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Citroen gives Cactus the green light

Prickly character: The production version of the C4 Cactus will feature a lot of the design elements from the Frankfurt concept (left).

C4 Cactus to kick-off Citroen’s budget brand, with more new models in the pipeline


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26 Sep 2013

CITROEN’S wacky Cactus concept from this year’s Frankfurt motor show will cross over from concept to showroom, with a production version due early next year.

The head of the French car-maker’s C-line, Pierre Monferrini, told British publication AutoCar the production version would be revealed on February 5, 2014, five years after the launch of the DS line and 136 years since the birth of company founder, Andre Citroen.

Citroen plans to use the Cactus nameplate for its new generation of C-line cars, such as the C4, that will be marketed as a more stripped back, budget-focussed European offering.

Mr Monferrini said the C4 Cactus would not use parent company PSA’s new lightweight EMP2 platform that underpins the C4 Picasso, C4 Grand Picasso and the next-generation Peugeot 308. Instead the Cactus will come off another, as yet unspecified PSA platform.

Citroen is still evaluating whether to market the C4 Cactus as a small hatch or a crossover, but that will become clearer when the production model is unveiled.

The basic design of the quirky Cactus concept will carry over to the production model, and while it will add windows and classic doors that were missing from the concept, Mr Monferrini said the floating C-pillar, sofa-like benches in the cabin and the unique ‘Air Bump’ on the doors will stay.

The Air Bump is a soft grey detail designed to resist scratches and includes air capsules that can absorb impacts.

Spy shots of the C4 Cactus show the same basic shape as the concept, but with more conventional headlights rather than the slim-line versions from the show car.

Powertrains are yet to be confirmed, but expect low-powered petrol and diesel engines with simple transmission options, rather than sophisticated turbocharged units, or the Hybrid Air propulsion system that is still a number of years away.

As previously reported, the C-line of models, including the next-gen C3, C4 and C5 will become the French company’s entry-level models, while the DS line will become Citroen’s up-market brand.

Meanwhile, AutoCar is reporting that Mr Monferrini also confirmed the DS Wild Rubis crossover concept from this year’s Shanghai motor show would also go into production for the Chinese market, but it was not clear whether the stylish SUV would eventually be sold in Europe.

A sub-compact SUV that would compete with the Renault Captur and even sister company Peugeot’s 2008 is also on the cards, as is a replacement for the C5 mid-size range that will also carry the Cactus moniker in next-gen guise.

Fans of the unusual C6 that was discontinued last year will be disappointed to hear that Citroen is not planning to replace it. However, a DS-branded saloon inspired by the stunning Numero 9 concept is being evaluated.

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