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Future models - Citroen - C-Cactus

First look: Citroen makes Prius green as cactus with envy

Frugal: C-Cactus concept shatters the Toyota Prius' economy record.

Citroen knocks on the 100 miles per gallon mark with an affordable diesel hybrid

Citroen logo5 Sep 2007

NO, THE nameplate isn’t a throwback to a dead-and-buried Citroen model.

Rather, the C-Cactus set to make its world debut in Frankfurt next week is a concept car that combines outstanding fuel economy – efficiency not unlike what its botanical namesake manages with water – with “ecological” construction.

Using PSA Peugeot-Citroen’s latest diesel-hybrid drivetrain – the group’s first for small/light cars such as the C2 and C3 – the Cactus was first claimed to average an incredible 3.4L/100km and emit just 78g/km of CO2.

Those figures were revised even further downwards days later, with Citroen now saying average fuel consumption of just 2.9L/100km is possible - close to the magic 100 miles per gallon figure - from what's claimed to be a fully-equipped family car.

"Citroen’s engineers have sharpened their pencils and made the Citroën C-Cactus, their proposal for a super economy car due to be launched next week at the Frankfurt motor show, to be even more economical than were shown by the first tests," said Citroen today.

Featuring a production-ready diesel hybrid drivetrain, the C-Cactus is also the latest evidence that Citroen is ramping up for a full range of diesel hybrids by 2012 and, interestingly, how it is preparing to change its production processes to make it possible to price them alongside existing models.

You see, the C-Cactus uses significantly fewer parts than a conventional car.

33 center imageIn something that will come as a refreshing development to many motorists, the French brand claims to have removed all parts that are non-essential to the running of the car or to the comfort and wellbeing of its occupants.

For example, Citroen claims the interior uses 200 parts, which is said to be less than half that of a conventional car. The overall result is a 15 per cent weight reduction.

Still, what transpires is far from traditional or even minimalist. Rather than include a dashboard, Citroen designers have grouped its usual functions on either the centre console or the steering wheel hub.

It has also not thrown out a panoramic sunroof, a fancy stereo and a speed-limiter, to name a few items onboard.

Other components and mechanisms have been simplified, while several functions are grouped in a single part. For instance, the front bumper is the same part making up the lower part of the tailgate.

There is no word on whether replacement costs would rise, considering grouped items such as the bumper/headlamps/chevrons. But Citroen is adamant the Cactus would, if it entered production, cost no more than a $25,000 C4.

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