People may not actually drop the top that often here in the UK, but we still love a good convertible. Theres nothing quite like that wind in the hair feeling, and being able to drop the roof at the press of a button to make use of the three or four hours of yearly sunlight were granted.
Citron knows the appeal of cabriolets, and has released its first since the relatively unloved C3 Pluriel launched back in 2003. The new Citron DS3 Cabrio takes the popular DS3 boutique hatchback and replaces the roof with a fold-down fabric one.
Its a bit like that used on its rival, the Fiat 500 C
. So what do you need to know about the new French fancy?
1. Sunlight in sixteen seconds
The most important aspect of a cabriolet is how quickly you can open and close the roof. In the case of the DS3 Cabrio, youll be waiting a maximum of 16 seconds for either sun or shade. With our changeable weather, thats pretty handy. Like the MINI Cabrio or Fiat 500C, you can choose your degree of open too. In the Citron, that means intermediate (sunroof-style), horizontal (whole roof, but rear window remains) and total, with the canvas flat on the rear deck.
2. Little compromise on weight
Normally, a soft top - despite what you may think, with a floppy canvas roof - actually weighs more than its hard-topped counterpart. Thats thanks to all the additional strengthening work applied to reduce shakes and wobbles on rough roads, and ensure it remains safe in an accident. No such worries with the DS3, which keeps much of the hatchbacks rigidity thanks to using most of its roof. Weight has only gone up by 25 kilos - enough to not really notice.
3. and little on refinement either
Convertibles also tend to be a little noisier than the cars theyre based on. Thanks to keeping the DS3s same aerodynamics, and a well-insulated roof, Citron claims the DS3 Cabrio is no noisier inside than the hatchback. Even when the roof is open, an aerodynamic deflector springs up to prevent buffeting. Theres even a decent-sized boot, at 245-litres.
4. It gets fancy new kit
The DS3 Cabrio could be even more individual than the hatchback, thanks to the option of mixing-and-matching both roof and soft-top colours - as well as the usual ability to pick body colours. New soft top shades include black, Infinite Blue, and a DS-logod Monogramme style. In addition, the rear lights have been re-styled in an LED design, echoing those of the Revolte and Survolt concept cars. Inside, you get white ambient lighting, white instrument lighting, new upholstery designs and new dashboard decors.
5. Unveiled soon, launch next year
The Citron DS3 Cabrio will debut at the upcoming 2012 Paris Motor Show, where itll take pride of place on Citrons stand. Potential buyers will have to wait a bit longer to get their hands on one, as Citron says itll go on sale in the UK sometime in early 2013. Certainly in time for the summer, at any rate.
Its a DS3 with a folding roof, its no noisier than the standard car, little heavier, and not a great deal less practical. Provided it doesnt cost the earth - Citron hasnt yet revealed pricing - theres not a whole lot not to like about it. It certainly makes the MINI cabrio
look a bit frumpy, and its more dramatic than the 500 C
Overall, we can't see Citron having much problem shifting them - we just hope people drop that 16-second top every now and then!