First pictures of the production version of Citroen's Cactus concept, due next February
Jim Holder
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.

Our Verdict

Citroën C4
The Citroën C4 range comprises three diesel and three petrol engines, plus three trim levels

An admirable car, but there is an abundance of much better rivals

Join the debate

Comments
14

17 September 2013

Touch screens in cars are dangerous, I have one in my Golf it is just plain stupid, wading through sub menus with your eyes off the road for seconds, when before a button would do, if they have to make cars so complicated why not a head up display in the centre of the windscreen and a trackball or a four way switch mounted on a steering wheel spoke?

17 September 2013
Darren Moss wrote:

It is expected to sit on the firm's new EMP2 platform when it goes on sale.

It's based on the Peugeot 207s platform, that has long been paid for. That's one of the ways they came up with to make this affordable.

 

 

17 September 2013
tuga wrote:
Darren Moss wrote:

It is expected to sit on the firm's new EMP2 platform when it goes on sale.

It's based on the Peugeot 207s platform, that has long been paid for. That's one of the ways they came up with to make this affordable.

What makes you think you know better? Where's the evidence for your claim?

 

I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

17 September 2013
Frightmare Bob wrote:

What makes you think you know better? Where's the evidence for your claim?

At L'Automobile Magazine, who are French and know better. It will also be made at the Vigo factory where the 207 used to be made, and it makes sense if you think about it.

I'd really like to provide the link to the news article at L'Automobile, but apparently that would " trigger " my comment to be perceived as spam...

 

 

17 September 2013
tuga wrote:
Frightmare Bob wrote:

What makes you think you know better? Where's the evidence for your claim?

At L'Automobile Magazine, who are French and know better. It will also be made at the Vigo factory where the 207 used to be made, and it makes sense if you think about it.

I'd really like to provide the link to the news article at L'Automobile, but apparently that would " trigger " my comment to be perceived as spam...

You're wrong. Watch Citroen's press conference at the Frankfurt Motor Show on Youtube and you'll hear them say that it is based on the new platform.


"Work hard and be nice to people"

17 September 2013
Mini2 wrote:
tuga wrote:
Frightmare Bob wrote:

What makes you think you know better? Where's the evidence for your claim?

At L'Automobile Magazine, who are French and know better. It will also be made at the Vigo factory where the 207 used to be made, and it makes sense if you think about it.

I'd really like to provide the link to the news article at L'Automobile, but apparently that would " trigger " my comment to be perceived as spam...

You're wrong. Watch Citroen's press conference at the Frankfurt Motor Show on Youtube and you'll hear them say that it is based on the new platform.

No, you're wrong. There are no mentions whatsoever on what the Cactus is based on on that vídeo. They DO mention the new platform, while reffering to the new Picasso and Grand Picasso, and that's it.

 

 

17 September 2013
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.

 

I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

17 September 2013
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.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

17 September 2013
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.


"Work hard and be nice to people"

17 September 2013

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?

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again
  • Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer
    First Drive
    13 October 2017
    Off-road estate is now bigger, more spacious and available with torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, but is it enough to make its German rivals anxious?