Citroen's new C4 Cactus model -- the first car in Citroen's new C-Line range – will go on sale in 2014. Among its highlights are protective body cladding and sofa-style front seating. With this range, Citroen hopes that its mainstream cars will earn a reputation as affordable cars that are practical, frugal, and can be owned with low costs.
The Cactus Concept displayed at the Frankfurt Auto Show last September featured protective cladding on the doors, referred to as Airbumps, as well as with a sofa-style front bench. Inside the Airbumps are air capsules meant to resist scratches and lessen damage from small impacts. Brand executives said that this feature saves owners the cost of repairing the body.
According to Frederic Duvernier, the external designer of the Cactus concept, the feature will be seen on the production car that’s due to start selling in the middle of 2014. He told Automotive News Europe that the Airbumps uses a material that’s highly durable and resistant, comparable to the material on the sole of a Nike Air shoe. He said that the Airbumps will guard the bodywork from small impacts, like being hit by a shopping trolley in a supermarket parking lot.
Duvernier added that the Airbumps will mean that the car can be personalized by black and white or multicolor variations. Citroen's design program director Mark Lloyd said that the sofa-style seating of the Cactus concept will be used in the production model. He said that it costs more to put in a sofa rather than two standard front seats but it creates “a feeling of comfort.”
Lloyd said that simple shapes and plain surfaces will be used on Citroen's C-line cars, very different from the aggressive styling used by plenty of cars on the road. He said that most people want simplicity as their lives are presently “complex and overloaded.” This is why Citroen took out unnecessary equipment and decided to just focus on the customers’ comfort and well-being.