Citroën C3 Rally2 set for significant upgrades

New updates will be coming to customer cars soon

Yohan Rossel

The Citroën C3 Rally2 is set to be significantly upgraded – specifically on the engine and aerodynamic side – with new updates coming to customer cars soon.

The C3 R5 was born in 2018 before undergoing an upgrade (and a re-badge to Rally2) three years later.

It remains a competitive car across the world, not least in WRC2 where Yohan Rossel used one to win the Monte Carlo Rally.

But the pace in the Rally2 class is continually improving with the roll-out of Škoda’s Fabia RS Rally2 and the development of reigning World Rally Championship manufacturer champion Toyota’s GR Yaris Rally2.

So in a bid to ensure the C3 Rally2 can remain competitive, Citroën has been carrying out several development tests with drivers like Rossel, Yoann Bonato, Stéphane Lefebvre and Alejandro Cachón.

“The engineers were already working with this development program in 2022,” said Didier Clément, head of Citroën customer racing. “We are on the last incline to improve the car.

Yohan Rossel

“The next Rally2 regulation is not completely clear but in fact everybody knows that we will be able to continue with the same regulation at least to 2025, and that’s the reason why we want to increase the performance of the car to keep the car at the right level in terms of performance from ’23 to ’25 at least.”

One of the main areas of improvement is the engine, but Citroën has deliberately not chased headline power figures.

“Every driver who has driven some of those [Rally2] cars says that the C3’s engine is amazing because in fact it’s probably not the most powerful but we have enough power everywhere,” Clément explained.

“The response of the engine is very strong, the power is strong, but you have power everywhere. We definitely want to keep this philosophy because for rallying we think it’s a big advantage.

“We know from the past that it’s not necessary to have the most powerful engine. We want to increase the level at the same time, but do that everywhere – on the mid-revs, and the maximum power. We want to keep this philosophy but improve it.”

The C3 will benefit from aerodynamic tweaks too, although Clément admitted he wasn’t sure specifically what would be changed as of yet.

“The C3 Rally2 is already a well-balanced car. Drivers are already happy with that, but we want to increase the level of grip,” he said.

“We are not really sure at this time if we will change the rear wing or the front damper or both, because in fact we right now test different solutions and of course we will see in a few weeks or a few months what is the best way to increase the performance.

“But the aerodynamics will be better in the future, definitely, because we have already some ideas.”

No timescale has been given for the updates to be rolled out, but they won’t be introduced as one big package.

Clément said: “It will not be a single kit. We will improve step by step.

“Of course, every new car [that is sold] will have the new parts, but it will be very easy to implement every modification on all [existing] cars.

“It was the target in fact that with this modification we will be able to improve the performance of all the C3s on the market.”

Words:Luke Barry