Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
Sometimes, a good car is axed or marginalized by its manufacturer.
It is hard to understand why Citroen gave almost no chance to survive to this little car. It was launched in 2003 and it received a mild facelift in 2008, while the world was in the economic crisis. And after two more years, in 2010, Citroen pulled the plug on it.
It had a very good image gained in the motorsport arena, where the C2 took part and was successful. Also, it had some sporty versions such as VTS and VTR, which were kept after the 2008 facelift.
The 2008 facelift was a small update over the 2006 minor facelift. The most important improvement was the introduction of the 110 hp turbodiesel engine with a particulate filter. That engine transformed the little C2 into one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the manufacturer’s range.
Inside the tiny cabin, there are five seats, but the rear ones are too small to fit three adults in there. The sloped roof and short wheelbase didn’t allow too much room. After the facelift, the C2 received a rear seat split-folding rear backseat, to extend the trunk. An interesting feature preserved by the 2008 version was the sliding rear seats, which allows the trunk to be enlarged from 193 liters (6.8 cu-ft) to 224 liters (7.9 cu-ft).
The VTS was the sportiest version of the little Citroen C2.
It was built for the masses but it received approval for a Rally Car. It was a nimble and precise tool in the right hands. In the others, it was just a faster super-mini hot-hatch.
The big battle for the super-mini category was spread from the compact hot-hatches to the small and the super-mini segments. While in the other two categories Renault scored important points with its Megane RS and Clio RS, Citroen tried its luck to get the crown for a smaller category and introduced the VTS.
The C2 VTS was available as a three-door hatchback only. It’s square and swept-back headlights on the front were continued to a very short hood and almost 45 degrees A-pillars. The car just wasn’t long enough to put some proper angled windshield on it. The small cabin was abruptly ended in the back, with a roof-spoiler over the tailgate. The car featured special VTS light-alloy wheels and VTS badges.
Inside, the sport-bucket seats with leather upholstery and the aluminum pedals inspired a racy atmosphere. The silver rim around the buttons on the center stack and the ring around the gear-stick amplified that feeling. There was no white dial speedometer or tachometer in the instrument cluster. Just a big LCD in the middle and two light-rows on its sides. That wasn’t sporty at all. The car was fitted with a pair of seats in the back, good for two small children.
The magic was under the hood, where the French engineers found a way to stick a 1.6-liter gasoline engine in there. It was naturally aspirated and offered 125 hp, which were enough to move the 1084 (2390 lbs) in a fast-pace. But the 5-speed gearbox was just not enough for it.
The first generation of the Citroen C2 was produced between 2003 and 2009 at the Aulnay-souis-Bois plant in the Seine-Saint-Denis french department.
Along with the C3, the C2 was the Citroen’s representative in the small cars segment. Both the Citroen C2 and the Citroen C3 were the successors of the Citroen Saxo, a car that was already popular in Europe.
The C2 was a 3-door C3 and was redesigned for the younger generation, being a little sportier and more masculine than the C3. The C2 had a 15 cm shorter wheelbase and, its length, height and width were also reduced.
The C2’s trunk had a small load capacity, as well as the rear seats offering limited legroom and headroom, mostly suitable for small children. The cargo area could be increased by folding the rear seats if necessary.
The quality of the materials used inside the C2’s cabin was not very good, with hard plastics. However, controls were well-thought and intuitively placed. Of course, Citroen had to keep their prices low as the competition within the small car segment was high.
A more agile version of the C2 was released in 2004, called the VTS. It was equipped with a 1.6-liter engine developing 125 hp and a modified chassis.