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Citroen's C4 Cactus isn't prickly at all

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February 25, 2014

At 2,218 lb (965 kg), the C4 Cactus is 440 lb (200 kg) lighter than Citroen’s regular C4

At 2,218 lb (965 kg), the C4 Cactus is 440 lb (200 kg) lighter than Citroen’s regular C4

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Unlike the prickly desert dwelling plant, Citroen’s new C4 Cactus CUV/hatchback mashup is approachable and easy to hug. Lighter than the regular C4, the airbump-bearing vehicle is more about making a design statement than pushing the technological envelope.

First unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show last September, Citroen’s smallish C4 Cactus features some interesting design details. Those odd-looking bumpy bits on the side and bumpers are what the firm refers to as “airbumps," and they're designed as both a graphic and protective feature. The thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) gas-filled bumps, available in four colors to compliment the Cactus’ 10 exterior color options, are designed to protect it from the likes of shopping carts, parking lot door-dings or front/rear bumper taps.

Along with the obvious bumpy bits, the C4 Cactus exudes forward-thinking design elements. Featuring a curvy stubby nose, slit-like headlights, short overhangs, large wheel openings, an extended spoiler and high waistline, the Cactus comes off as a concept for a younger demographic, but with obvious urban use intentions. It's designed to compete in Europe’s highly competitive C-segment with the likes of the Fiat 500, Nissan Juke and VW Golf.

Airbumps on the sides and bumpers are a unique soft touch feature designed as a graphic el...

Premised off Citroen’s DS3 chassis, the Cactus is smaller than the firm’s standard C4 but does share the latter’s wheelbase. Even though it looks bigger than most hatchbacks, the C4 Cactus is not only shorter than a Volkswagen Golf but at 2,218 lb (965 kg) it's 440 lb (200 kg) lighter than Citroen’s regular C4 thanks to a new lightweight platform, materials, components and a smaller engine.

The Cactus’ engine options aren’t only light but according to the manufacturer, the 99 bhp 1.6 liter diesel is capable of delivering mileage figures of 3.1L/100 km (76 mpg) and emissions of 82 gm of CO2/km. A 110 bhp turbo-charged 3-cylinder gas engine making 109 bhp will be available along with a choice of a 5-speed manual gearbox or Citroen’s ETG auto-box.

The Cactus is designed to compete in Europe’s highly-competitive C-segment with the likes ...

Inside the Cactus, in addition to a split-bench/front seat arrangement and 358 liters of storage space, Citroen has designed in a panoramic glass roof to give the car an airy, open interior feel. The dash, clean and unfettered almost to the point of being too pragmatic, is enhanced by a 7-inch touchscreen that manages the car’s infotainment functions, sat-nav system, phone apps and mapping functions.

Old school luggage-like door handles and hinge fittings further add to the Cactus’ interior design dissonance. But while the interior may suffer from an identity crisis, technological items like Hill and Park Assist, back-up camera and static cornering lights ensure the Cactus remains in the today.

Citroen’s C4 Cactus will be available in Europe starting Q4 of 2014. Pricing has yet to be announced.

Source: Citroen

About the Author
Angus MacKenzie Born on the cold, barren Canadian plains of Calgary, Alberta, Angus MacKenzie couldn’t decide between marketing, automotives or an entrepreneurial path - so he chose all three. When not writing, Angus has for the past six years been Editor-in-Chief for elemente, an internationally recognized architecture/design magazine.   All articles by Angus MacKenzie
9 Comments

"at 2,218 lb (965 kg)....

figures of 3.1L/100 km (76 mpg) and emissions of 82 gm of CO2/km"

finally!

an auto-manufacturer is starting to get it.

We need lighter vehicles.

Now how 'bout a Hybrid and/or all-electric version?

Milton
25th February, 2014 @ 02:54 pm PST

I like it! The style is not bad, who needs all those gadgets and features anyway?

MILTON - You could support a hybrid, but praising the lightness and then asking for all-elec. drive (with all those extra heavy batteries to get decent range) seems contradictory to me.

The Skud
25th February, 2014 @ 08:27 pm PST

Very French, like most of their cars looks great but will be mechanically unsound.

Please do not get me wrong, I love the French and France (I even live here) but their motor cars..........

hkmk23
26th February, 2014 @ 01:11 am PST

@The Skud:

a light-weight platform is an excellent starting-point for an All-Electric. They could Hybrid the thing without adding much weight at all... perhaps even no weight gain considering how much they could shrink the gas tank. Toyota managed to make a 2,500 lb hybrid with their Prius C. Nissan's leaf comes in at around 3,200 lbs. But that extra 700 lbs is the difference between 50 mpg and 120 mpg*e. Point being: if you want efficiency, an EV will be the winner. But if you want an uber-efficient EV, weight will always play a factor. Best to start with a light-weight platform like the vehicle in this article.

Milton
26th February, 2014 @ 09:29 am PST

It looks very much like a miniature version of the Subaru Outback. Very cool. I agree an electric version would be great.

Jonathan Cole
26th February, 2014 @ 10:08 am PST

Hmmm, four wheel drive and it would make a useful contribution to the lower end of the market. Not an off-roader by any means, but an all-roader, certainly. I confess to quite liking the look of it.....

Grunt
26th February, 2014 @ 11:04 am PST

Citroens seem to do pretty well in rallying, so French cars can't be all bad.

And at last an instrument panel that's showing some progress in design. The best I'd seen before was in the Toyota Prius.

Now all we need is an app which allows one to customise the layout to show exactly what you want, how you want it (eg digital, bargraph or clock-type speedo), where you want it on the screen and in the colours that suit you (some people are colour-blind after all).

PeterRnz
26th February, 2014 @ 12:19 pm PST

@ PeterRnz

Agreed in full. I would love to be able to put the sat-nav right where the speedometer usually is and have the road speed shown digitally in the form of a large sort of watermark on the sat-nav display.

And while we are at it, how about continuously calibrating the speedo when there is a good sat-nav signal so that when approaching a speed camera or radar check, one can be sure not to be risking any points or fines etc.? Whenever I have checked a vehicle against my sat-nav(s) it has always been optimistic, sometimes right up to the ten percent legal limit (or at least that is what the U.K. used to require.)

Mel Tisdale
26th February, 2014 @ 01:14 pm PST

We have many choices here in the USA and I am grateful for it. Nevertheless I sure would like to see some Citroen and Renault vehicles. Don't get me started on those $!&#*&!! at VW who won't bring the best car they make over here! I'm still dumbfounded at our lack of small diesel choices here as well. The new era of clean diesel fuel makes them even more attractive.

Bryan Haslett
26th February, 2014 @ 07:23 pm PST
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