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Citroën celebrates 20 years of C3 Pluriel

June 16, 2023

Citroën C3 Pluriel, a unique car

The Citroën C3 Pluriel is a unique car that came on the market in a number of different versions and shared most of its technology with the C3, without compromising on comfort or safety. For example, the C3 Pluriel was reinforced with special components to ensure that passengers would be as safe as in a closed car. The C3 Pluriel also included a number of safety systems, including ABS and an emergency brake.

Original packaging

Inside, thanks to its four seats and sophisticated acoustic and thermal insulation, the car had all the comforts of a sedan, but in a hugely original package. With its wide windshield and generously proportioned windows, the C3 Pluriel offered a panoramic view in all versions. The open headrests provided excellent visibility while contributing to the car’s original design.

Citroën C3 Pluriel

Convertible of the Year in 2003

With this new car, Citroën showed its penchant for innovation. The C3 Pluriel was named Convertible of the Year in 2003, the year the car debuted.

From concept to product

The C3 Pluriel was inspired by the Pluriel concept car that Citroën unveiled at the 1999 Frankfurt Motor Show. With this new car, Citroën wanted to make the transition from concept to production car as clean as possible, without destroying the original character of the concept car. The goal was to make as few concessions as possible to meet the requirements for mass production.

Some 150 people worked together to turn the study model into a production version and to find solutions to incorporate as many technical marvels as possible into one car.

Modular car

With the C3 Pluriel, Citroën took another step forward and pushed the boundaries of modular applications in the automotive industry. The car had a never-before-seen range of configurations and appeared in five different versions. In its original configuration, it was a sedan with flowing lines and generous space. Opening the roof transformed the car into a panoramic sedan with the experience of the open sky.

Thanks to the fabric roof, the C3 Pluriel quickly transformed into a convertible. This configuration emphasized the curves, offered a sense of freedom and revealed the C3 Pluriel’s true personality. By removing the arches, the C3 Pluriel took the shape of a spider, an unexpected configuration that emphasized the pure lines of this model.

Finally, by removing the arches and folding down the rear seats, the C3 Pluriel could also be transformed into a spider pickup. Then it still had two seats and an open trunk. This huge choice of options gave the car a unique personality that could be customized as desired. It was a car for an all-day adventure.

Original parts

This versatile car was the focus of several high-profile campaigns by Citroën. First, the C3 Pluriel was the talk of the day at an event in June 2003. Citroën organized a five-day short film festival at the Parvais de la Défense: “Courts Singuliers, Courts Pluriels.” This event took the form of a drive-in cinema with 20 different versions of the C3 Pluriel on the forecourt. Visitors could board, sit back and watch a short film.

Another striking idea from Citroën: getting married in a C3 Pluriel. From March to October 2004, Citroën offered prospective brides and grooms the chance to borrow a C3 Pluriel free of charge for their wedding. This concept was renewed for the following years and included new models such as the C4 and C5.

Finally, C3 Pluriel paid homage to its ancestors. In 2008, to mark the 60th anniversary of the 2CV, Citroën released a limited edition of the C3 Pluriel – the Charleston – in tribute to the 2CV Charleston, which debuted in 1980.