Citroën C3 WRC #10 – Ixo

2018 Citroën C3 WRC #10
Pilots: S. Loeb / D. Elena
Team: Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT
Race: 1st overall at the Catalunya Rally in 2018
Ixo - RAM687 (diecast)

Published 12/28/23

With Group B banned in 1986, the World Rally Championship adopted Group A regulations. Yet, in 1997 FIA replaced Group A with a new class: WRC (World Rally Car). A WRC class car is based on a production model with a minimum production run of 2500. However, the manufacturer could increase engine displacement up to 2 liters and use force induction. Turbocharged engines had to use an air restrictor, limiting power output to 220 kW (300 hp). Moreover, the car could receive four-wheel drive, a sequential gearbox and a modified suspension, though weighing at least 1230 kg. And just as important, there was no longer need to build the so-called “homologation specials”. In 2011 FIA revised the rules, making the class more restrictive. After that, all engines should be custom-made turbocharged 1600 cm³ units (called global race engines). Using a 33 mm restrictor, these engines produced around 400 Nm of torque. 

The C3 WRC had a 1.6 liter inline-4 that developed 279.5 kW (380 hp).

Citroën debuted in the WRC in 1998, with the Xsara Kit Car. Being front-wheel drive, Citroën only campaigned it in asphalt races. Eventually, Citroën developed it into the Citroën Xsara T4 WRC, a more powerful four-wheel drive car. Especially in the hands of Sébastien Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena, the Xsara achieved great results. However, in 2007 they replaced it with the C4 WRC, and the podium finishes persisted. In 2013 Citroën began a partnership with Abu Dhabi Racing, and replaced the C4 with the DS3 WRC. At the end of 2015, Citroën announced a sabbatical to focus on their new car, the C3 WRC. Based on the brand’s road-going C3, the C3 WRC debuted in the Monte Carlo Rally, in January of 2017.  Unfortunately, an accident retired the car, and further results in 2017 were slim – only two victories, in Spain and Mexico.

Ixo’s current rally models, like this C3 WRC and the RS200 and Delta HF 16v, are VERY nice. Fantastic value!

However, in 2018 Citroën was back with the C3 WRC. Moreover, after retiring from full-time WRC participation in 2012, Sébastien Loeb came back (part time) to Citroën. And in the Catalunya Rally, in October, while piloting C3 WRC #10, he finished in first place. Unfortunately though, with the C3 WRC’s only five podium finishes (two wins) that year, Citroën finished the championship in fourth. Within the WRC class the playing field in the championship was much more balanced than Group A and B. And with Loeb’s only sporadic participations, Citroën lost their trump card. After all, he won the WRC nine times in a row! With all that, the C3 WRC’s career was far from illustrious. However, in scale C3 WRC #10 here is a winner. One of Ixo’s more recent releases, the model has a great bang-for-the-buck. And just as nice, piloted by the great Sébastien Loeb 🏆.

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