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Frankfurt show: Citroen goes camping with Cactus M

Out and about: Citroen's Cactus M concept features materials that resist salt, while the whole cabin can be hosed out.

Citroen hits the great outdoors with the go-anywhere Cactus M concept


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3 Sep 2015

CITROEN'S 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 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.

A raised body height is achieved through the use of Tall & Narrow tyres, while the front and rear bumpers and exterior mirrors are borrowed from the Aircross concept from this year's Shanghai motor show.

The two long one-piece doors are made from lightweight moulded plastic, and while they appear different to the Airbumps from the production C4 Cactus, they also use 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, further pushing the 'outdoorsy' angle. Other features, including the door opening straps and central windscreen wiper are also nods to the Mehari.

Citroen's Jaws blue body paint carries over to the cabin, which the company says resembles a boat hull, and the upholstery also features a floral wetsuit motif, although it looks very similar in design to the Okanui sportswear brand.

The durable cabin uses materials designed to resist salt and to drain off water, and the interior has been built to be hosed off, thanks to the use of neoprene fabric on the seats which reduces the time they take to dry.

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.

The regular C4 Cactus is scheduled to hit Australian showrooms in early 2016, with either a petrol or diesel powertrain and pricing likely to start at about $25,000.

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