Citroën’s C-Cactus Concept Capable of 97mpg


Citroën says that its new concept car, the C-Cactus, is capable of
97.4mpg thanks to its diesel hybrid system and its weight saving
measures. It’s a shame they couldn’t squeeze another 3mpg out of it to
break the 100mpg barrier.

Called the
C-Cactus because it doesn’t drink a lot, like the cactus plant, the
concept contains a drastically reduced number of components compared to
a conventional car – such as no conventional dashboard or bonnet – and
weighs just 1180kg.

The C-Cactus is
built on the Citroën C4 platform, yet uses only around half the
components of a conventional car and incorporates many recycled
components. It has a ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) mode whilst maximum
speed is deliberately capped at 93mph.

Fitted
with a Diesel Particulate Filter System, the hybrid HDi drivetrain
combines a 70bhp HDi diesel engine with an electric motor that provides
an additional 30bhp of power. For urban driving, the ZEV mode provides
silent, all-electric operation, and for journeys requiring successive
acceleration and deceleration, the hybrid system limits fuel
consumption by using both types of energy.

Production
costs have been kept down so that the diesel hybrid car could be sold
for a similar cost as a conventional car. Citroën engineers streamlined
the number of parts and mechanisms required, incorporated several
functions into a single part and removed all features that are
non-essential to the running of the car or to the comfort and safety of
the occupants.

The cabin consists of
just over 200 parts, only around half that of a similarly-sized
conventional car. One of the first moves involved the removal of the
dashboard, with the original functions and loudspeakers, gearbox
controls and navigation system now grouped on the central console and
Citroën’s signature fixed centre controls steering wheel. The ignition
key is also an MP3 player.

Citroën says
that the front bumper section, which includes the headlamps and
trademark chevrons, also makes up the lower part of the rear tailgate.
The design of the car’s front end consists of just two parts: the fixed
bonnet comprising the front wings and a flap giving access to the
vehicle maintenance functions.

The door
panels are made of just two parts, compared to 12 in a conventional
car, and because the automatic air conditioning system virtually makes
it unnecessary to open the windows, Citroën’s engineers have removed
the opening mechanisms and replaced them with simple sliding panes. The
front seats comprise just two parts: a moulded, integral-skin foam part
for the seat and a solid monoblock frame to hold the seat in place and
fix it to the floor rails.

The C-Cactus
uses a significant number of recycled or recyclable materials. The
windscreen, windows and tyres are all recyclable, as are the steel door
panels, that are unpainted but which have been treated for corrosion.
Cork and felt are used for many parts and the patterned floor uses
recycled leather taken from off-cuts.

The
21” wheels, developed in conjunction with Michelin, have large-diameter
and low-profile tyres help to reduce ground friction area, boost fuel
efficiency and keep production costs down.

The
touch screen on the central console includes the navigation system and
onboard computer, while two loudspeakers are built into the central
console, minimising wiring and installation costs.

The C-Cactus makes its world debut at Frankfurt. Let’s see how many of these ideas make it into production!