Citroen has confirmed that its compact and quirky C4 Cactus crossover will hit Australian showrooms early next year.
Revealed as a concept at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, the C4 Cactus went on to make its European market debut early last year.
An Australian launch was originally expected to hit Australia in early 2015, but supply and market forces have seen the schedule pushed out to next year.
When it lands, the uniquely styled Cactus will square off against models like the new Mazda CX-3 and Renault Captur, along with the already strong-selling HR-V and others in the growing compact SUV segment.
Pricing and details are still to be revealed, but that doesn’t appear to have deterred some buyers, with Citroen confirming today it is holding “a number of pre-orders” on the Cactus already.
The Cactus mixes elements of Citroen’s latest styling language with a few tricks of its own, including a unique pad of “flexible skin” Thermo Plastic Urethane air capsules along each side, designed to absorb small bumps in daily living.
And, while you’d be bold to test its claim, Citroen says the bubbles can absorb an impact from a loaded shopping trolley at 40km/h with zero damage.
More conventional aspects of the Cactus SUV’s features include a pair of large free-standing displays in the dash, while a ceiling-mounted airbag allowed the car’s designers to include a classically-styled 8.5 litre storage space in the dash top.
Importantly, the Cactus weighs less than 1000kg, coming in at just 965kg - making it 200kg lighter than the C4.
Local powertrains are still to be confirmed, but, in Europe, the Cactus is offered with a 60kW 1.0 litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine, along with an 80kW e-THP powertrain and 67kW eHDI and 74kW BlueHDI diesel units - the latter using just 3.1 l/100km of fuel.
Watch for more details on the C4 Cactus’s local details to come in the year ahead, and expect a starting price that lines the Citroen up against Mazda’s style-focused CX-3.