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Concept Citroen Cactus Pricks Our Interest

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Citroen C4 Cactus

Concept Citroen Cactus Pricks Our Interest

Geoff Maxted
September 5, 2013

Citroen C4 Cactus
Drive Write - unashamedly a Citroen fan - mentioned this on 16/8 (Citroen Strive To Reverse The Losing Trend) and now the French manufacturer has issued more details on this concept car. Today they’ve released pictures and details of the Cactus Concept that previews the new positioning of the brand's mainstream cars as affordable vehicles emphasizing practicality, fuel efficiency and low ownership costs.

Citroen did not comment on whether the Cactus will go into production, saying only that the concept is a "manifest" that previews its future C-line models. Nevertheless, a production version of the Cactus is expected to go on sale next Spring. It is believed that this will see the demise of the existing C4. The Company says the C-line range will be "competitively priced," rather than being a direct rival to Renault's Dacia budget brand.

C-line cars will target buyers looking for value-for-money cars - an area where Citroen score well - leaving the brand's grander DS models to chase more affluent buyers. As mentioned in the earlier article the company are differentiating themselves from sister company Peugeot who, it seems, will hold the middle ground.

Citroen says its new C-line series will stand out through design, attractive cost of ownership and user-friendly features. The Cactus five-door hatchback is powered by an Hybrid Air drivetrain that uses compressed air for energy storage rather than batteries and offers fuel consumption of less than 3 litres per 100km. At 4210mm long, the concept is similar in size to the unremarkable DS4 that is based on the C4, but has a higher ground clearance. The Cactus has no B pillars or rear or side windows to better show off its interior features.

Citroen said the concept's front end previews the visual identity of future C-line models, with smooth surfaces, a high-tech light signature created by LED daytime running lights. Inside, the instrument cluster is replaced by a 7-inch screen and the control buttons are all on a 8-inch touchscreen.

The concept also has what Citroen calls ‘Airbumps’ on the sides and the bumpers of the car. The Airbumps' skin resists scratches and includes air capsules to dampen the effect of small impacts and protect the body from expensive repairs. This looks very odd indeed but, if it works…

Citroen has not said if the feature will go on production cars but it certainly seems like an idea to follow up. Anything that helps reduce the ever growing cost of fixing a car has got to be a good selling point. There can be no doubt that people are looking at downsizing and generally reducing car costs so 2014 should be very interesting for Citroen. Their cars always look distinctive but are sometimes let down by the small things. Resolve these and offer good cars that are real value for money and they may well see a turnaround in their fortunes.

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