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Future models - Citroen - C4 Cactus

Two C4 Cactus drivetrains confirmed for Oz

Aussie rules: The Citroen C4 Cactus has been criticised overseas for its lack of split-fold rear bench but the French brand’s Australian outpost has managed to score one as part of ADR child seat top tether modifications.

Citroen C4 Cactus to arrive early 2016 with petrol and diesel power, from below $30K

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Citroen logo28 Aug 2015

CITROEN has confirmed the quirky C4 Cactus crossover will arrive in the first quarter of next year with a choice of three-cylinder petrol manual and four-cylinder diesel automatic drivetrains, with both variants starting from less than $30,000 plus on-road costs.

At entry level will be an 81kW/205Nm 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine driving with five-speed manual gearbox, with those requiring an automatic transmission offered a 68kW/230Nm 1.6-litre turbo-diesel four and six-speed semi-automatic (robotised manual) transmission.

Official European combined fuel consumption figures show the lightweight Cactus to be as economical as it is unique, with the petrol rated at 4.7 litres per 100 kilometres, while the diesel sips just 3.6L/100km.

If the Cactus was released tomorrow and the European fuel figures were replicated on the Australian cycle, the diesel version would be the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid car on the Australian market – and it may still be if nothing more frugal arrives between now and its showroom debut.

More specifications will be released next week, but GoAuto understands the model will be generously equipped as standard and offered with numerous customisation options and colour combinations, enabling it to compete with design-heavy compact SUV rivals like the Renault Captur and Nissan Juke.

Citroen Australia managing director John Startari said the model’s launch was delayed a year because it was not originally intended for right-hand-drive markets and therefore not engineered with Australia’s unique ADR requirements for child seat top tethers on all rear seat positions fitted with lap-sash seatbelts.

In a similar move that resulted in the recently refreshed C4 hatch coming with an Australia-exclusive reversing camera, Citroen Australia managed to negotiate with the factory to create a unique 60:40 split-fold rear bench with both Isofix points and three top tethers, satisfying this country’s regulatory regime.

Mr Startari said he was “devastated” when it became apparent the Cactus would fall foul of ADR requirements in standard form, but that talks with Citroen engineers and designers turned his frown upside down when it transpired the problem could be turned into an opportunity to develop a split-fold rear seat set-up.

“We are thrilled we have been able to engineer a factory based solution for such an important and ground-breaking vehicle,” he said.

“This specification, along with local evaluation of specification and features, will be pivotal in ensuring we offer the best possible product to Australian customers.”

Citroen has copped criticism for omitting the practical split-fold system in overseas markets where the Cactus is already on sale, so the Aussie spec car will be envied abroad – unless the French company starts offering the feature globally, in which case Australia will be thanked.

The front-drive-only crossover is brimming with typically Citroen innovations including the patented AirBump protective panels, world-first ceiling mounted passenger airbag enabling a large capacity top-loading glovebox and special windscreen wash/wipe designed to maximise visibility while reducing fluid consumption and therefore weight through the fitment of a smaller reservoir.

Special coating on the optional panoramic glass roof reflects twice as much of the sun’s energy as standard glass, which Citroen claims saves weight by removing the need for a blind.

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