The Cactus M is the latest evidence of Citroën’s push to make its cars simpler. This is something started by the production C4 Cactus and likely to continue onto other models in the future.

This move towards simplicity is something that the Cactus M’s designer, Frédéric Duvernier, says is possible in part due to the splitting of Citroën and DS into separate brands. With DS concentrating on making premium models, it allows Citroën to strip out unnecessary parts from its future models and keep them basic. It doesn’t mean a removal of all technology from a car. Safety equipment can be kept hidden, says Duvernier, while in-car tech can be left to smartphone manufacturers.

“Everything is too complicated,” he said. “I think we can make a simple shell and not fill it up with gimmicks and technology.”

He says young colleagues, for example, are all buying older, simpler cars rather than more complicated modern ones.

The simple approach is not likely to be something restricted to smaller models either, with Duvernier even talking about taking unnecessary and overly complicated bits out of models such as the C4 Picasso.

But neither does the plan mean an end to the larger Citroëns such as the C5 “I believe there is a way to make a really nice flagship for Citroën,” Duvernier added. “It will be very interesting. If you look back at the CX from the 70s - it was a huge success.”