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Citroen’s updated C4 Cactus breaks cover

Succulent SUV: The refreshed Citroen C4 Cactus is set to touch down in Australia near the end of next year.

Hydraulic suspension, driver-assist tech and more for new Citroen SUV due late 2018


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27 Oct 2017

CITROEN’S C4 Cactus small SUV has emerged overnight with a comprehensive update featuring the French car-maker’s patented hydraulic suspension system, measures to improve refinement, new driver assistance technologies, higher levels of connectivity and revised styling.

Due in Australia late next year, the new C4 Cactus’ headline act is clearly the introduction of Citroen’s Progressive Hydraulic Cushions (PHC) suspension, which was first seen on the Chinese-market C5 Aircross.

While traditional suspension arrangements use a shock absorber, spring and mechanical bump stop at each corner of the vehicle, the PHC system adds two hydraulic stops on either side of the front and rear end instead of the mechanical unit, allowing one each for compression and decompression.

For light use, the springs and shock absorbers work without the help of the hydraulic stops – allowing Citroen engineers greater freedom, the company says, in configuring the vehicle’s suspension set-up – while for major impacts the hydraulic stops work with the springs and dampers to avoid sudden jolts, absorbing and dissipating energy.

Citroen has also introduced measures to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) in the C4 Cactus, including thicker glass, updates to sealing joints and greater use of sound-deadening materials through the cabin and engine bay.

Safety has been bolstered by the addition of 12 new driver assistance technologies including autonomous emergency braking, speed-limit recommendation, lane-departure warning, coffee-break alert, driver attention alert, blind-spot monitor, park assist, a reversing camera, hill-start assist, cornering foglights, keyless entry/start and Citroen’s multi-surface Grip Control system.

Connectivity features have likewise been added in the form of Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink functionality, satellite navigation with connected services and Citroen’s emergency and assistance callout system.

Still instantly recognisable as a C4 Cactus, the French crossover has undergone some styling tweaks including revised LED daytime running lights and headlights, the latter now sitting in a gloss-black bezel.

The unique Airbump door protection has been reduced in size and moved from the middle of the doors to the bottom, while at the rear the 3D-effect LED tail-lights have been reshaped for a slimmer, more rectangular look.

Black cladding and Airbumps previously adorning the rear of the vehicle have also been removed.

The updated Cactus will be available with 31 different exterior colour combinations, consisting of nine body colours and as well as four ‘colour packs’ that add a more restrained colour contrast with the body colours.

Five alloy wheel choices are available, ranging from 16 to 17 inches in size, as well as five interior colour combinations.

New ‘Advanced Comfort’ seats have been fitted, made from higher-density foam (15mm thicker than before) to improve comfort.

Globally, three petrol and two diesel powertrains will be available, including the 1.2-litre turbo-petrol three-cylinder PureTech engine in 61kW, 81kW and 97kW states of tune.

The 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine will also be available in 75kW and 89kW guise.

It remains to be seen which powertrains will be selected for the Australian range, which currently consists of the 81kW petrol engine with the choice of either manual or automatic transmission.

The sole diesel variant was dropped from the range earlier this year.

Through the first three quarters of 2017, Citroen has sold only 110 examples of the C4 Cactus, down 38.2 per cent on the 178 it managed to the same point last year.

It is well off the pace of segment leaders such as the Mitsubishi ASX (13,785), Mazda CX-3 (13,693) and Nissan Qashqai (10,257).

Australian pricing and specification will become available closer to the model’s launch late in 2018.

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