The Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team unveiled its 2017 challenger, the C3 WRC, in Abu Dhabi – with team boss Yves Matton stating he wants the car to be winning rallies next season.

The French squad is the last of the 2017 manufacturers to reveal how it has interpreted the new technical regulations that come into force from January's Rallye Monte-Carlo and have dramatically changed the look and performance of the latest generation World Rally Cars.

Having only completed a selected programme of events in 2016, Citroën is returning to WRC action in a full-time capacity next season and the team has high hopes that the new C3 WRC will catapult it back into regular rally-winning contention so it can add to its haul of 96 rally wins and eight manufacturers' titles.

"In 2017, we want to win races in normal conditions, by beating our competitors," Matton said. "And then in 2018, our goal is to bring home at least one of the world titles."

The exciting changes to the 2017 WRC technical regulations were one of the catalysts that convinced Citroën to return to the series with its new C3 model. 

Matton said: "At first glance, you could easily think that this just a major upgrade to the previous regulations. But it's much more than that: the increase in engine power, the growing influence of aerodynamics and the return of the centrally-controlled differential are the three major changes.

Technical Specifications

Engine type In-line four cylinder, 1.6 litre, turbo direct injection
Bore x Stroke 84.0 mm / 72.0 mm
Power (max) 380 hp (280 kW) at 6,000 rpm
Torque (max) 400 Nm at 4,500 rpm
Transmission type Four-wheel drive
Gearbox Six-speed sequential
Differentials Mechanical front and rear self-locking Hydraulically-controlled central differential
Clutch Cerametallic twin-disk
Suspension MacPherson
Steering Power-assisted rack and pinion
Front Brakes Ventilated disks, 370mm (tarmac) and 300mm (gravel) Water-cooled four-piston callipers (tarmac)
Rear Brakes Ventilated disks, 330mm (tarmac) and 300mm (gravel) Four-piston callipers
Wheels 8 x 18 inch for tarmac, 7 x 15 inch for gravel & snow; Michelin tyres
Length 4,128 mm
Width 1,875 mm
Wheelbase 2,540 mm
Weight 1,190 kg minimum / 1.350 kg with crew

The C3 WRC wears an aggressive aero package that fully exploits next year's bodywork regulations. 

Underneath Citroën’s characteristic two-tier front lights, the front bumper has a splitter and winglets to generate downforce and reduce understeer. Air intakes supply cool air to the radiator, the turbo intercooler and the brakes while hot air is drawn out by scoops on the bonnet and at the bottom of the front wings.

The air vents located on the rear doors are used to cool the brakes. Like at the front, hot air exits via the bottom of the wings.

The rear end is dominated by a huge, two-element rear wing that consists of a lower 'shovel' and a complex upper level. Underneath, the rear bumper has been designed to quickly spit out gravel and snow on loose surfaces.

Under the bonnet is a four-cylinder 1.6-litre direct injection turbo engine based on the unit from Citroën's C-Elysée WTCC car. With the new WRC regulation 36mm turbo restrictor, it produces about 380bhp. 

The four-wheel drive transmission has also undergone a major change, with the return of an active centre differential, while suspension changes include longer travel and geometry that will be different in the car's asphalt and gravel versions.

Rallye Monte-Carlo