Presented by Citroën at the past 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Cactus Concept is defined as “a manifest of the future models in the C line.”
The core values upon which the vehicle was designed are desirability, user-friendlieness, pragmatic design, comfort and easy-to-use technology.
The design is characterized by soft, rounded forms that stay away from any form of aggressiveness.
The most distinctive elements are the so-called “Airbumps”, customizable components covered with a soft skin featuring air capsules that protect the body from the frequent scratches and dents typical of cities with congested traffic.
In line with the vehicle’s themes and purposes, the powertrain is a Hybrid Air system with low running costs and reduced environmental footprint.
Below we report the official videos and selected details on the design.
The origin of the projects dates back to 2007, when Citroën revealed the C-Cactus concept car at Frankfurt show.
C-Cactus introduced a different automotive approach based on some key questions: What do motorists expect from cars in today’s world? And which equipment and features really count?
The styling of CITROËN Cactus marries the aesthetic to the practical, with designers having sought to find the right volumes and extend efficiency to the smallest details. The idea was to keep only the essential, and optimize that essence to obtain a form of natural perfection. The approach allowed the designers to break free from classic automotive cues and explore ingenious solutions to bring customers real equipment and features.
The body styling is characterized by smooth surfaces in pearlescent white, with flowing, aggression-free shapes.
Among the design elements are the floating quarter lights and roof and the contrasting design components, each one with a function (protection with Lama grey Airbumps and textured black wheel arches; transport with lacquered black roof arches; cabin light with the large panoramic roof).
Located on the sides and the bumpers of the car, the design component expresses a new approach that gives style a function. The Airbump strengthens the styling of the Citroën Cactus, heightening its personality with its originality and personalization possibilities. The supple skin of the Airbump features a soft treatment that resists scratches and includes air capsules that dampen impact.
The dimensions of a compact hatchback (4.21 m long and 1.75 m wide) and the main proportions are defined by the reduced overhangs, with the wheels set in the corners; s high ground clearance (21 cm) but with an optimized height of just 1.53 m and the balance between one-third glazed area and two-thirds wing surface.
The front end, previewing the visual identity of future models in the C line, is characterised by:
- Smooth surfaces showcasing the chevrons
- Flowing forms with a seamless progression from bonnet to wing
- A high-tech light signature with LED daytime running lights and lamps built in to the Airbumps
The styling at the back respects the same principle with 3D-effect LED lights built in to the wide Airbump protecting the boot.
The absence of side windows, rear window and B pillars beckons onlookers to discover the cabin inside, which has been entirely reworked in terms of architecture as well as in the design of colours and materials.
The first objective with CITROËN Cactus was to free up space inside for the driver and passengers, bringing them more ease and user-friendliness and, hence, more comfort.
The slender, floating dashboard fully frees up the floor below and on its upper part offers the front passenger a capacious and easy-access storage space.
The dashboard design was made possible by using a 100% digital interface and by optimising the organisation of the driver’s station, in particular by:
- Replacing the instrument cluster with a 7-inch screen
- Switching control buttons for an 8-inch touchscreen connected to all vehicle functions (air
- conditioning, audio, satnav, connected services and driver aids)
- Installing the passenger airbag on the ceiling
- Replacing the traditional gearstick with push-button controls on the lower part of the dashboard and steering-wheel paddles
The new architectural approach also informs the front seats, which were designed sofa-style for extra comfort and human warmth.
Extra comfort is also delivered by the panoramic roof, thermally treated to let in the light but not the heat. It protects passengers from UVs with technology similar to that used for category-4 sunglasses.
The second goal of the interior was to provide a stylish and relaxed atmosphere. The layout frees up plenty of space and focuses on authentic and natural materials.
The seats and doors are upholstered in a combination of two materials evoking contemporary furniture: a blue heathered- cotton fabric and natural “camel” leather (vegetable tanned) also used on the dashboard and steering wheel.
In a nod to the luggage sector, the design of the door handles and the storage space on the upper part of the dashboard was informed by decorative travel-trunk components.