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Citroen confirms production E-Mehari

All terrine: Citroen's E-Mehari “it car” is a mix of original 1968 Mehari, modern C4 Cactus and outlandish concept.

E-Mehari EV honours original Citroen all-terrain car but won't come to Australia


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8 Dec 2015

CITROEN has revealed its E-Mehari all-electric convertible SUV that has the appearance of a futuristic concept car, but is confirmed for production and will be rolled out in 2016.

The tiny zero-emissions vehicle has room for four, all-terrain capability and removable roof and side panels for a “liberating driving experience” and borrows many styling and function cues from the original 1968 Citroen Mehari all-terrain vehicle.

If it were to come to the Australian market it would join the Jeep Wrangler and the forthcoming Land Rover Evoque in the niche convertible SUV segment, but Citroen Australia public relations and communications manager Tyson Bowen cut any local hopes short.

“It's not something we would consider,” he said. “It's a small electric vehicle that they use mostly for resorts running around Europe. No, there is no consideration to bring it here.”

The little crossover has been created in collaboration with French investment and holding giant Bollore Group, which lent its experience in developing electric drivetrains and batteries. The E-Mehari uses a lithium metal polymer battery to deliver a 110km/h top speed and a city range of 200km.

Citroen says the LMP battery is among the safest and most reliable on offer and is unaffected by extreme temperatures. A full charge takes eight hours on a high-current 16-amp socket or 13 hours on a standard domestic 10-amp outlet.

Its body panels are plastic for durability and are available in blue, orange, yellow and beige to contrast with two roof shades of black or orange-red.

Interiors are trimmed in either beige or orange-red and are completely waterproof, allowing the transport of wet water-sports gear or a complete hose-out, for example.

The new addition to the European line-up shares some styling features from the Cactus M concept that broke cover at the Frankfurt motor show in September, as well as styling traits of the production C4 Cactus.

As reported by GoAuto, Citroen has broken away from the DS sub-brand and is going in search of its own crowd with more playful and unique vehicles, which it says is evident with the announcement of the E-Mehari.

“Citroen is confirming its ambition to bring to market cheery, optimistic vehicles that are different from the rest,” it said in a statement.

“The E-Mehari is an 'it car', designed to appeal to customers looking for an alternative vehicle with a positive outlook on life, attentive to trends and to the environment.”

Fellow French car manufacturer Renault has also recently partnered with Bollore Group to produce a small Pininfarina-designed electric hatchback named the Bluecar at its factory in Dieppe, France.

The E-Mehari will debut at Citroen's headquarters in Paris this week and will be built at the Peugeot Citroen plant in Rennes.

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