A NEW ECOLOGICAL AND ATTRACTIVE TAKE ON THE ESSENTIAL CAR
is unveiling C-Cactus at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. This ingenious
concept is a new take on vehicle design, centered on essential values.
The Marque's ambitious aim is to market an ecological hatchback with
cheerful, attractive styling, equipped with a hybrid HDi drivetrain and
sold at the same price as an entry-level C4.
At the 2008 Paris Motor Show, CitroŽn announced the creation of a project based on this concept car.
square this complex equation, CitroŽn is exploring new forms of design.
It has decided to abandon features that are not essential to comfort
and to focus instead on technology, styling and equipment that are
positive, ecological and valued by users.
Essential, intelligent and ecologically aware
is an ecological car. It includes a significant proportion of recycled
or recyclable materials and, like the plant it is named after, it is
low on consumption. Weighing just 1,109 kg and featuring a hybrid HDi
drivetrain, C-Cactus consumes 2.9 l/100 km for CO2 emissions of 78 g/km.
At the same time, C-Cactus is no more expensive than a mid-range family
car. Its low production cost can be attributed to the use of new
materials and to a rational design process using a smaller number of
parts. The cabin is made up of just over 200 parts, i.e. almost half
the number used by a conventional hatchback of identical size.
An attractive and modern vehicle
C-Cactus is an essential car, with sharp styling and attractive
features. Its curves give it a fun look and strong appeal, while the
angles and rounded lines of the bodywork underline its dynamic
C-Cactus sets high standards of onboard comfort with a roomy interior
that is worthy of a family car. It is 4.2 metres long and 1.8 metres
wide with a wide range of equipment including air conditioning with
automatic temperature control, a high-quality audio system, a panoramic
glass sunroof, cruise control and a speed limiter.
Essential, intelligent and ecologically aware
economic and ingenious solutions adopted for C-Cactus keep production
costs down and make it possible to fit a diesel hybrid drivetrain, all
for the price of an entry-level C4. To achieve this result, C-Cactus
places the emphasis on equipment that is essential to passenger
comfort. At the same time, it explores new design processes in order to
show that economy and ecology need not be synonymous with a rough ride.
New avenues in design
is the result of an intelligent design process pursuing new objectives.
By exploring new forms of expression and new technical solutions,
CitroŽn's engineers cut the number of parts required to build the car.
To achieve this objective, the engineers:
simplified a number of parts and mechanisms to the extreme,
grouped several functions in a single part,
removed all parts that are non-essential to the running of the car or to the comfort and well-being of its occupants.
dashboard has gone, and its usual functions are now grouped on the
central console and the fixed hub of the steering wheel. The central
console thus includes the active loudspeakers, gearbox controls and
tactile screen giving access to the onboard computer, navigation system
and air conditioning controls. The controls for the indicators, lights,
wipers, horn and cruise control/speed limiter are on the fixed hub of
the steering wheel, as are the tachometer and lights for the
indicators, headlamps and warning signals.
example of simplification: the part used for the front bumper, which
includes the headlamps and chevrons is the same as the part making up
the lower part of the tailgate at the rear. This contributes to the
assertive design of C-Cactus while bringing economies of scale in
simplicity is also reflected in the design of the front end, which
comprises just two parts: a fixed bonnet comprising the front wings,
and a flap giving access to the vehicle maintenance functions (oil,
windscreen washer, etc.).
Reflecting a similar
approach, using the air conditioning makes it virtually unnecessary to
open the windows. A simple sliding mechanism is therefore provided,
since this is sufficient in normal use. Engineers were thus able to get
rid of both the window frames and the opening mechanism.
At the same time, a number of monoblock units are used for C-Cactus to reduce the overall number of parts.
The door panels, for example, are made of two parts, compared with twelve in a conventional hatchback.
seats also comprise two parts: a highly comfortable, moulded, coloured,
integral-skin foam part for the seat, and a solid monoblock frame to
hold the foam in place and fix the seat to the floor rails. The
ergonomics are excellent and – here again – the number of components is
Advanced ecological features
achieve real environmental impact, CitroŽn's objective has always been
to market technologies and vehicles that are affordable to the greatest
number. The objective with C-Cactus is to go one step further, by
bringing out a car whose hybrid HDi drivetrain makes it truly
ecological car, but that can be sold at the same price as an
entry-level family car.
its diesel hybrid drivetrain combining a 70 bhp DIN HDi diesel engine
with a particulate filter and an electric motor providing additional
power of 30 bhp DIN, C‑Cactus consumes just 2.9 l/100 km with CO2 emission levels of 78 g/km over a combined cycle.
In urban use, ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) mode provides silent,
all-electric operation. On journeys involving successive acceleration
and deceleration, the hybrid system limits fuel consumption by using
both types of energy.
Other points also help to make C-Cactus a car that respects the environment.
The solutions adopted for the design of C-Cactus also contribute to bringing down fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Using fewer parts makes the vehicle 15% lighter than a C4 Hybride HDi for a total weight of 1,109 kg.
The tyre width has also been kept down (205/45 R21) on C-Cactus, which adds to environmental performance.
Fewer parts also means smaller quantities of raw materials. In additon,
a significant part of the materials used are recycled or recyclable.
The windscreen and windows, for example, are made of recyclable glass.
The tyres are also recyclable, as is the crude steel used for the door
panels. This metal is unpainted and unvarnished but has been treated
The protective mats are made of recycled leather, taken from leather
cut-offs that cannot be used by conventional tanneries. Many parts are
made of cork, a natural material made from the bark of oak trees. The
felt used for the door panels and fascia stowage compartments is made
from wool. This material uses no chemical additives and is both
recyclable and biodegradable.
The top speed of C-Cactus has deliberately been capped at 150 kph. This
choice not only contributes to the car's good environmental
performance, it also reflects CitroŽn's efforts to develop a green
vehicle illustrating a new approach to the car, in which the motorist
is in harmony with his/her surrounding environment.
A modern car with appeal
on the bold but rational use of parts and materials, C-Cactus is an
essential vehicle reflecting a new vision of the car focused on:
a new balance of priorities, and a design that pursues the essential without sacrificing comfort,
a design in which ecology and economy are synonymous not with dullness, but with expression and pleasure.
this attractive concept with its appealing offbeat styling, CitroŽn has
developed a new take on the economical and ecological car. A vehicle at
ease with its original and ingenious design. At the same time, this is
a car that brings the occupants all the features essential for their
Looking for simplicity: intelligent, fun exterior design
has a unique personality: appealing, modern and offbeat, with its
simple shapes and mix of round, curving lines. The original styling
also reflects ingenious design choices. Throughout the design process,
the focus was very much on simplicity. This led to the development of
ingenious solutions that contribute to the attractive offbeat design of
At the front, the headlamps of C-Cactus give the vehicle
an appealing air with their rounded and slightly angular forms. They
are underlined by two cylindrical air intakes cut out of the bumper,
above an air intake grille of modern design which, while contributing
to the vehicle's rounded forms, also adds a muscular energetic touch.
The raised bonnet and two air intakes also contribute to the dynamic
looks of C‑Cactus.
The vehicle's rounded forms are reflected in its profile. The dynamic
design lines are accentuated by the forward flowing roof line and the
asymmetric doors made of crude steel that has been treated for
The doors feature an original cut-out since the fixed windows remove a
number of the constraints that usually apply to design. Shaped to
provide easy access to the interior, they give C-Cactus a curving,
sleekly muscled appearance. The use of crude steel treated for
corrosion, but without paint or varnish, contributes to savings in
production costs while giving a strong, contemporary look.
The high waistline and 21-inch wheels also underline the strong character of C‑Cactus.
The wheels were the focus of particular attention. Large-diameter
wheels and low-profile tyres have become key styling features in
vehicles of strong, contemporary design.
CitroŽn worked with Michelin on the development of low-profile tyres
with a large diameter and limited width. The low ground friction area
limits fuel consumption and, at the same time, tyre production costs
are kept under control since the manufacturing process requires only a
small amount of rubber.
For new and even more original styling, these specially designed tyres
feature a green pattern on a white background printed inside a wide
groove spanning the entire tread.
The same styling codes can be seen at the rear, where a combination of
curves and taut lines illustrate the car's dynamic and appealing
personality. The chevrons identify this car as a CitroŽn. The name
"Cactus" appears in relief on the bottom of the tailgate, in a young,
smooth, modern printface.
The rear lights, which resemble the headlamps in shape, boast an
innovative feature: cut-outs in the interior plastic that let the
driver see through. This innovation considerably increases the driver's
field of vision and may be particularly useful in manoeuvres, for
Fewer features for greater impact: a welcoming, attractive and cleverly designed interior
is also an original and ingenious car on the inside. The design
cut-outs, choice of materials, patterns and colours give the cabin a
minimalist, attractive and airy look.
The cabin materials reflect
innovative choices. Their quality is immediately visible. Looking
beyond their appearance, they are also economical and ecological. For
example, cork is used for many decorative parts, as well as for the air
vents and air conditioning panel. The floor features a pattern in
recycled leather. The white lacquer finish of some parts and the visual
effects created by the materials used contribute to the original design
and perceived quality of the cabin.
Another key idea was to enhance the offbeat styling of C-Cactus by
reducing the number of parts and the quantity of materials used for the
Non-essential parts, such as the dashboard, are absent, while some of
the parts that are usually hidden have been included in the decor. This
is the case, for example, of the steering column, air conditioning
ducts and the grid for fore-and-aft adjustment of the front seats.
These features add a modern and original touch to the cabin. The refill
for the scented air freshener is also visible. It contributes to the
attractive appearance of the cabin, while enabling the driver to see
how much is left.
The decor has not been put in. It has been created by removing
material. This idea of decorating "in a vacuum" is reflected in the
patterns present on the door panels and seat frames. The patterns
cut-out in the door panels show the apple green felt inserted between
panel and metal. The main role of this part is to soundproof the
vehicle, but its colour and cut-outs make it an integral part of the
The same flower, plant and butterfly patterns – symbolising the
environment, purity and well-being – are also found on several other
cabin features. They are cut out, for example, in the white lacquer
seat frame. These cut-outs show the coloured foam used for the seat
cushions and give it a decorative quality.
Pertinent choices for an easy and enjoyable ride
boasts advanced equipment, optimised on-board space and modular design
at an affordable price. Passengers have all the comfort essential to
First, the ignition key of C-Cactus is a portable
MP3 player with a touch screen. When it is plugged into the fixed hub
of the steering wheel, it is recognised by the vehicle which can then
The fixed-hub steering wheel includes a wide variety of functions. In
addition to the usual controls, it also includes the speedometer, which
is of an unusual design. The figures, placed in relief around the hub,
rotate according to speed and are positioned with respect to a fixed
A second touch screen on the central console includes a navigation
system to guide the driver on the road. It also serves as an onboard
computer. This equipment endows C-Cactus with high-tech advanced
features while also keeping costs down, since functions are grouped
The central console features two powerful high-quality active
loudspeakers that provide C-Cactus with an excellent sound system.
Their ingenious layout limits both wiring and installation costs.
Generous interior space ensures passenger comfort. C-Cactus boasts the
dimensions of a family car (4.2 metres long and 1.8 metres wide) with a
generous and modular boot (between 500 and 1,100 litres).
The rear seat, placed on a rail, slides up against the front seats.
The floor pan, which is integral with the rear bench, also slides
forward to reveal a subfloor. This reveals a virtually flat surface
area to load bulky objects.
||© 2007 Julian Marsh/CitroŽnŽt/SA Automobiles CitroŽn