Having introduced airbumps on its quirky C4 Cactus, Citroen is rolling them out on some of its more mainstream models. The new endlessly-customizable C3 draws heavily on its bigger brother's design, right down to the stretch of plastic panels designed to protect against errant doors and shopping trolleys.
From the outside, the C3 will be instantly familiar to anyone who's laid eyes on the C4 Cactus. Citroen's funky two-tiered headlamps make an appearance here, albeit in a slightly more compact form. There's also plastic cladding on the wheelarches, which blends into the front bumper for a pseudo-crossover look, even though the chances of anyone taking their C3 off-road are slim-to-none.
Forget about faux-crossover toughness, this is a car designed to handle the urban jungle. With that in mind there are those airbumps running along the side of the car, ready to deflect any errant shopping trolleys or car doors that would otherwise ruin the paintwork. This time, the thermoplastic polyurethane panels can be finished with red or white detailing, in keeping with the rest of the car's fully customizable character.
It's not just the exterior that has taken its inspiration from the Cactus, the C3's interior has nicked some of its bigger brother's charming design details as well. With leather straps instead of traditional door pulls and the same pared-back center console, there's no doubting the family resemblance.
Under the hood, Citroen will be offering three gasoline and two diesel engines, all of which are paired with a manual gearbox as standard. There's also an EAT6 automatic gearbox available, but that's almost guaranteed to ruin the fun. The three-cylinder gasoline engines will put out 68, 82 and 110 hp (51, 61 and 82 kW), while the diesel engines will generate 75 and 110 hp (56 and 75 kW).
On the technology front, buyers can use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to connect their phones to the seven-inch touchscreen. The C3 also sees the debut of a new ConnectedCAM system, which allows drivers to record images and video from their drives. If those drives finish in disaster it also switches on automatically, recording footage from 30 seconds before and 90 seconds after an accident, just like the system in Cadillac's CT6.
When it comes to customization, C3 buyers can mix the nine paint colors on offer with a range of two-tone finishes. There are also four different interior packages available, each with different colored stitching and dashboard finishes.
So far there's no word on how much the car will cost, but pricing for the current model starts at around £11,280 (US$15,100) so expect to pay a similar amount for the new model. You can also expect to pay a healthy premium depending on which of the color packages you pick on the spec sheet.