The exercise pushed engineers and designers to make sweeping changes and explore new solutions to motoring challenges. The pragmatic approach avoided the unessential to concentrate on what makes motorists feel good. The end result is the Citroën Cactus – a concept car which previews future models in the C-line.
Citroën Cactus’ styling marries the aesthetic with the practical, the designers having sought to find the right volumes and extend efficiency to the smallest details. The idea was to keep only the essential and this approach allowed the designers to break free from classic automotive cues and explore new solutions to bring customers useful equipment and features.
A stand out component of the Cactus is the ‘Airbump’, located on the sides and bumpers of the car. Combining style with function, the ‘Airbump’ strengthens the appearance and personality of the car with its originality and personalisation possibilities. The supple material features a soft treatment that resists scratches and includes air capsules that absorb impacts.
Combining aesthetics with practical driver needs, the Citroën Cactus places importance on space and efficiency down to the last detail. Only the essentials remain, as the designers worked to break new ground in the form and function.
The unique, radical design adds to the feel-good factor within the ergonomic and comfortable interior. The absence of side and rear windows and B-pillars invites you to discover a cabin that has been completely reworked in terms of architecture, design, colours and materials.
A key objective of the Citroën Cactus concept was to provide more interior space for driver and passengers, ensuring user-friendliness and greater comfort.
The slender, floating dashboard fully frees up the floor below to create a large, easy-access storage space on the passenger side. This design was achieved by the adoption of a 100% digital interface and optimising the driver station, in particular by:
- Replacing the instrument cluster with a 7-inch screen
- Swapping 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
Another comforting innovation is the thermally-treated panoramic sunroof which allows light into the cabin, but repels heat and UV rays – comparable to category-4 sunglasses.
Another objective for Cactus was to deliver a stylish and relaxed atmosphere on board. Inspired by contemporary furniture design, the interior layout offers optimum space.
The inviting front seats were designed in the style of a sofa for improved comfort whilst the treatment of the upper storage areas and interior door handles were inspired by luxury luggage styling.
Natural materials such as cotton fabric and ‘camel’ leather (vegetable tanned) are used throughout the cabin, including on the steering wheel trim, seats and door handles.