The television advertisement for the C3 shows a jet fighter swooping out of the sky and flying upside down as it passes over the sunroof of Citroen's new supermini.
The jet pilot winks at a pretty woman sitting in the C3's front passenger seat. Her husband, who is driving, frowns sulkily. But then, as the advertisement implies, a flirtatious jet pilot is a minor inconvenience compared with the fun of owning a car with such a big glass sunroof.
The advertisement also highlights the target market for the C3: young families with a taste for light and space, but also young, active, single people.
Filmed in South Africa, the advertisement ends with a voice saying, 'La vie est belle' (life is good). It will be broadcast throughout Europe.
'The type of client we are aiming for [with the C3] is very wide,' said Citroen spokesman Jean-Pierre Duvivier.
Within Citroen's range, the C3 is being positioned between the Saxo and Xsara. It is not meant to replace either model.
'The Saxo will continue to live on for several months, if not several years,' said Duvivier.
It is not known whether PSA plans to launch a direct replacement for the Saxo and its sister vehicle, the Peugeot 106. The French group is currently developing a new small car with Toyota. The market positioning of that model will determine PSA's future supermini strategy.
In 2002, Citroen plans to sell 160,000 C3s, including 54,000 in France.
Sales of the C3 are expected to increase to 334,000 in 2003, its first full calendar year on the market.
The C3 is characterized by its rounded shape, which recalls the styling of the legendary 2CV. Inside, the C3 is spacious, light and airy - it has a total glazed area of 6.2 square meters.
There is plenty of storage space, including under-seat drawers and a split-load system in the trunk. The system - which Citroen calls 'moduboard' - separates the trunk into compartments so long objects or fragile items can be carried safely.
A child-pack version of the C3, which includes seat-back tables and an additional 12-volt power point, will be introduced later this year.
Launch: April in France; rest of Europe shortly afterward
Platform: The C3 is the first model to use PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's new small PF1 platform. The C3 is built at Aulnay-sous-Bois, France, and Villaverde, Spain. In the future, it will also be built at Porto Real, Brazil. The C3 will share the PF1 platform with the C3 Pluriel leisure vehicle, due in 2003, and the successor to the Peugeot 206.
Price: From E11,050 to E15,400 in France
Competitors: Renault Clio, Peugeot 206, Ford Fiesta, VW Polo, Fiat Punto, Opel/Vauxhall Corsa
Engines: Gasoline - 1.1-liter 60hp, 1.4-liter 75hp; 1.6-liter, 16-valve, 110hp. Diesel - 1.4-liter, second-generation common-rail HDi. A 1.4-liter, 16-valve, 92hp diesel will be introduced later
Dimensions: Wheelbase 2460mm, length 3850mm, width 1667mm, height 1519mm, weight from 978kg to 1058kg