Citroën celebrates the 20th anniversary of the C3 Pluriel – the only one of its kind. Launched in May 2003, just one year after the C3, this small three-door hatchback was produced in 115,097 units at the Villaverde plant between 2003 and 2010.
The C3 Pluriel is a unique car that came in a number of different versions and incorporated many of the mechanical components of the C3, without compromising on comfort or safety. The vehicle was reinforced with special parts to ensure that its passengers were as safe as they would have been in a closed car. It also featured a number of driving aids, such as ABS and emergency braking. Inside, it had all the comfort of a saloon, with four seats and sophisticated acoustic and thermal insulation, all in a highly original vehicle. With its wide windscreen and generously proportioned windows, the C3 Pluriel offered a panoramic view in all its versions. And the open headrests made for excellent visibility, while at the same time contributing to the car’s original design.
With this new vehicle, Citroën was showcasing its penchant for innovation. The C3 Pluriel was voted Convertible of the Year in 2003, the year of its launch. This award did even more to set the C3 Pluriel apart from the competition: the Convertible of the Year was also a saloon.
FROM CONCEPT TO PRODUCT
The C3 Pluriel was inspired by the Pluriel demonstrator which was unveiled at the 1999 Frankfurt Motor Show. With this new vehicle, Citroën sought to make the transition from concept to production vehicle. All without losing the original character of the concept, and making as few concessions as possible to the needs of mass production.
To make the switch from concept to product, around 150 people worked together on developing technical solutions that packed as many options as possible into a single vehicle.
A BOLDLY MODULAR VEHICLE
With the C3 Pluriel, Citroën took yet another step forward, pushing back the boundaries of automotive modularity. The vehicle came in an unprecedented range of configurations, with a total of five versions. In its original configuration, it was a saloon with flowing lines and generous volumes. By opening the roof, it could be transformed into a panoramic saloon, making for an open-air feel.
Thanks to the soft top, it quickly transformed into a cabriolet. This configuration highlighted the arches and showed the C3 Pluriel’s true personality, creating the feeling of freedom. By removing the arches, the C3 Pluriel could also adopt the shape of a spider, an unexpected configuration that emphasised the pure lines of this model.
Finally, by removing the arches and folding down the rear seats, the C3 Pluriel could be converted into a spider pick-up with just two seats and an open tailgate boot. This wide choice of options gave the car a unique personality that adapted to your every whim. It was a car for a day-long adventure.
AN ORIGINAL CAR WITH ORIGINAL IDEAS
This versatile vehicle was the focus of several of Citroën’s high-profile campaigns. Firstly, an event held back in June 2003 at which the C3 Pluriel was the talk of the town. Citroën organised a five-day short-film festival on the Parvis de la Défense: “Courts Singuliers, Courts Pluriels”. This event took the form of a drive-in cinema at which 20 different versions of the C3 Pluriel were displayed on the forecourt: visitors could get inside, sit back and watch a short film.
Another striking idea from Citroën: Get married in a C3 Pluriel. From March to October 2004, Citroën gave future brides and grooms the chance to borrow a C3 Pluriel free of charge for the weekend of their wedding. This concept was renewed for several years and involved new models such as the C4 and the C5.
Finally, C3 Pluriel paid tribute to its ancestors. In 2008, to mark the 60th anniversary of the 2CV, Citroën released a limited edition of the C3 Pluriel – the Charleston – as a tribute to the 2CV Charleston, which was launched in 1980.