Citroen WRC

If we can’t beat them, rejoin us

Sebastien Loeb wins 2013 Rally Argentina

As it stands Sebastien Loeb has one more WRC rally left in his record-breaking career. That’s scheduled to be his home event, Rallye de France-Alsace, in early October. However, Citroën’s current parlous performance against the emerging dominance of Volkswagen has forced Citroën Racing boss, Yves Matton, to think twice about letting Loeb go so easily.

With half of the WRC season behind us Loeb has proven to be the only person capable of defeating Volkswagen, as his victories in Monte Carlo and Argentina prove. He finished second to The Other Sebastienâ„¢ in Sweden and we wouldn’t mind betting that Ogier holds that victory, his first for Volkswagen, in high regard because of Loeb’s participation.

“I haven’t spoken to him yet, but for sure at the half of the season I will speak again with Sebastien to see if he has the motivation to do maybe one or two rallies more,” said Matton.

“It depends a lot on what we [Citroen] will do in the future, if we will be involved in the touring cars or not. In the following days or weeks then we will have an answer and we will see with Seb what we can do.”

We now know that Citroën Racing has been confirmed as a starter in the 2014 World Touring Car Championship, with Sebastien Loeb in the role of poster boy and lead driver. That really only leaves this year for Loeb to mount any challenge against Volkswagen in the WRC.

And what of Mikko Hirvonen, the supposed number one for Citroën this year? He’d better pull his finger out, and fast.


Citroen WRC

Robert Kubica wins again in WRC2

Robert Kubica, Citroen DS3 RRC

The popular former F1 driver Robert Kubica has continued his rise in the rallying community by taking out the WRC2 category at Rally d’Italia. He finished ninth outright in his Citroën DS3 RRC and was over four minutes ahead of his nearest WRC2 competitor.

It’s Kubica’s second victory in WRC2 and backs up his win at the Acropolis Rally earlier this month. Kubica set the early pace but lost some time on the first day after a minor off saw him damage the rear of his car. He soon put things right again, re-establishing his control before recording a comfortable victory.

“Obviously, I’m pleased to win again at an event that is completely different to Greece,” said Kubica. “Every day I spend in the DS3 RRC gives me a bit more experience. I feel good about my driving, but also about my understanding of the road surface and the reactions of the car.

“It wasn’t easy all the time, as we did have a few problems that are specific to gravel rallies, such as the dust. It was a good learning experience to drive in conditions like these, but I didn’t enjoy it at all because of the danger involved.”

The 28-year-old Pole sits fourth in the WRC2 championship, after competing in only three out of seven events. If he continues the rapid rate of improvement shown to date he may well give the front runners a shake for the title. Perhaps Robert’s longer-term future may lie in the gravel and not on super smooth F1 circuits?

[Source: Citroën WRC]

Citroen Motor Shows

Shanghai 2011: Citroën DS5

Citroen DS5

The third model in Citroën’s DS line has just been revealed in Shanghai. This time it’s the DS5. At 4.52m long and 1.85m wide with the body of a hatchback it’s hard to know what segment the French carmaker is chasing. With seating for five, the Ds5 is part family hatch, part luxury saloon and features a driving position described as being at home in a GT coupé.

Well, wherever it fits into to the ever expanding auto market categories we reckon the DS5 will look the part. It’s flowing curves and hard creases, somehow, tend to work together quite well. Even if the front end is bordering on being overdone.

The DS5 is powered by Citroën’s HYbrid4 technology and offers 200bhp of diesel-electric power. It’s driven by all four wheels and produces a low-ish 99g/km of those pesky CO2 emissions.

More from Citroën after the break.


Citroen WRC

Sebastien Ogier wins Rally Jordan

Sebastien Ogier, 2011 Rally Jordan

Citroën works driver Sebastien Ogier has backed up his victory in Portugal by winning Rally Jordan on the weekend. It was a nail biting finish in the end and Ogier’s winning margin of just 0.2 seconds over Ford’s Jari-Matti Latvala is the closest in WRC history. World champ Sebastien Loeb had to make do with third place, although he now leads the driver’s standings.

It’s a tightly packed leaderboard at the moment and Loeb sits on 74 points, two ahead of Ford’s Miko Hirvonen. On 69 points is race winner Ogier, himself a narrow three points clear of Latvala.

There’s more from Citroën after the break. The next rally takes place in Sardinia, Italy (5–8 May) and will mark the full race debut of the MINI WRC.

Citroen WRC

Sebastien Loeb – World Rally Champion again in 2010!

Sebastien Loeb - 2010 WRC winner

A quick shout out to Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena who won their seventh consecutive World Rally Championship by claiming an outright win in the Rally of France on the weekend. It marks an amazing run of successes, which includes most titles, most successive titles, most wins, most wins in one season, most successive wins in one season, most consecutive wins on one event. That boy Loeb can drive!

For added emotion Loeb the event took in the town of Haguenau where Loeb was raised. Thousands of well-wishers surrounded the nearby liaison stages ensuring Loeb knew his success was being appreciated, “There were people everywhere on the road, and at the stage. It was rather moving,” he said.

There are still two rallies left on the 2010 calendar, but already the Citroën Racing team has given the all-conquering C4 WRC a fitting send off. Its replacement, the DS3 WRC, also made its public debut over the weekend at the latest world motor show, which is being held in Paris – where else!

Citroen Motor Shows WRC

Paris 2010: Citroën DS3 WRC

Citroen DS3 WRC

Citroën has just fired back at MINI by releasing new images of its 2011 DS3 WRC. It looks pretty cool, too, but I think the MINI WRC is still a bit better. Of course, with eleventy-times champion Sebastien Loeb at the wheel, the DS3 WRC is sure to be the car to beat next year.

The full reveal of the DS3 WRC will take place very soon at the Paris Motor Show. More pics after the break.

Citroen WRC

Citroën previews new DS3 WRC

Citroen DS3 WRC teaser

Citroën has offered a brief video tease of their new DS3-based WRC weapon. It’s not much, of course, just a 34 second YouTube clip. But you do get glimpses of the car’s twin deck rear spoiler and dashboard layout. The side profile above is shown for about one second, as well. The full reveal is set for 30 September, so stay tuned for more details then.


Citroën DS3 – Australian pricing & specs

Citroen DS3 DSport

Citroën has launched its funky little DS3 to the Australian market. The French usually get it right when it comes to hatchbacks, but the DS3 represents one of the more serious attempts to raise their sights to the premium segment. And Citroën has its sights firmly set on MINI.

Miles Williams, General Manager for Citroën in Australia, pretty much admits that with this comment, “The DS3 is a bold, definitive statement of intent for Citroën and a confident step in the opposite direction to its main competitors; it brings a real alternative to a market sector dominated by retro designs.”

Mind, this next comment from Williams could equally apply to the MINI brand, “DS3 is about modernity, creativity, individual style and a driving experience packed with personality. DS3 dares to be different – whilst delivering the comfort, quality, technology and ecologically considerate performance for which Citroën is widely recognised.” Williams is right, though, the DS3 is different and it does bring new life to the premium compact market.

Citroen Green Machines

Citroën Survolt electrifies Le Mans

Citroen Survolt

It is Bastille Day today, after all. So what better way for this humble blog to celebrate than with these new images of the Citroën Survolt lapping around the famous Le Mans circuit.

The Survolt is an all-electric beast offering 224kW and a zero to one hundred time under five seconds. Perhaps more impressively the Survolt has a range of 200kms and, with a fancy adaptor thingy, can be recharged in as little as two hours.

Vanina Ickx was the lady at the wheel for the promo event and said, “I am very proud to have participated in this unique project. On the track it felt really good. It’s a real race car, with a very promising potential for the future.”

Citroen WRC

Citroën DS3 R3 – customer rally car

Citroen DS3 R3

This spunky looking machine is Citroën’s latest rally car. The DS3 R3 has been developed for the FIA’s R3T category and  features a 1.6 litre turbocharged engine pumping out 210 horsepower. There’s also a pretty healthy 350Nm on offer. Drawing on the technical knowledge of the immensely successful C4 WRC program the DS3 R3 is fitted with a 6-speed sequential gearbox.

The DS3 R3 is essentially a customer car and already has 10,000km of testing across all kinds of typical rallying surfaces under its belt. The R3 is scheduled to make its race debut towards the end of this year. Citroën Racing starts with a road going DS3 THP 150 and will make the racecars available in kit or ready-to-race form.


VIDEO: Citroën C4 MkII

Citroen C4 MkII

Following the first look at the new C4 MkII this morning, Citroën have released this video of the C4 which shows the car from a variety of angles. What do you think? Do you reckon The European would actually buy this one.


First look at the 2011 Citroën C4

Citroen C4

Citroën have revealed these first images of the new C4 MkII. The new model is set for a full reveal at the Paris Motor Show in September. Australian buyers will be able to get their first taste of the new C4 around this time next year.

They’ve rounded off the edges of the old C4 and come up with quite a smart looking car. Based on these pics anyway. The interior, too, has a quality look about it. Let’s not mention the wheels, though. They have a certain a la Tempe about them.

Okay, overall maybe the look of the C4 is a bit on the safe side. On paper, at least, it works and presents a credible option to buyers that can sit alongside the class leaders. We’ll be better placed to judge after the Paris Motor Show.

More after the break.

UPDATE: More new pics have been added below.