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The Citroën is adding the reigning Junior World Rally Champion to its Australian range, the Citroën C2 VTS, providing a new performance edge to its smallest model to produce the ideal city car that is as fast as it is stylish.
“Citroën is not only dominating the World Rally Championship, it is equally dominant at the entry level, with the Citroën C2 winning its class right from its first event and providing Citroën with the Junior World Rally Championship to match the senior title,” explains Miles Williams, the General Manager for Citroën in Australia. “The car that has proven so successful is the Citroën C2 VTS, the performance version of the C2 VTR that has been offered in Australia for the past two years, and we are doubly pleased to be able to welcome the VTS to the Australian Citroën range, as it also marks a significant increase in the C2 allocation for this market.”
Although the Citroën C2 VTR arrived in Australia in 2004, numbers have been limited by Citroën’s ability to meet demand for the C2 in all markets. This has meant that every C2 that has arrived in Australia has had a customer before it landed and Citroën Australia has consistently been unable to meet demand.
“It’s the ideal combination,” says Mr Williams. “We now have a significantly better car and we have full free supply of the C2 VTS. There can be no doubt that the C2 can now, finally, fulfill its full potential in Australia!”
Although it is powered by a 1.6 litre engine of the same size as the C2 VTR, the power unit in the VTS has had its power output lifted from 80 to 90 kilowatts and this, combined with lower intermediate gearing, has slashed the zero to 100 kmh time from 10.9 seconds to just 8.3 seconds. Top speed, where permitted by law, if lifted from 195 to 202 kmh. This performance boost comes at only a slight fuel penalty; combined fuel consumption rises from 6.3 to 6.9 litres per 100 km, which means that the C2 VTS is both frugal and fast. With a Euro Four compliant engine, it is also clean.
Unlike other car makers that produce a performance version of their existing models by adding a few sporting items of equipment matched by under the skin mechanical changes, Citroën has produced an entirely separate model to provide the sporting counter part to the Citroën C3. This not only endows the C2 with a much stronger sporting design and performance, it also ensures exclusivity, with nothing but the performance C2 available.
Although it sits on Citroën’s “Platform One”, which is shared with the C3, there are no common body panels and, with its lower roof line and shorter overhangs, along with its dynamically different styling, the Citroën C2 presents a very different character to the C3. From the 16 inch alloy wheels with the extremely low profile 45 series tyres, via the deep drawn bumpers, the Citroën C2 is designed to be a sports model from end to end.
This sporting profile continues inside because while it has a stylish dashboard derived from the Citroën C3, it has its own unique sports seats and interior fittings. The gear knob is polished alloy and door handles are finished in translucent plastic that is colour matched to the cloth trim used in the door panels and the side bolster sections of the standard sports seats. The centre sections of the seats use a special form of cloth similar in design to that used in top end training shoes that allows substantially more air ventilation than normal cloth.
The back seat and load area of the Citroën C2 are unique. For a start access is via a split rear hatch, which means that loading car be done in the tightest parking spaces.
The top section is more than opening window, it’s also pulls the standard rear parcel shelf up and out of the way when it opens. The locking mechanism is electrically operated for safety, security and ease of use.
Citroën has decided that it is better to have comfortable, flexible seat for two in the back of the C2 rather than a compromised three seat bench. So the C2 has two full size seats which can slide backwards and forwards separately to offer either more boot space or more leg room. Not only do the backs of these two seats fold forward, boosting space, they can also be flipped forward with the assistance of gas struts – another unique feature – to take the load space up to a remarkable 879 litres, a huge volume considering the over all size of the car.
But do not be fooled into think that compact exterior dimensions means a cramped interior. When it comes to space utilization, Citroën are the masters. Remarkably, the interior of the C2, despite being smaller in length (3.66m vs. 3.85m) and height (1.46m vs. 1.52m) than the C3 and sitting on a smaller wheelbase (2.31 m vs. 2.46), the interior of the C2 is only slightly small than the C3, a car which offerings a larger than class average interior. For example, front elbow room is just 1 cm smaller in the C2, there is just 2 cm less headroom and even in the rear, elbow and head room are just 2 cm less. A remarkable feat in design.
As would be expected of the top of the range performance model, equipment levels in the Citroën C2 VTS are well above the class benchmark, whether it be safety with ABS brakes, four air bags and a four star rating in the NCAP awards, comfort with power steering, electric windows, electric mirrors, AirCon or convenience with trip computer, height and reach adjustable steering and integrated digital audio system.
The Citroën C2 VTS has a recommended retail price of $23,990, placing it just above the C2 VTR, which has a recommended retail price of $21,990.
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