|Citroën’s C-Cactus diesel hybrid.
Like its corporate sibling Peugeot, Citroën will introduce a diesel hybrid concept car at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Unlike Peugeot’s 308 Hybrid HDi, which is based on a production platform and more oriented toward short-term commercialization (e.g., 2010, earlier post), the C-Cactus concept features a different design approach.
Low on consumption (like the cactus plant, according to Citroën), the C-Cactus offers fuel economy of 3.4 l/100km (69 mpg US), CO2 emissions of 78 g/km and a ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) mode. Maximum speed is deliberately capped at 150 km/h (93 mph).
The hybrid powertrain combines a 70 bhp HDi diesel engine with a 30 bhp electric motor. Built on the Citroën C4 platform, the C-Cactus uses only around half the components of a conventional car and incorporates many recycled components.
The design of the C-Cactus is intended to produce a hybrid that would be no more expensive than a mid-range family car. The solutions adopted for the design of C-Cactus also contribute to bringing down fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Using fewer parts makes the vehicle 15% lighter than a C4 Hybride HDi for a total weight of 1,306 kg.
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 central console. Click to enlarge.
As an example, 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.
The front bumper section, which includes the headlamps and trademark Citroën 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 hood 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 former in place and fix it to the floor rails.
The C-Cactus uses a significant number of recycled or recyclable materials. The windshield, windows and tires are all recyclable, as are the steel door panels, which are unpainted but have been treated for corrosion. Cork and felt are used for many interior parts and the patterned floor uses recycled leather taken from off-cuts.
Developed in conjunction with Michelin, the large-diameter and low-profile tires help to reduce ground friction area, boost fuel efficiency and keep production costs down.