Citroen Cactus Hybrid Concept Floats Along On Air

French automotive brand Citroen doesn’t get all that much play in our green vehicle coverage, but when it does it is usually because of the interesting concept designs it shows off at auto shows. From Frankfurt it is doing just that, debuting the Cactus hybrid which makes use of special compressed air as part of its hybrid drivetrain.

The Citroen Cactus, according to the automaker, is propelled by its Hybrid Air technology. It is something we’ve talked about before with regards to this particular company, but a quick rehash courtesy of Citroen tells us that

the full-hybrid technology combines compressed air and the hydraulics of a PureTech petrol engine. This powertrain excellence is written into the Brand’s DNA and has led to breakthrough performance, with fuel consumption of under 3 l/100 km.

Hybrid Air technology has a reduced environmental footprint (no additional battery) and is broadly affordable thanks to:

> Attractive cost in use (45% reduction in fuel consumption in urban driving)
> Easy maintenance and servicing through the combination of proven technologies
> No compromises on interior space

It is an interesting alternative to the battery driven model we see in most other hybrids on the road, but how much play it might actually see outside of the Citroen or Peugeot stables is anybody’s guess.

image via Citroen

image via Citroen

As for the rest of what you want to know about the Cactus, here are the key highlights of it, again according to its maker:

Pure and functional styling:

> Strong styling choices focused on efficiency (light weight, aerodynamic)
> High-tech gaze and flowing surfaces free of any form of aggressiveness
> “Airbumps”, customisable design components covered with a soft skin featuring air capsules that protect the body

Ingenious design:

> An airy driver’s station housing all the controls in a 100% digital interface
> Sofa-style front seats for more human warmth and comfort
> Authentic, natural materials laid out in a stylish, relaxed atmosphere

User-friendly technology:

> A Hybrid Air drivetrain for attractive running costs and reduced environmental footprint
> Immediate and intuitive connectivity, including access to the CITROËN Multicity Connect portal

Though it is not clear Citroen will ever actually make this a production model for French drivers based upon what’s been presented here, it was noted this concept is “a manifest of the future models in the C line.” This essentially means one can expect to see at least some of the ideas learned from the Cactus in other models that will eventually show up at dealers. Some related spyshots suggest this may already be the case.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.

    • jamest2

      Why are other manufacturers pursuing this?