Cactus Spikes Our Interest
Cactus Spikes Our Interest
February 6, 2014
Right now I’m running a Citroen DS4 Sport and there will be more on that next week. Citroen though, are looking to the future and see that customer expectations are evolving at an increasingly rapid rate, which means ever greater demands on today’s products and services. With the New C4 Cactus, Citroën has acknowledged these new customer requirements, offering a real alternative to the traditional compact hatchback. Boasting a striking design, the New Citroën C4 Cactus stands out from its rivals in the competitive C segment, offering a unique style that is both functional and attractive. In doing so, Citroën meets a specific challenge – bringing customers more of what really counts.
The New Citroën C4 Cactus reconciles the characteristics of good looks and functionality, with unique styling that is both memorable and easily identifiable. This is a design that features smooth surfaces, flowing lines free of harsh edges and floating quarter-lights plus a ‘floating’ roof. Additionally, the Cactus offers a high-tech light signature with daytime-running LED lights & headlights built into the Airbump® protection at the front. Visual features each highlight a given function – from Airbump® & wheel arch protection to the strong useable roof bars and the large panoramic glazed roof with its advanced heat protection.
Airbump® technology neatly sums up the fundamental purpose of design, to combine style and practicality. Fitted to the sides of the car and the bumpers, Airbump® adds a graphic structure to the pure, smooth bodylines of the Citroën C4 Cactus. Available in four colours (Black, Grey, Dune & Chocolate), they can be matched with the ten body colours and three choices of interior trim (Stone Grey Ambiance, Habana Highlight & Purple Highlight) to offer a wide range of customisation options.
Above all they provide real day-to-day protection, as the supple TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) skin comprises air capsules to absorb impacts. Airbump® requires no specific maintenance and directly contributes to cutting vehicle repair costs. The result is an attractive, functional innovation that makes city driving a more relaxing experience.
The first way to provide greater comfort is to create more space for the driver and passengers, and to de-clutter the cabin to provide a friendlier, more relaxing environment. The low dashboard, with its horizontal lines, creates more space for the front passenger and offers generous and easily accessible storage. This result was achieved by adopting a fully-digital interface and optimising the dashboard layout. For example, ‘Airbag In Roof’ technology, transferring the passenger airbag to the roof & deploying it over the windscreen, rather than positioning it in the dashboard.
Conventional control buttons are replaced by a seven inch touchscreen, grouping together all the main vehicle functions (including the air conditioning, media, navigation, vehicle settings, telephone, connectivity and driving aids). The traditional instrument cluster is replaced by a digital screen and on Efficient Tronic Gearbox (ETG) versions, the gear lever is replaced by an ‘Easy Push’ system. This simplified function comprises a ‘Drive, Neutral, Reverse’ (D,N,R) selection control on the lower fascia and steering wheel paddles to allow the driver to change gears manually.
The driver and front passenger both gain from this new interior architecture. The wide front seats are designed in the style of a sofa, to create a more comfortable and user-friendly ambience in the cabin. In the rear, passenger legroom is similar to that of the Citroën C4. With an equivalent wheelbase, the new C4 Cactus provides the same amount of space, but with more compact exterior dimensions. At just 4.16m long – for easy driving and handling in the city – the Citroën C4 Cactus also provides generous boot capacity of 358 litres.
The second way to enhance comfort is through the on-board environment, which should be both relaxed and elegant. The clean design lines of the cabin underpin the interior styling, while the overall effect evokes the theme of travel, with a nod to the world of luggage design, including door handles that take the form of luggage inspired leather straps and a storage compartment on the top part of the dashboard, with hinge fittings and a relief pattern. \
Amongst the useful technologies is the Citroën Multicity Connect application portal. Controlled from the seven inch touchscreen, this portal offers a range of apps designed to making life easier for all occupants. Applications include a ‘Fuel’ app, allowing motorists to find the nearest and/or cheapest service station and ‘Yellow Pages’ & ‘Trip Advisor’ apps, which help to locate hotels & restaurants. There’s also a ‘Michelin Traffic’ app, providing live traffic information and something called ‘Coyote’ app, which provides alerts on high-risk roads. All applications are fully integrated with the driving interface, taking account of all vehicle-related information (position, speed, route, fuel level, etc.), to provide the right information at the right time and anticipating driver needs in all circumstances.
For a more relaxed drive, the Cactus features a range of driving aids to make life easier. These include Park Assist, which carries out parking manoeuvres automatically when a suitable space has been identified - the driver only needs to operate the accelerator & brake. A reversing camera makes light work of parking manoeuvres with the image displayed on the touchscreen, providing greater visibility. Hill-Start Assist keeps the vehicle stationary for two seconds on a slope, allowing the driver to easily proceed on gradients of over 3% without the vehicle dropping back when the brake pedal is released.
Static cornering lights provide an additional beam of light to illuminate the inside of bends, improving visibility & safety at corners & junctions and the Citroën eTouch service includes a localised emergency & assistance call system, depending on the country. These two 24/7 services are free for the life of the vehicle and feature an integrated SIM card. In the event of an incident or accident, they ensure that the emergency services can locate & reach the vehicle promptly.
The New Citroën C4 Cactus boasts a large panoramic sunroof featuring advanced heat protection (the best available on the market), designed to filter light and reflect heat. With protection equivalent to category-4 sunglasses, the sunroof provides effective protection from UV rays, while excellent light, heat and acoustic protection eliminates the need to fit a sunblind. As a result, vehicle weight is reduced by 6kg and weight distribution is also improved – the centre of gravity is lowered for a more balanced ride.
Driving comfort is further enhanced, thanks to ‘Smart Wash’ – a simple, ingenious innovation, removing visibility issues caused by washing the windscreen. With this technology, windscreen washer nozzles are built into the tips of the wipers and release just a small amount of fluid. This helps to maintain visibility and also halves the amount of fluid required compared to a conventional system.
Four engines will be available at the UK launch in October. The first are a pair of three-cylinder petrol engines, one with a turbo and one without making 109bhp and 81bhp respectively. The diesel motors are both of 1.6L with 91 or 99bhp. both meeting the Euro 6 emissions regs.
While delivering more of what really counts for customers, the ownership proposition with the New C4 Cactus needed to be one that remained affordable. A vehicle budget includes not only the purchase price, but also the running costs (fuel, servicing, etc.) and Citroën’s objective was to deliver an all-round cost-effective solution. Adopting an approach similar to mobile phone price plans, Citroën brings Cactus customers a range of funding options in the form of a monthly flat-rate or mileage-based payment, depending on the country.
This innovative service covers all expenditure, excluding fuel, during the period of the agreement: finance, insurance and servicing. For a fixed monthly payment, customers can select their preferred trim level (equipment, engine, etc.) and the level of service they require (type of cover, all-in or mileage based, etc.) without exceeding their budget.
To reduce fuel consumption it is important to increase efficiency and to do away with the superfluous. By making the vehicle lighter, Citroën has been able to adopt smaller latest-generation engines, which reduce fuel consumption whilst maximising driveability. The C4 Cactus weighs just 965kg, 200kg less overall compared with a Citroën C4 thanks to a compact, lightweight platform and small latest-generation engines meeting the future Euro 6 standard (PureTech petrol & BlueHDi diesel with Stop & Start). As a result, the New Citroën C4 Cactus is available with a petrol version emitting less than 100g/km of CO2 and a diesel version emitting just 82g/km with impressive fuel consumption of 91.1mpg.
Looking beyond fuel consumption, Citroën has reduced the overall running costs of the New C4 Cactus by almost 20% compared with the benchmark in the compact hatchback segment. As a result of the efforts made to optimise weight, the need to replace wear parts due to normal wear and tear has been significantly reduced. Repair costs are apparently considerably lower, thanks to the Airbump® technology.