IT IS only a month since Citroen announced to the world that it’s next big challenge is to take on the established marques in the World Touring Car Championship in 2014.
But the French car giant has not been hanging around — it has just revealed the car with which Sebastian Loeb will tackle the WTCC.
The Citroën C-Elysee WTCC will be the first vehicle to be designed in accordance with new regulations being prepared by the FIA for the category next year.
On September 26, 2012, at the opening of the 2012 Paris Motor Show, Frédéric Banzet, Yves Matton and Sébastien Loeb announced that Citroën was considering taking part in the World Touring Car Championship.
A few minutes earlier, the C-Elysee had just been unveiled for the first time to the world’s media. Ten months on, these two events come together again with the release of the first pictures of Citroën C-Elysee WTCC!
Benefitting from the best of the Brand’s expertise in terms of style, development and quality, C-Elysee is a C-segment saloon aimed principally at high-growth, international markets such as those in Latin America, the Mediterranean region, China and Russia. Widely acclaimed by customers, Citroën C-Elysee is already 30 per cent ahead of its initial sales target, with 30,000 orders placed.
“Choosing C-Elysee as the basis for our WTCC car reflects very clearly our determination to use racing as an active means of supporting our commercial development,”emphasised Frédéric Banzet, CEO of the Citroën Brand. “With rounds in Latin America, Morocco, China and Russia, the WTCC race calendar is genuinely global, and it will be a real advantage to run a C-Elysee, a key driver of our growth, in front of large crowds of enthusiastic motorsport fans.”
“From a strictly technical perspective, the choice of a three-box saloon body was ideal in terms of aerodynamics. C-Elysee was therefore the perfect choice,” added Xavier Mestelan-Pinon, Citroën Racing’s Technical Director. “Apart from this aspect, we were able to install the various components fairly easily. Insofar as this is our first track racing car, we constantly had to ask ourselves questions about the relevance of our choices, but that’s what makes this a particularly exciting challenge.”
Firmly anchored to the tarmac on its 18-inch wheels, C-Elysee WTCC is, quite simply, formidable. Featuring an integrated aerodynamic splitter, the front bumper accentuates the radiator grille with its prominent double chevron. The widened front and rear wings lend the car’s bodywork a decidedly racing feel. At the rear, the stylish rear wing will ensure that the car hugs the track.
Under the bonnet, Citroën C-Elysee WTCC is powered by the same 1.6-litre direct injection turbocharged engine as the DS3 WRC. With a wider booster flange, power output is now close to 380bhp. The car comes with a front-wheel drive transmission, controlled by a six-speed sequential gearbox.
After making its first track outing a few days ago, Citroën C-Elysee WTCC has now begun a programme of development tests. The car will make its first public appearance at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (September 12 to 22).