Groupe PSA confirmed the launch of the Citroën C5 Aircross their Flagship SUV in the Indian market scheduled to be introduced in the first quarter of 2021. The brand pushed the dates from the earlier 2020 launch to 2021 due to the supply chain disruption and the COVID induced nationwide lockdown in India. Now a new press report suggests that the French manufacturer is planning to launch Flexi-Fuel and electric powered by vehicle by 2021 and 2022, respectively.
Furthermore, the report suggests that the brand is working on a mass-produced small electric SUV codenamed ‘eCC21’. The eCC21 is expected to come with a 100% eclectic powertrain and is likely to be introduced in 2022 with a price tag of around the INR 8 lakh mark, making it the direct competitor of the Mahindra Electric e-KUV100 which was launched at the Auto Expo 2020 at the price of INR 8.25 lakh ex-showroom. Other competitors will be the Tata HBX and the Renault Kwid electric which are likely to arrive in the Indian market over the next couple of years.
The second vehicle with the clean fuel quotient is likely to be a flex-fuel model codenamed CC21, a small SUV that is likely to share the platform with the electric eCC21 but is expected to come with a 1.2-litre petrol powertrain optimised to work starting with 27% of ethanol blend as well as biofuel. At present, most of India’s oil marketing companies offer ethanol blends of up to 5-7%. For fuel with ethanol content up to about 10%, no modification to the powertrain or mapping is required, but fuels with more than 10% ethanol require special mapping and tuning to run smoothly and efficiently.
The CC21 SUV is likely to be introduced in 2021 following the C5 Aircross SUV. Both the new electric vehicle and the flexi-fuel option will be in-line with the Govt. of India’s plans to reduce oil import and reduce consumption of fuel. Like the Citroen C5 Aircross, the other models are also likely to be manufactured at the PSA-CK Birla joint manufacturing facility in Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu, which will have significant savings in terms of its cost in taxes as compared to a CBU (Completely Built-Up) unit, imported from abroad.