At the upcoming Frankfurt International Motor Show Citroën will display the Cactus M, a design study of an open vehicle perfect for leisure time and open air adventures.
The design of the car maintains the DNA of the production counterpart, with the distinctive Airbump elements on the side doors.
Specific styling elements include strong sculpted lines, at the front and rear, bumpers and door mirrors inspired by the Citroën Aircross concept and tall and narrow tires for an increased body height – an effect reinforced by the sculpted wheel arches.
The robust and compact look is underlined by the 60° rake of the windscreen and the thickness of the pillars, conveying a sense of strength.
Like the Méhari in its time, the Cactus M concept was designed to bring passengers closer to their surroundings and to make life easier.
The Citroën Cactus M has two long doors, built using moulded plastic single pieces and very easy to open and close.
The doors use the same Airbump concept as on C4 Cactus with their thermoformed TPU coating. This ‘second skin’, which is also used on the bumpers, resists knocks and scratches as well as salt water and sand. The concept has been designed with visible hinges, just like the renowned Méhari, which also had ABS plastic bodywork.
Other design elements derived from the 1968 iconic model include the door opening straps and single central windscreen wiper.
Inspired by the surfing spirit, the Citroën Cactus M concept is completely open to the outside world. The wood effect on the rear arch and the windscreen pillars brings to mind the way surfboard manufacturers customize their boards. The cheerful design of the wheels resembles a floral wetsuit design.
The Cactus M can also be turned into a bivouac for two people: by means of a tilting mechanism, the rear seat can become an extension of the boot, create a ‘couchette’. Users can either sleep in the open or under cover, using the inflation function to turn the roof into a freestanding tent. This tent folds out at the rear of the vehicle, enabling two people measuring 1.80m in height to stand upright.
For the structure and safety of the tent, Citroën partnered with ATIC, experts in inflatable structures for extreme conditions. To make the fabric, they worked with Jonathan & Fletcher, who are experts in technical textiles for extreme sports.
The choice of shapes, materials, technologies and colors was guided by a desire to enable users to pursue their chosen leisure experience, and they can withstand sand, salt and water.
The overall design of the cabin resembles the hull of a boat. The flowing lines are a continuation of the exterior design and the impression of the car being a singular moulded object is emphasized by the use of the same color – Hawaii Blue – both inside and out.
This bright, optimistic color points to the cheery character of the Cactus M concept and encourages users to head for the open road.
Features include draining foot wells, and seats in water and salt-resistant fabric. The whole cabin can even be hosed out.
The upholstery and dashboard trim were designed to resemble wetsuits. The brightly coloured neoprene fabric adds warmth to the cabin and underlines the vehicle’s ‘fun’ side. It also increases the waterproof qualities of the seats and reduces the time required for them to dry.
The headrests are designed to resemble boat fenders, bringing to mind the marine environment associated with open-air vehicles.
The rear side panels each have a hollowed-out step to enable passengers to get into the seats in row two by stepping over the waist line.
This solution makes for easier access and creates a sense of freedom for passengers in the rear who do not need to open the door or fold the front seats forward. Inside, a range of functional stowage compartments are available including the large front door bins, each enclosed by a net.
The trunk is accessed from the outside and two surfboards can be attached using a specific lashing system. Citroën’s styling teams created two surfboards in the colors of the concept car to demonstrate this.
Citroën Cactus M Concept – Technical Specifications
- Length: 4.16 m
- Width: 1.77 m
- Height: 1.48 m
- Wheelbase 2.60 m