One for the beach from CitroenPOSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 04 September 2015
CITROEN has uncovered its go-anywhere 1960’s Mehari-inspired Cactus M concept, that can be hosed out, and provide accommodation for two, thanks to a unique inflatable roof and fold out couch.
Making its debut later this month at the Frankfurt motor show, the Cactus M is strictly a concept for now, but Citroen said the concept car “illustrates the potential of the C4 Cactus as the basis for new models, as well as the extraordinary possibilities for deploying brand positioning through different body styles”.
The chunky M concept has no roof or B-pillars, leaving it completely open to the outside world, while a wood laminated windscreen frame and boot arch are reminiscent of customised surfboards says the company.
While there is no fixed roof for the Cactus M, occupants can be covered if they wish, thanks to a top stowed in the boot that can be stretched out around the car using an inflation system. It is inflated using three tubes that hold the top in position, with air provided by a compressor at the rear.
The Cactus M features an interior that can be hosed out easily and which drains via outlets integrated into the foot wells. The seats are reportedly designed to resemble wetsuits and are upholstered in waterproof neoprene.
The M concept can become accommodation if required, thanks to a tilting mechanism that pushes the rear seat down to become an extension of the boot, which opens down to create a “couchette”. The inflatable top can be used as a free-standing tent providing further protection from the elements.
It features a more upright windscreen than the regular C4 Cactus, and the wings around the wheels are more sculpted for a more muscular look, according to the French car-maker.
Under the bonnet there’s an 108hp 1.2-litre turbocharged PureTech petrol engine coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission. There’s no mention of all-wheel drive; instead, Citroen has chosen to emphasise the car’s Grip Control system that’s said to provide improved traction.
The Cactus M rides on 19-inch wheels that are shod with the same Tall&Narrow tyres as the Peugeot Fractal concept.
These tyres feature a narrow tread pattern and have been designed to minimise aerodynamic noise.
The two long one-piece doors are made from lightweight moulded plastic with a thermoformed TPU coating. The “second skin” as Citroen calls it, is designed to protect against scratches, knocks, sand and salt water while covering the bumpers.
The opening panels use visible hinges, which hark back to the Mehari – Citroen’s take on the iconic Mini Moke – and the wheel design resembles floral patterns of Hawaiian shirts.
Anyone wanting to hop into the rear seats can simply jump over the rear waist line, which Citroen says creates “a sense of freedom for passengers”, however those feeling less adventurous can open the doors and fold the front seat backrest.
A pair of surfboards can be attached to the top of front and rear window frames, and Citroen has even designed two different boards to match the colours of the M concept.
Citroen’s Grip Control function is fitted, which ensures maximum traction, but no additional powertrain information has been released.