This is Citroën’s latest rally car. With the French automaker’s considerable expertise behind it, it’s bound to win a rally or two. But that’s not why it’s caught our attention.
What we’re looking at is the first image of the Citroën C3 R5, a downgraded customer version of the one that the Chevron marque runs in the World Rally Championship.
Still in the thick of its development, the C3 R5 is set to debut later this month at the Rallye du Var that forms part of the French Rally Championship – driven by one Yoann Bonato, who has already sealed up the title with four wins this season. Since the C3 R5 has not yet been finalized and homologated, it’ll run as a “zero” car, clearing the way for the competitors to follow.
That’s all well and fine, but the reason it’s caught our attention is because it looks like it would make for one heck of a hot hatch – sans the race livery and maybe some of the more extreme aero elements and bodywork modifications.
Why the R5 and not the existing WRC version, you ask? Because R5 rally cars like this one are much closer to production spec than their top-tier counterparts. Tone it down a little more and it’d make a serious rival to the likes of the Volkswagen Polo GTI, Renault Clio RS, Ford Fiesta ST, and Toyota Yaris GRMN.
The question is whether Citroën and its parents at the PSA Group (with their cash and attention all tied up in Opel at the moment) will see what we see and put just such a beast on the road. One can only hope.