Citroen brings a radical new alternative to the small car market with the world debut of the C3 Pluriel at the 2002 Paris Motor Show.
Effectively five cars in one, the C3 Pluriel is totally unique in offering buyers a vehicle that comprehensively caters for day to day and leisure activities alike. Sharing the funky design and innovation of the C3, and the concept car upon which it is based, the C3 Pluriel introduces a new dimension to the small car sector, with its ability to morph from a four-seater saloon into several other configurations.
At the touch of a button the full length, full width sunroof of the C3 Pluriel Saloon can be opened to eight set positions, whilst the absence of centre pillars means that the four electric windows can be lowered to create an open sided vehicle – the C3 Pluriel Panoramic. The sunroof and rear window can then be neatly retracted under the boot floor to create an open top vehicle - the C3 Pluriel Cabriolet.
However, for unadulterated ‘wind-in-the-hair’ motoring, the C3 Pluriel’s side pillars can be simply removed in a matter of seconds, transforming it into the C3 Pluriel Spider. In its final guise, the boot lid of the C3 Pluriel can be opened downwards and the rear seats folded flat to create the C3 Pluriel Spider Pick-up, with a useful and flat space for loading and carrying long and awkward shaped objects.
With a style inspired by the Citroen C3 supermini, the C3 Pluriel boasts curvy, funky looks, both outside and in. Added touches see body colour-coded trim on the doors and seatbacks, looped headrests and seat-integrated belts, all of which are complemented by the availability of four real seats, unlike so many convertibles.
And it’s not just style that the C3 Pluriel shares with its 5-door counterpart. The C3 Pluriel offers generous interior space as well as numerous clever touches, many thanks to its multiplex electrics. These include automatic operation of the headlamps and wipers, whilst new specific functions such as management of the air conditioning and airflow, and deactivation of the rear window heater have been introduced.
The C3 Pluriel will feature a single trim level and a choice of two petrol engines, a 75hp 1.4i unit and a 110hp 1.6i 16V version, the latter equipped with Citroen’s acclaimed Formula 1 style paddle change ‘SensoDrive’ gearbox. Variable-assistance electric power steering will ensure pinsharp steering both in and out of town.
And occupant safety is of the highest order in the C3 Pluriel. Four airbags and seatbelts fitted with pretensioners and force limiters combine with a specially stiffened body shell, reinforced windscreen pillars plus strengthened seat backs and headrests to help the C3 Pluriel perform as well as a saloon in the event of an impact or rollover.Published 4 September 2002