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Citroen officially outs C4 Cactus

Up in the air: The plastic covered airbags on the door panels and bumpers of the Citroen C4 Cactus protect it from light impact.

Quirky Citroen C4 Cactus keeps ‘Airbumps’ from concept and could be coming to Oz


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6 Feb 2014

CITROEN has revealed the production version of its offbeat C4 Cactus crossover, showing styling cues that have remained faithful to the unconventional concept that premiered in Frankfurt last September.

The French car-maker believes the ultra-lightweight C4-based crossover will offer “a real alternative to the traditional compact hatchback” – and it looks primed to come to Australia.

Citroen's Australian distributor Sime Darby Motors’ PR and communications manager Jaedene Hudson said the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur rival was being evaluated as an alternative to the C4 hatch in the local market, but it was too soon to talk timing.

“We are still very interested and we want to make this available for Australians,” she said.

“We've put a business proposal to PSA and we are in the initial stages of review now that we know a right-hnd drive is available. Things should be a lot clearer in the second half of this year.” Visually, the C4 Cactus retains the concept’s “Airbumps”, which are essentially a plastic skin fitted with air capsules that protects the front and rear door panels and bumpers from light impacts such as shopping trolleys.

The Airbumps are available in four colours – black, grey, ‘Dune’ and ‘Chocolate’ – which can be matched with any of the ten body colours, and Citroen claims they do not require maintenance.

The C4 Cactus features a smooth rounded nose with high-tech headlights and LED daytime running lights, a floating roof which has become something of a signature Citroen design cue, and chunky black wheel arches.

While the 2600mm wheelbase matches that of the C4 hatch, the Cactus is 169mm shorter, 60mm narrower and 22mm lower than its donor car and features shorter overhangs.

Citroen has also reduced the weight of the Cactus by 200kg over the regular C4 to 965kg which was achieved thanks to the use of a lightweight platform, aluminium bonnet and front and rear beams, pop-out rear windows and a single-piece folding rear bench seat.

Specific powertrain details are yet to be released but Citroen confirmed the use of Euro 6 compliant “latest-generation” Pure Tech petrol and BlueHDi diesel engines, while its HybridAir compressed-air powertrain is also a possibility.

The French car-maker is not only promising low fuel economy and emissions, but it is also claiming a 20 per cent reduced ownership cost when compared with other models in the small segment, due in part to its Airbumps helping to keep repair costs down.

Matching its unconventional exterior design, the C4 Cactus gains some interesting features in the cabin, such as a low dash, fully digital interface, a digital screen replacing the instrument cluster, and control buttons replaced by a seven-inch touchscreen that combines functions for the air conditioning, sat-nav, vehicle settings, phone and media.

Citroen’s Multicity Connect application portal is also available, providing access to apps to locate the nearest petrol station, as well as Trip Advisor, Yellow Pages and traffic apps.

A large panoramic sunroof provides extra light into the cabin while protecting occupants with “advanced heat protection” that keeps UV rays at bay.

Automatic park assist is also available, as is a reversing camera, hill-start assist, cornering lights and “Smart Wash” windscreen wipers that have nozzles in the wipers, removing the need for nozzles on the bonnet which Citroen says can cause visibility issues when sprayed.

Variants sold with PSA’s ‘Efficient Tronic Gearbox’ (semi-automatic) feature an ‘Easy Push’ system instead of a gear lever, with only drive, neutral and reverse gears located on the lower fascia. Paddles shifters will also be available.

Another carryover feature form the concept is the lounge-like front seats that are joined in the centre, while the cabin features similar levels of space and legroom to the C4. Boot capacity is 358 litres, slightly down on the 380-litre boot of the donor car.

Citroen says some of the interior styling takes inspiration from the world of travel, with luggage-inspired leather door straps instead of handles, and a storage compartment on top of the dash with hinges and a relief pattern.

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