Under the skin: new Citroën C3 R5

Citroën’s new C3 R5 car will make its WRC 2 debut at next week’s Corsica linea – Tour de Corse (5–8 April), so we’ve taken a look under the skin of the car to discover what’s new and what it means.

The car, which will be driven by Stéphane Lefebvre and Yoann Bonato in Corsica, replaces Citroën Racing’s DS 3 R5 and a team of 20 engineers have been working on the project. 

The car started testing in September 2017 and around 6,000 kilometres have been put on the car during a gruelling testing programme.

The C3’s engine has been developed in-house with engineers confident it is more advanced than any of the others the manufacturer has built for the WRC’s support categories. Brand-new electronics and ECU have improved the turbo anti-lag system, enhancing power delivery and driveability.

"We set ourselves some very ambitious targets by working in a number of major areas," project manager Olivier Maroselli explained. 

Like its WRC counterpart, the R5 version of the C3 is fitted with a Sadev gearbox. However, this version has been specifically designed to fit the requirements of the WRC 2 class.

Maroselli said: “Although some of the internal components are familiar, and therefore tried and tested, we chose to design our own architecture. Our packaging is different in terms of both the width and the height of the gearbox outlets.”

Taking another leaf from the C3 WRC, the R5 has adaptable front suspension geometries, depending on whether it is being used on asphalt or gravel, to make the best use of the chassis on Citroën’s newest rally car. Being able to adapt the suspension for different surfaces has created a weight-saving benefit.

Finally, the C3 R5 has been built with durability and reparability in mind for Citroën Racing's customers. During its own gravel tests in Fontjoncouse in southern France, the manufacturer was pleased with how the car's body and subframe dealt with the rough test roads.

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