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For its latest entrant in the Chinese marketplace, Citroën tapped its corporate sister for a little hand. The Chinese Citroën C2, you see, is is built on the Peugeot 206 platform. The 206 bloodlines show: notice that the C2 China's hood is vented in the exact same spots as the 206. While it's badged a C2, it has nothing in common with the European-market car whose name it shares.
Despite its ties to the older Peugeot, this C2 is still a stylish automobile. A five-door hatchback, it wears a slightly upturned variation of the C4-C5-C6 grille, with its open "wings" angling up into the headlamps. That, combined with the larger opening below the bumper, gives the face a meaner, more purposeful look than its Euro cousins. Two gasoline engines will be offered -- the 1.4i (75hp) and the 1.6i 16V (106 hp). The 1.4i will be available only with a 5-speed manual, while buyers of the 1.6i can opt for a 4-speed automatic.
The base SX trim offers a good level of standard equipment, with the EX adding goodies like leather and an optional power sunroof. Oddly, the SX trim only features power windows up front. backseaters must make do with cranks. Customers who want to have power windows all around must select the better-optioned EX. How weird is that?
This C2 joins an eclectic lineup of Citroëns in China, ranging from the unbelievably dated and excellently-named Fukang to the modern C-Triomphe. It'll be in dealerships at the end of 2006, and Citroën hopes the car will leave them at a brisk pace -- the plan is to locally build as many as 40,000 of them a year once they hit the market.
CITROËN LAUNCHES A NEW COMPACT HATCHBACK IN CHINA
Present in China since 1992, Citroën is now consolidating its position with a new vehicle developed specially for this market and scheduled for launch at the end of 2006. Based on the same platform as the Peugeot 206, the new 5-door compact hatchback is the first vehicle in this segment to be produced and launched by Citroën in China. A car with real personality, it rounds out the Marque's current Chinese range, made up of the Fukang, Elysée, Xsara Picasso, C-Triomphe, C5 and – soon – the C6.Although it is completely different from its European counterpart, this new vehicle has also been baptised C2 in order to position it within the range sold in China. According to forecasts, more than 40,000 units of this new vehicle will be produced in China over a full year.
Fourteen years of experience
Citroën is a key player in the Chinese market, with more than 600,000 vehicles produced and sold over the past fourteen years. The Marque's sales results for first-half 2006 showed an increase in volumes of more than 12% compared with first-half 2005, with 60,000 vehicles sold.
This result will be further consolidated by C-Triomphe – the new notchback sedan – which has already taken 10,000 orders since its market launch at the end of May. Looking towards the full-year sales target of 50,000 vehicles, the full impact of C Triomphe will be felt only in the second half of 2006.
A complete and diversified range
Absent until now from the supermini segment in China, Citroën is counting on the C2 to continue building sales in this market. With this new vehicle produced at the Wuhan site (in Hubei province), Citroën now has a full range of models meeting the specific requirements of customers whose knowledge and enthusiasm for cars is growing by the year. Alongside more traditional vehicles, such as the Fukang and Elysée, the Marque's line-up comprises imported models such as the C5 and C6, and locally produced vehicles based on its latest products, such as the C2, Xsara Picasso and C-Triomphe.
Dynamic, stylish lines
The C2 is aimed at a young, dynamic customer base, looking for modern design and styling. The car's prestige looks promise both power and personality, as illustrated by the expressive front end. The generous, determined-looking radiator grille rises up to the headlamps, whose tapering design brings to mind C-Triomphe and other recent Marque vehicles.
High standards of roadholding and comfort
The C2 stands apart for exceptional dynamic qualities and suspension comfort that are among the best in the segment. Reaping the benefits of Citroën's long-standing expertise, the running gear is optimised to endow the C2 with impeccable road manners. The wishbone MacPherson-type front suspension ensures precise steering. The trailing-arm rear suspension guarantees exemplary roadholding, excellent cornering stability and exceptional comfort.
An engine range tailored to requirements
The C2 is available with two petrol engines 1.4i (75 bhp DIN and 120 Nm at 3,400 rpm) and 1.6i 16V (106 bhp DIN and 142 Nm at 4,000 rpm). Both engines have been adapted to take into account the characteristics of Chinese fuel, along with the specific climatic and geographic characteristics of this country, in order to guarantee maximum driveability in all conditions of use.
Alongside the 5-speed manual gearbox, the C2 is available with a sequentially controlled 4-speed automatic gearbox on the 1.6i 16V version.
A wealth of equipment
The C2 range comprises two levels of trim: SX and EX. Both feature a generous array of comfort and safety equipment. From the first level of trim, the C2 boasts ABS with EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution), driver and passenger airbags, power steering, air conditioning, a CD-radio, central locking with plip control and electric windows at the front. The EX version boasts leather upholstery, electric windows at the rear, electric rearview mirrors, an aluminium interior pack, chrome strips underlining the side mouldings and a chrome tail pipe. All versions, excepting the 1.4 SX, are equipped with 15-inch light alloy wheels.
EX versions feature an optional one-touch power sunroof and air conditioning with automatic temperature control.