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Citroen C4 Cactus is one badass hatchback

New Citroen C4 Cactus capable of 91.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 82g/km.

Citroen has announced a brand new model known as the C4 Cactus that will have most hatchbacks shaking in their, erm, boots. The radical hatchback has somehow gone from concept to production with very few changes. Yes, weird door bubble wrap ‘Airbump’ panels, we’re looking at you.

Look past the odd looks and the C4 Cactus is pretty special. For starters, it weighs 965kg – about 200kg less than the standard C4 and 300kg less than the Nissan Juke, thanks to a new lightweight platform, stop/start technology and aluminium used for various parts such as the bonnet.

The Citroen C4 Cactus is 4.16m long and 1.73m wide, making it similar in size to Citroen’s DS3 even though it shares the same 2.6m wheelbase as the standard C4. Compact, it may be, but somehow the Citroen C4 Cactus has a generous 358-litre boot and ample legroom in the back. Sadly, the single-piece rear bench seat, which saves 6kg of weight, means no split-fold action.

Four engines will be available when the hatchback goes on sale in October 2014. There are two three-cylinder petrol engines, one is naturally-aspirated and has 81bhp and the other is turbocharged and has 109bhp. One offers sub-100g/km CO2 emissions.

Two 1.6-litre engines – a 91 and 99bhp version – make up the diesel side of the equation, one of which emits a mere 82g/km of CO2 emissions and can offer up to 91.1mpg. Yes, you read that right.

Buyers will be able to choose from 10 exterior colours, four different colours for the aforementioned ‘Airbump’ panels and three interior themes. So, yes, you can choose something other than the brown pictured. A panoramic glass roof with UV technology from sunglasses can also be specified.

With the optional 6-speed Efficient Tronic Gearbox equipped the conventional gear lever is replaced by an Easy Push system with ‘Drive, Neutral and Reverse’ and flappy paddles on the steering wheel, the latter making it possible to change gear manually.

A 7-inch infotainment system in the centre console provides live traffic updates, navigation, Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free and access to digital radio and audio streaming. There are also apps that attempt to make life easier including a petrol station locator and Trip Advisor for info on local restaurants and hotels. Two digital displays replace your usual array of dials and gauges.

Useful standard driving aids include park assist, hill-start assist and Citroen’s eTouch ‘localised emergency & assistance call system’ that works in conjunction with an integrated 3G SIM-card ─ useful, for instance, in the event of a crash.

Just to top off the radical car is a radical payment system. Rather than buy the car and do the rest yourself, Citroen will let you choose a monthly price plan that includes everything. Insurance, finance – the whole shebang. How it will work in the UK remains to be seen.

Citroen is yet to name a price. That and other UK-specific details are likely to emerge as we head to the C4 Cactus’s unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2014.

Until then, feast your eyes on the images below and tell us what you think.

Citroen C4 Cactus images


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