Currently reading: Citroen C4 Cactus in development
First pictures of the production version of Citroen's Cactus concept, due next February
Jim Holder
News
2 mins read
17 September 2013

The Citroen C4 Cactus, the production version of the Cactus concept shown at the Frankfurt motor show, has been spotted testing for the first time.

The C4 Cactus will be offered alongside the standard C4 in the same vein as the C4 Picasso. More Cactus spin-offs of existing models are expected to follow, too, if the new look is deemed a sales success. Citroen officials say they are optimistic that Cactus cars could eventually replace more conventional mainstream models.

"The C4 has many years ahead of it in its production cycle, so we have time to evalutate the success of the Cactus line," said Citroen boss Frederic Banzet. 

"However, our research suggests it will be a sales success. We have chosen to develop a line that will be loved by some and hated by some. It is better that way, rather than being an average choice in an overcrowded market."

The Cactus concept is 4.21m long, 1.75m wide and 1.53m tall, with a relatively high ride height of 21cm. It is expected to sit on the firm's new EMP2 platform when it goes on sale. 

We can see from these spy photos that the most obvious concept car element of the original show car, that its B-pillars and side and rear windows had been removed, have been replaced for production. However, this test mule retains the overall shape of the Cactus and is expected to retain elements of the show car's radical interior. 

Highlights of the show car's interior include entirely digital controls, which sit on a slimline dashboard on two seperate screens, sofa-style front and rear benches, and the use of more natural materials on all surfaces. A central 8-inch touchscreen is used for all of the car's functions, such as sat-nav, air-con, audio and all driver aids.

The car also features what Citroen calls 'Airbumps' on its sides and around the bumpers. As well as breaking up the car's clean lines, these air-filled capsules are designed to absorb minor impacts, such as from a supermarket trolly, without scratching, and will make it to the production model.

Citroen describes the Cactus as "shedding the superflous", but is at pains to stress that is is not pushing to build budget cars in the style of Dacia. Instead, it says, it plans to use the new look to re-engage customers with the traditional Citroen values of comfort and style at a modest price premium over a standard C4.

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Frightmare Bob 17 September 2013

In answer to responses to my

In answer to responses to my earlier comment.

There is on the Mendip Hills, where I grew up, an arrow-straight road with an exceedingly uneven surface. When I drove along it in my first car, a '76 Mini, the limit was around 50 mph. Any more than that and it threatened to leave the road! Once, around this time, I had a lift in a friend's Citroen CX20, at 85mph it was almost like being driven across a snooker table, compared to the Mini. This got me hooked and when I could afford a Citroen, with hydropnuematic suspension, I promptly bought one. Only a BX but, if you look after the suspension, still rides wonderfully on lumpy Somerset roads.

Now they have the affront to foist on us the DS5 which has been panned for it's hard ride. A big Citroen with a hard ride used to unthinkable, unless owned by an idiot who didn't have a clue about the suspension.

I know I am being a misty-eyed Citroeniste about this but, I find PSA's direction, with Citroen, hugely disappointing.

Anyone got a spare DS or SM they don't want?

Safari 18 September 2013

Wait and see

I think Citroen have to change - and they have started with the DS range - this has been a sales success DS3, DS4 & DS5, For me this does represent Citroen - as they should always be a forward thinking company and not just relying on their past! So I cannot criticise Citroen for doing this. The problem has been with the C-Line models - as the DS range has succeeded the C-Line has faultered and that is because it is no longer relevant in today's market. Take the C4 for example - it is very conservative, built well, but largely uninspiring - it seems to have found its market in the over 60's - however this could be an issue for Citroen. If the same magic they found for the DS brand can be injected into the C-Line models then it could really help Citroen to expand. I think it is really encouraging - however I too regret the demise of the hydropneumatic suspension - whether it will come back remains to be seen - I suspect it will be a radical overhaul. I always remember how good the Xantia was to drive compared to the mark 1 C5 - This in my opinion is down to the weight of the car. But can Citroen justify spending huge amounts of money developing hydropneumatic for the next generation?? Given what the motoring magazines normally have to say - Autocar are seemingly only interested in how the car handles these days.

superstevie 17 September 2013

So, this new back to basics

So, this new back to basics line will actually have touch screens and cost more than the C4? Or is this not going to be in line with the C-Line Citroens?

Mini2 17 September 2013

superstevie wrote: So, this

superstevie wrote:

So, this new back to basics line will actually have touch screens and cost more than the C4? Or is this not going to be in line with the C-Line Citroens?

It's not necessarily back to basics; it's more about simplicity. I would hope the touch screens will be a simplified version of what we've seen in the 208 and C4 Picasso. It's going to be priced at a similar price point to the C4 I believe (not necessarily cheaper or more expensive) - and as you'll see, they're pitching it alongside the rest of the C-Line for the time being to gauge public reaction. But I wouldn't be surprised if Cactus does become the standard for the C-Line.

catnip 17 September 2013

superstevie wrote:So, this

superstevie wrote:

So, this new back to basics line will actually have touch screens and cost more than the C4? Or is this not going to be in line with the C-Line Citroens?

I was surprised that this was being priced above the C-Line models, even though the premium will be modest according to the article. However, Citroen heavily discount the C-Line and DS models, so I'm sure it will be the same with the Cactus, meaning it should still be very good value.

Frightmare Bob 17 September 2013

Darren Moss wrote: Citroen

Darren Moss wrote:

Citroen describes the Cactus as "shedding the superflous", but is at pains to stress that is is not pushing to build budget cars in the style of Dacia. Instead, it says, it plans to use the new look to re-engage customers with the traditional Citroen values of comfort and style at a modest price premium over a standard C4.

So, why are they quietly dropping Hydropnuematic suspension and designing dull, rectangular euro-boxes? Not the way to re-engage us with those traditional Citroen values. I have had four earlier Citroens, on Hydropnuematic suspension and they were wonderfully comfortable but, really can't see why I should buy another Citroen.

xxxx 17 September 2013

because

Frightmare Bob wrote:
Darren Moss wrote:

Citroen describes the Cactus as "shedding the superflous", but is at pains to stress that is is not pushing to build budget cars in the style of Dacia. Instead, it says, it plans to use the new look to re-engage customers with the traditional Citroen values of comfort and style at a modest price premium over a standard C4.

So, why are they quietly dropping Hydropnuematic suspension and designing dull, rectangular euro-boxes? Not the way to re-engage us with those traditional Citroen values.........

Maybe because they need build cars that people will buy as they won't be propped up by the French goverment forever.

Mini2 17 September 2013

Frightmare Bob wrote: Darren

Frightmare Bob wrote:
Darren Moss wrote:

Citroen describes the Cactus as "shedding the superflous", but is at pains to stress that is is not pushing to build budget cars in the style of Dacia. Instead, it says, it plans to use the new look to re-engage customers with the traditional Citroen values of comfort and style at a modest price premium over a standard C4.

So, why are they quietly dropping Hydropnuematic suspension and designing dull, rectangular euro-boxes? Not the way to re-engage us with those traditional Citroen values. I have had four earlier Citroens, on Hydropnuematic suspension and they were wonderfully comfortable but, really can't see why I should buy another Citroen.

The hydropneumatic suspension is expensive to produce and journalists slate it no matter what, meaning people don't buy into it. Traditional Citroen values were simplicity if you look at the 2CV, their most iconic car. The Cactus range is designed to be more like that - not necessarily CHEAP (the 2CV wasn't that much cheaper than the competition) but simple and elegant. I'd say those are Citroen values, and I'd say this Cactus looks like nothing else on the road.