Official images of the new Citroen Cactus Concept car have been released, providing the public a glimpse of the new positioning of the brand's mainstream cars as affordable, practical and fuel efficient vehicles. According to Citroen, the Cactus concept is a "manifest" that previews its future C-line models, but it is expected that a production version will be available for sale next spring, and might replace the C4 compact hatchback in Citroen's lineup in Europe.
The brand said that the positioning of the C-line is "competitively priced," rather than being a direct rival to the Dacia budget brand of French rival Renault. Citroen is aiming the C-Line cars on customers looking for value-for-money cars, while its DS upscale models are targeting more affluent buyers. Citroen chief executive Frederic Banzet told Automotive News Europe in an interview that the idea is to address different customers and to limit the overlapping between their brands.
According to the brand, the C-Line series will attract buyers through its design and attractive cost of ownership, as well as user-friendly features.
The Cactus concept is powered by PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's Hybrid Air drivetrain that employs compressed air for energy storage instead of batteries. This powertrain also only consumes less than 3 liters of fuel per 100km. Having a length of 4210mm, the Cactus has a size comparable to the DS4 compact car derived from the C4, although it boasts of a higher ground clearance.
According to the carmaker, the Cactus' front end previews the visual identity of future C-line models -- smooth surfaces, a light signature created by LED daytime running lights.
The Cactus also features "airbumps" on the sides and the bumpers of the car, protecting the car from scratches as well as from t he effect of small impacts. The interior of the concept features a 7-inch screen instead of an instrument cluster while the control buttons are on an 8-inch touchscreen.
Citroen Cactus has a style that brings to mind technology combined with quality but without any of the aggression. In developing the Cactus, the brand knew that the first goal would to make sure that both driver and passengers would have enough space. This is expected to help the occupants experience more ease as well as user-friendliness and thus result in more comfort. On the interior, the slender dashboard appears to be floating and because of this, more space is freed up on the floor under it.
Meanwhile, the top region of this dashboard benefits the passenger sitting in the front. Its storage space is easy to access and at the same time sizeable. When it comes to the exterior, the front section acts as a preview of how the future models coming from the C-line would look. There are for example the smooth surfaces which showcase the Chevrons.
Another quality of the front end are the flowing forms that reveal a seamless progression starting from the bonnet going all the way to the wing. Finally, there is that high-tech light signature integrated with the daytime running lights and lamps that use LED. Regarding the rear section, the style follows the same philosophy that has the LED 3D lights integrated to the wide Airbump, which in turn protects the boot.
Indeed, the rather radical and singular design of the Cactus more than guarantees an interior that is comfortable, ergonomic, and warm. Because there are no side windows, B-pillars, and rear windows, viewers are invited to try and look inside the cabin. The cabin itself has been redesigned not only with regards to the architecture but even in how the materials and colors are designed.