Citroen’s recent record in the UK’s performance supermini market has been remarkable. After the AX GT came the Saxo VTR/VTS duo, which quickly became the UK’s best selling hot hatch and held on to the title for five years running. The duo has achieved iconic status amongst young car buyers as the fun-to-drive, great value supermini.
The figures speak for themselves - a total of over 65,000 sporty models sold, as the Saxo became the cult car of choice for the Max Power generation. This success has confirmed that the key customer base for these type of vehicles is young buyers, many looking to make their first step up into the performance car market. They are looking for the excitement and street-cred of a hot hatch but at a price they can afford. They want safety and security in an insurable package which, in most cases, rules out anything much above 130hp.
So, the new C2 VTS has been designed to take advantage of this market. With its 125hp engine, agile sporty chassis and low, group 8 insurance rating (8 groups lower than the Renault Clio 182 and an amazing 6 groups less than the Saxo VTS), it provides affordable, insurable fun-to-drive motoring together with the high levels of safety and equipment expected by today’s buyers. On top of all this, Citroen is further increasing the desirability of the C2 VTS by offering free insurance* for the first year of ownership.
In much the same way as at the launch of the Saxo VTR and VTS, there are relatively few obvious rivals, with cars like the Clio 182 simply being too expensive or uninsurable for these young buyers, while most other hot hatches tend to fall into the ‘cooler’ 100-110hp category. And the superb C2 VTS package makes it even more attractive than more expensive yet less powerful models such as the MG ZR+ 120 or MINI Cooper.
The C2 VTS is sure to please a market place where, typically, the buyers will be male, aged 25 to 35, and who may previously have thought the performance sector a move too far. The affordability of the C2 VTS is set to change that, helping to further increase the profile of the sporty models, which already account for some 40% of all C2 sales.
* Free insurance not available in Northern IrelandPublished 20 August 2004