduce carbon monoxide emissions, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter, making it environmentally friendly. In the recent past, TVS Motor Company, in limited numbers, sold the Ethanol powered TVS Apache RTR 200 Fi E100 in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, launched at the price of INR 1.20 lakh ex-showroom.