Citroen will soon be officially commencing its operations in India with the launch of the C5 Aircross. The French carmaker has already revealed the India-spec C5 Aircross. The C5 Aircross will be coming to our shores as a CKD and will be locally assembled at the company's plant in Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu. While Citroen's first offering in India will be quite expensive, the company has been rigorously working on its second offering which will be brand's true mass market product for India. Set to be a sub-compact SUV and codenamed Citroen CC21, it has been spied testing on our roads once again.
The Citroen CC21 sub-compact SUV will be manufactured here in India for both domestic and export purposes. In fact, it has been specifically developed for the Indian market. The CC21 will be underpinned by a new platform which is a derivate of the carmaker's Common Modular Platform (CMP) that also underpins several Peugeot and Citroen vehicles globally. This will also be the first time that Citroen has debuted a platform outside of Europe.
Based on these spy shots, an interesting thing to note is that the CC21 appears smaller than other sub-4m SUVs such as the Hyundai Venue and Kia Sonet. Yes, it has an SUV-ish design and it rides pretty tall as well, but its overall dimensions and footprint are more comparable to those of the premium hatchbacks. Citroen could thus be looking to undercut the sub-compact SUV space and price the CC21 very aggressively with a sub-INR 5 lakh starting price. Like any new model in India, pricing will be the key.
Citroen has already announced that the upcoming sub-compact SUV will be a petrol only SUV and there are quite a few engine options that the carmaker could be considering. Citroen will be manufacturing engines of displacement between 1.0-litre and 1.4-litre at its joint facility with CK Birla group in Tamil Nadu. The sub-compact SUV could be powered by 1.2L turbo-petrol or a 1.0L turbo-petrol engine. The CC21 will also be the first model under Citroen's C-Cubed programme for India.
The cc21 sub-compact SUV is expected to launch in India around Diwali this year. Following that, Citroen promises that they will keep introducing at least one new model every year, gradually building up its product line-up in our market. A mid-size SUV to rival the likes of the Jeep Compass and Tata Harrier might be on the cards next.