Last week I informed you that the Stellantis Group had announced a new investment programme at its Porto Real plant in Brazil to ensure the production of its flex-fuel hybrid technologies. This announcement at the factory, combined with the presentation of the new C3 Aircross to the Governor of the region, was perhaps not insignificant.
In a few weeks, the new Citroën C3 Aircross will be officially launched on the Brazilian market, some time after its launch in India. If the brand's latest SUV would have three versions, it would only be available with a 120 hp 1.0 petrol engine mated to a seven-speed CVT automatic gearbox.
However, this launch could soon be followed by a new engine range that would give the C3 Aircross a clear advantage in its segment. In fact, the latest rumours suggest that the latest addition to the brand could be the first vehicle from the Stellantis group to have a Flexfuel hybrid engine, born out of recent announcements from Stellantis on the development of electrification in Brazil, through an offer that combines electrification with ethanol to be both effective in terms of reducing emissions and accessible to the consumer.
It is in this area of accessibility that the C3 Aircross could therefore be the first car of the group to offer a bio-hybrid offer, which could be a low power (3kW) alternator starter connected to a 12 volt battery, the latest Stellantis system offered on the C5 Aircross Mhev in Europe and adapted to Brazil, including a 48 volt battery and a more powerful electric motor integrated into the automatic transmission.
Based on an accessible version of the CMP platform, the C3 Aircross seems to have everything in place to receive such engines, which would allow it to offer an electrified and accessible range in both cases and give it a clear advantage in its segment, in addition to its 7-seater version, which is another important asset.
We will have to wait for Citroën's forthcoming announcements in Brazil to see if this arrival of bio-hybrid engines on the C3 Aircross is confirmed and when they will be installed. There is little doubt that they will be available from the commercial launch, but it could be later, perhaps as late as 2024. In any case, the new C3 Aircross seems well equipped to be competitive in its segment and allow Citroën to further increase its sales on the important Brazilian market.