(from Citroen Press
Release) CITRON C-CACTUS:
A NEW ECOLOGICAL AND ATTRACTIVE
TAKE ON THE ESSENTIAL CAR
Citron 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
To square this complex equation, Citron 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
C-Cactus 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 1,306 kg and
featuring a hybrid HDi drivetrain, C-Cactus consumes 3.4 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
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
Essential, intelligent and ecologically aware
The 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
C-Cactus is the result of an intelligent design process pursuing new
objectives. By exploring new forms of expression and new technical
solutions, Citron'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.
The 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
Another 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 production.
This 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.
The 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 limited.
Advanced ecological features
To achieve real environmental impact, Citron'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.
With 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 3.4l/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
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 1,306 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 for corrosion.
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 Citron'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
Based on the bold but rational use of parts and materials, C-Cactus
is an essential vehicle reflecting a new vision of the car focused
- 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.
Through this attractive concept with its appealing offbeat styling,
Citron 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 comfort.
Looking for simplicity: intelligent, fun exterior design
C-Cactus 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 C-Cactus.
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 corrosion.
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.
Citron 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 Citron. 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 example.
Fewer features for greater impact: a welcoming, attractive and
cleverly designed interior
C-Cactus 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
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 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
C-Cactus boasts advanced equipment, optimised on-board space and
modular design at an affordable price. Passengers have all the
comfort essential to their well-being.
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 be started.
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 point.
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.
Another ingenious feature is a clip-on bag on the passenger side.
This replaces the glovebox and can be used to carry objects outside
For comfort and styling, C-Cactus features a panoramic glass sunroof
that lets the light flood into the cabin.