The Citroen C1 city car is making its world debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show (1-13 March).

The baby of Citroen’s supermini range, the C1 comes with three or five doors and offers economical, in-town motoring for up to four passengers with all the necessary style, comfort and practicality to suit most everyday journeys.

The C1’s fun and friendly character is expressed at the front end, by the wide wraparound bumper, rounded bonnet and curvy headlamp clusters positioned high up the front wings. At the rear, the glass tailgate, crystal and anthracite rear lights, and deep bumper combine to provide a look that is both attractive and distinctive.

It is from the side that the difference between the two bodystyles is most noticeable. The lines of the 3-door’s dynamic profile are enhanced by the shape of the rear windows and wheel arches, whilst the design of the 5-door sees the rear doors extend back to the lamp clusters, easing access for passengers.

Inside, the C1’s ultra modern themes continue with the fascia design. The instrument pod, separate rev counter and air vents are all of a circular design, while the heating control panel is made of a translucent material that glows orange whenever the lights are turned on, in harmony with the driver information and audio system displays.

The four, two-tone seats are trimmed in fabric or velour, complementing the colour-keyed door panels. The design of the front seat backrests maximises leg room for rear seat passengers, with interior space further optimised by the 2.34m length of the wheelbase.

There is also plenty of room for hiding away everyday paraphernalia, with twelve storage compartments in the dash, centre console and doors – the front door bins are even big enough for A4-size books. The rear seat, which may be 50/50 split/fold depending on the model, can easily be dropped to expand boot space from the standard 139 litres up to a sizeable 751 litres on the 5-door version.

With its compact dimensions – just 3.4m long, 1.6m wide and 1.5m tall – the C1 is ideally suited to life in-town, and its manoeuvrability is further enhanced by the availability of electric power steering, which gives it an extremely good turning circle of just 9.5 metres.

The C1 is powered by a choice of three cylinder 68bhp 1.0i petrol or 54bhp HDi diesel engines. Both are Euro IV compliant, return over 60 mpg on the combined cycle and are available with five-speed manual gearboxes. A SensoDrive gearbox, without steering wheel paddles, but with an automatic mode for stress-free driving on busy roads, is also available on petrol versions in some countries.

As well as its newly developed body structure, which incorporates crumple-zones and impact absorbers at the front and rear as well as reinforced doors, it also offers ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, CSC (Corner Stability Control), Isofix anchor points, rear door child safety functions, and up to six airbags.

The C1 has been specially designed to limit the consequences of a pedestrian impact with, for example, two impact absorbers at the front to help limit leg injuries and a bonnet that has been designed to absorb energy more effectively. It has also been designed to keep down repair costs in the event of a low speed impact, thanks to the type and position of the bumpers and the use of detachable energy absorbers at the front and rear.