Citroën Oli concept is tipped to provide design cues for the new EVs
Cars will look to undercut rivals and offer alternative to premium brands as “some people don’t have that kind of money to buy a car”
Citroën is readying a mix of smaller electric cars that will be “aggressively priced” to undercut rivals in the ever competitive entry-EV market.
Expected to arrive in the next couple of years, the smaller models will get “kick-ass” designs to attract a wider customer base to the French brand, Citroën design boss Pierre Leclercq told Autocar.
They are likely to share design cues with the Citroën Oli concept and smaller Citroën Ami, like the upcoming Citroën C3 Aircross, Leclercq said, adding they won’t just be smaller versions of bigger cars: “We are trying not to make cars that have the Russian doll effect”.
A price point around £25,000 is likely, given that Leclercq confirmed their pricing would give the brand a “huge advantage” in the segments in which they’ll sit. This would allow them to undercut the popular £26,000 MG 4, £28,195 Fiat 500 Electric and £31,800 Vauxhall Corsa Electric.
“We conceived them to bring them with a really aggressive price target on the market,” he said.
“I think it’s going to be huge, huge advantage [over other car makers] for a brand like Citroën. You know, as premium brands look to become more premium, [there are] some people who don’t have that kind of money to buy a car.”
Speaking about the cars themselves, Leclercq added: “We have great products coming out soon that are, I think, really kicking ass in terms of design. It’s going to be super-cool. I mean, we’re excited to put those things on the road. Prices are going to be so aggressive. We can only be proud of having done it.
“So, I think, we have a big role to play in the car industry in the next couple of years.”
The electric cars are highly likely to sit on the CMP platform, which already underpins Stellantis cars such as the Corsa and Peugeot e-208.
As a result, they can use the same 51kWh battery as the e-208, which offers a range up to 248 miles. A single-motor set up delivering around 130bhp is likely, given that is what is expected for the upcoming Citroën C3 Aircross.
To save costs, the cars may also, as shown on the Oli concept, ditch infotainment for a system that links to the driver’s phone – albeit not as budget as the solitary phone clip in the £7000 Ami.
“When you think about it, what do people want? They want the best on-board experience,” said Leclercq.
“You live with your phone all day. So the closer we get [in a car] to what we have on our phone, I think the better it is. You should just have what you have on your phone.”
Speaking previously to Autocar, Citroën’s product and strategy director, Laurence Hansen, said: “Citroën loves to challenge the industry norms. With [the Oli], we want to find joyful, modern mobility, affordable and sustainable. It’s something that we’re going to [continue] in the long run, because we think it’s in line with our DNA.”
She added: “The average sale price in Europe for a car today is €25,000 [£22,560]. Do [we] really think people will be able to invest more tomorrow? We need to do something. Will it be exactly at the same price? Maybe not. With the economic crisis that may come in six months, how will you manage? If you don’t have a car, you don’t have life.”