While the crossover-styled C4 Cactus has just received a facelift, production of the more conventional C4 saloon has stopped and Citroën's product boss Xavier Peugeot said its replacement would incorporate the C4 Cactus. That means Citroën will only have one model in the family hatchback C-segment, which includes rivals such as the Peugeot 308, Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.
Peugeot said: "We needed to reduce our line-up to eight silhouettes [as demanded by Citroën’s parent company PSA’s boss Carlos Tavares], so one of these models had to go. The C4 and C4 Cactus are converging into one.”
Asked why the C4 Cactus had won out over the C4, he said: “It is more in line with Citroën positioning. We want to position ourselves differently [to other brands] and the C4 Cactus is the stronger basis to do it.”
Since going on sale in 2014, the C4 Cactus has outsold the C4 in Europe.
Peugeot said the development of the replacement model had already started. Whether the car keeps the 'Cactus' name or reverts to simply 'C4' depends on the success of the updated C4 Cactus model. “If this car is a strong success, the name Cactus could become iconic,” Peugeot said, suggesting it would then make sense to keep the name for future generations.
He did not yet know whether the next-generation C4/C4 Cactus would keep the slightly higher, quasi-SUV styling of the current C4 Cactus. However he acknowledged that the updated model had purposefully been made to look less SUV-like: “We needed to remove some of the SUV markers on it because it became too much like the C3 Aircross. We wanted to tone down the SUV elements and make it more like a hatchback, but our research shows buyers interested in crossovers are also interested in this car, too."
Peugeot also expressed his desire to keep making cars which polarise buyers to achieve the car maker’s goal to be different to its rivals. He believed the original C4 Cactus was polarising and expected the facelifted version to do the same: “I believe this car will continue to polarise, though a little bit less than the last. I like this because I believe Citroën should challenge the norm. There should be a little more level of dislike compared to a normal car.”