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Citroen C-Cactus news - Frankfurt show: Citroen C-Cactus and Airscape concepts

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Making a late dash for TG’s coveted Kraziest
Koncept title comes the C-Cactus, the highlight of the green side of Citroen’s
Frankfurt stand.

Based on the C4 platform, the C-Cactus is a diesel-electric
hybrid which combines a 70bhp HDi engine with a 30bhp electric motor. That
means a combined cycle of 83mpg and just 78g/km of CO2.

But that’s where the C-Cactus leaves traditional green
behind and veers of into properly daft territory. The unique looks are the
product of a streamlined design process - Citroen engineers say they ‘removed
all parts that were non-essential to the running of the car’ in the name of a
cheaper production process.

That means the cabin is made up of just 200 parts - half the
usual number - and dispenses with a dashboard in favour of an expanded centre
console and steering wheel functions.

There’s no window winders - just sliding glass panels -
while the front bumper is made of the same part as the lower tailgate.

Citroen says such simplification means that the C-Cactus
could be offered for the same price as a similarly sized non-hybrid car,
negating the increased cost of hybrid technology.

What with it being a Green Concept, there’s plenty of
recycling going on: recycled leather, recycled tyres, recycled glass. Those
tyres are narrower to lower rolling resistance, but there’s still room under
the ‘arches for an impressive set of 21-inch alloys.

If that all sounds a bit sensible, you’ll be glad to know
that - in genuine high-concept style - the C-Cactus’ ignition key is an MP3
player with a touch screen. All non-essential parts indeed…

Citroen also unveiled a slightly less radical concept
alongside the C-Cactus: the Airscape concept, which previews the styling of the
next-generation C5.

Strip away the folding-carbon roof and
V6 hybrid engine here and it’s a good pointer as to what Citroen’s next family
car will look like.

A stronger swage line and high-mounted, wraparound light
clusters should remain - as will the dual bonnet creases - but aside from that
we can expect reasonably conservative styling in the next C5. Here’s hoping it
turns out a bit more exciting than the Laguna.

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