By: Sam Bisby
Following months of concepts and teasers, the production version of the radical new Citroen C4 Cactus has been fully revealed and it looks rather special.
We knew the C4 Cactus would have some particularly unconventional design traits when we brought you the teaser images Citroen released at the end of 2013, which looked to be sticking quite closely to the concept models we had already seen.
It’s safe to say that we are not disappointed by the final outcome.
Citroen’s aim with the new C4 Cactus is to create a car that brings with it a new level of ease of ownership compared to that of its rivals. We are expecting the entry-level C4 Cactus to come in at around £13,000 and rise to £18,000 for the range topping derivative – substantially cheaper than similar sized models.
Another fantastic achievement Citroen has accomplished with the production C4 Cactus is getting the car’s weight to undercut 1,000kg. With almost Lotus Elise-like weight properties, the C4 Cactus is set to be a highly efficient machine, which combined with its purchase price will help rein in costs even further.
The C4 Cactus’ engines help with the weight-saving measures, with the base powerplant being a 1.0-litre 81bhp three-cylinder turbo unit. Additional options include the 108bhp e-THP engine and the 91bhp eHDI and 99bhp BlueHDI units that emit just 82g/km of CO2.
A manual gearbox will be standard across the C4 Cactus; however, Citroen’s automatic, which it shares with compatriots Peugeot, will also be available and is claimed to have incredibly smooth shifting capabilities.
In regards to the C4 Cactus’s exterior, Citroen has certainly tried to place the car in the spotlight by mixing fashionable crossover styling with that of its more unusual design influences that give the Cactus a strong futuristic feel. Observers will immediately notice the car’s ‘air-bump’ door protectors that shield the Cactus from scrapes.
On the inside, things are just as imaginative as the outside. A proper dashboard has been given to the production version of the C4 Cactus (the concept did without), albeit one that has been simplified to give it a graceful and functional layout. The dash has a total of just 12 buttons, while behind the steering wheel there is no rev counter and there is no centre console. Instead, most systems are controlled through a central touchscreen.
The Cactus’s body is made from high-strength steels, while the bonnet is constructed from aluminium, as are the car’s crash beams in order to reduce its weight. A one-piece rear seat saves 6kg and the blind from the optional panoramic roof has also been cut from the Cactus and has instead been garnished with heat-resistance materials.
There is plenty of scope for personalisation with the C4 Cactus, with the body available in 10 colours, while the ‘air-bumps’ can be specced in black, beige, brown and light grey. Meanwhile, a customer can choose from three ‘interior universes’ of brown, purple or grey.
We will see the Citroen C4 Cactus in all its glory at March’s Geneva motor show and hopefully we’ll see some great combinations of colour worked into the models on show.
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