The C4 Cactus' heavily patented hydraulic cushions system and ‘armchair’ seats are all part of Citroën’s easy rider approach to the hatchback market.
A fresh twist on a suspension technology stretching back more than 60 years is poised to bring super-smooth driving characteristics to the latest Citroën hatchback range.
The revised C4 Cactus model promises to deliver a magic carpet ride without involving the complex hydropneumatic equipment that made the French brand synonymous with motoring comfort.
Instead, a simpler innovation is claimed to allow the car to set benchmark standards by gliding over uneven surfaces.
Called progressive hydraulic cushions (PHC) and protected by 20 patents, it eliminates the bouncing movement associated with vehicles that use more absorbent suspension systems.
“Together with seats that provide the kind of luxury you get from an armchair, this exclusive feature draws on all our know-how in travel well-being to allow our new car to offer unrivalled comfort.
We are putting comfort into a new dimension,” said product planning chief Xavier Peugeot when the range was unveiled in Paris.
Chief executive Linda Jackson added: “We have spent three years making this car even easier to live with and given it a stronger identity.
"The hatchback configuration is an important part of our product strategy and C4 Cactus is now the gold standard when it comes to comfort.”
Grey is retained as the standard interior shade and the dashboard continues to offer a distinctive textured finish.
But deeply padded upholstery, black piano trim and satin chrome detailing produce an ambiance that’s a big departure from the utilitarian approach adopted by the original car.
An extra £500 brings Hype grey ambiance hinting at a premium feel with black grained leather seats and for an additional £800, Hype red provides beige nappa leather seats, a dark red Alcantara strip at the top of the seats, a dark red dashboard and beige armrests.
Safety and Technology
Citroën says a wider choice of assistance features represents the brand’s early steps toward autonomous mobility.
Making driving simpler and safer, the features include active city brake, which stops the vehicle if a potential collision is detected, speed sign recognition, lane departure warning, coffee break and driver attention alerts, blind spot monitoring and automatic assistance for parallel and perpendicular parking.
Also on offer are a reversing camera, hill start assist, static cornering lights, keyless access and grip control to improve traction in snow, mud or sand.
Connectivity technologies include mirror screen, which works with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink, the latest generation connected navigation system with real-time traffic information and an SOS and assistance service.
The new C4 Cactus uses the same long wheelbase and short overhangs as before but has even bolder frontal styling treatment.
This features revised daytime running lights, restyled headlamps and new side scoops on the bumper – changes which promote a wider stance.
The car also appears wider at the rear thanks to new 3D-effect LED units but the biggest difference in appearance comes from a redesign of the distinctive Airbump protectors, now slimmed down and set lower and blending in with wheelarch trims to offer all-round protection from minor damage.
Standard paintwork is Tapinade grey, but eight other shades will be on offer along with four colour packs. In all, the car will offer a total of 31 exterior colour combinations and five different styles of alloy wheels for optimum customisation.
Improved value should be reflected in upgraded equipment levels and standard equipment on the Feel will include 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, power front windows and rear parking sensors.
Standing on 17-inch alloys, Flair versions will come with sat-nav, active safety brake, lane departure and driver attention warning systems.
Flair will also feature a panoramic glass sunroof treated to the level of category 4 sunglasses which will block out heat and UV rays so it has no need for a blind.
Engines and Transmissions
Lead-in version will be the 82PS PureTech three cylinder petrol-powered Feel, which is expected to cost less than £17,000 when the range goes on sale next April.
Most popular fleet model is likely to be the better-equipped Flair 110PS HDi, priced at around £18,000.
Top performing C4 Cactus will be the turbocharged 130PS PureTech with six-speed manual transmission, which achieves 110g/km and reaches 62mph in 8.7 secs.
The three-pot unit will also be available in 110PS form with a five-speed gearbox and a 120PS, six-speed version of the 1.6-litre BlueHDi motor will become available next autumn.