September 14, 2004 Different cars suit different purposes. It’s a sad fact that few cars tend to meet more than a handful of those purposes. Accordingly, we love Citroën’s convertible C3 Pluriel, a single car that can convert in seconds from a versatile hatch back, to a hatch with a massive open roof, to cabriolet, then a spider and, finally a Ute with a drop down tail gate.
All of this versatility does not come at the expense of good looks, as would be expected of a company that has already won world's most beautiful car crowns for the Citroën C3 and C2 models.
Not only does the C3 Pluriel have exceptional good looks, because it has been designed specifically to be a convertible car, rather than adapting an existing design to have a removable roof, the C3 Pluriel looks good, roof up, down or anything in between.
This intelligent design extends to the versatility of the C3 Pluriel and its every day usability. Not only is it the only car in its class to have the ease of use of a hatchback, when the roof is folded away it has no impact on the main boot size at all.
With all the flexibility of the design, the Citroën C3 Pluriel might be expected to command a premium price – good news. It has just gone on the market at AUD$31,490 with electric windows front and rear, remote central locking, AirCon, electric mirrors, a CD audio system, and power steering standard. The Pluriel features an electric power steering system in which the power assistance varies as a function of vehicle speed. This system has the dual benefits of using less fuel and being able to offer a wider range of assistance from finger light at parking speed to low level assistance as driving speeds.
The C3 Pluriel is fitted with the digital multiplex electrics from the Citroën C5, with a new generation 32-bit computer. Digital multiplex electrics offer a range of comfort and safety features including:
* Hazard warning lights that come on automatically in the event of emergency braking.
* Intermittent flashing of the roof light if a door is opened while the car is moving.
* A programmable excess speed warning.
* Automatic operation of the windscreen wiper and headlamps.
* Radio volume indexed to vehicle speed.
This technology is also used to manage the retractable roof system, air conditioning controls adapted to roof configurations, sliding function disabled when the rear window is open, and rear window defrost disabled in cabriolet and roadster configurations.
The Citroën C3 Pluriel is powered by the new generation 1.6i 16V engine developing 83 kW at 5,750 rpm with maximum torque of 147 Nm at 4,000 rpm.
This engine combines powerful performance with good fuel consumption and emissions, and a level of driving pleasure rarely seen on this segment.
Equipped with the SensoDrive gearbox as standard, this high-performance engine is designed to respond to all types of driver requirements. Top speed is 185 kmh, the Pluriel will cover the 0-100 kmh dash in 11.6 seconds and consume as little as 5.5 litres/100 km in the European average fuel consumption test.
Gizmag previously looked at the Citroën Pluriel when it was announced that the concept vehicle would go into production.