Friday | 15 Apr 2016

Citroën test: first pictures

Citroën has begun serious testing of its new World Rally Car in preparation for its return to the FIA World Rally Championship in 2017.

Kris Meeke was at the wheel when it took to the rough gravel roads of the Château de Lastours test area in the south of France on Thursday, following a shakedown several days earlier at Citroën’s track in Versailles, Paris.

The car appeared in a camouflaged livery to disguise the intricacies of its body panel designs, with the words ‘# TEST 1’ emblazoned across the front grill.

Citroën has yet to confirm details about its new rally challenger but it is an open secret that it is based on the yet-to-be launched new C3 road car.  

It will be developed to new technical regulations which will usher in a fresh WRC era when the new-generation cars make their championship debut at Rallye Monte-Carlo in January.

Kris Meeke had the honour of the first test

Among the new regulations announced by the FIA in July last year were a new aerodynamic package, which will see cars become wider by about 50mm, with larger rear wings and bigger front and rear bumpers providing a striking new look.

An increase in the size of the turbo restrictor from 33mm to 36mm will see power rise to about 380bhp, while a 25kg weight reduction to 1175kg will further improve acceleration and top speed.

Citroën, which has taken a year’s WRC sabbatical for development, is the first manufacturer to reveal its 2017 car in testing. Volkswagen has been trialling key 2017 components in the current Polo R chassis since last August while Hyundai, Toyota and M-Sport are also in the development process.

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