Citroen Cactus M Concept Revealed Before Frankfurt Premiere
Mehari-Inspired Convertible Based on C4 Cactus Compact Crossover
Citroen pulled the sheets off the Cactus M concept a few weeks in advance of its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Based on the distinctive C4 Cactus compact crossover, the Cactus M ditches that model’s rear doors, B and C pillars, and roof to create an open-air beach cruiser. Citroen used the 2CV Mehari off-roader as its muse in creating the Cactus M, which looks perfectly poised to take on the coastlines of Goa, Maui, Bali, or Valparaiso.
The Cactus M looks a fair bit like its closed-roof cousin from the beltline down, but a new, more-upright windshield frame and D-pillar hoop are trimmed in woodgrain-look materials. Additionally, like the Mehari that came before it, the Cactus M features painted plastic bodywork, helping resist dents and lower weight. The interior is trimmed with weather and salt-resistant materials, while waterproof upholstery and drain plugs in the floor mean owners can hose the salt, sand, and mud from the interior when it gets dirty.
In case of inclement weather, a flexible top can be stretched over the twin roof hoops, held in place by inflatable roof rails. The top can also be repurposed to make a bivouac or tent for overnighting. The rear seat can perform acrobatics as well, making a bench that extends beyond the rear hatch for seaside lounging.
The lighthearted design features an ocean blue exterior color combined with red and black upholstery. The color scheme would fit in perfectly in any city along Italy’s Mediterranean coast. Surf culture was a primary inspiration for the little SUV’s design; the wood grain hoop trim is designed to call surfboards to mind, while the floral wheel design is taken from wetsuits.
The Citroen Cactus M is powered by a 110hp, 1.2L I-3, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Tall, narrow tires help provide traction in a variety of surfaces, and Citroen Airbump air-filled bumpers deflect small impacts to protect the bodywork. The company claims the Cactus M will get 49 U.S. mpg.
Its odds of coming to American roads are practically nil. Besides the fact that Citroen doesn’t market vehicles in the U.S. anymore, the Cactus M would be a novelty at best on our roads. It likely wouldn’t even sell well in sundrenched cities like Miami and San Diego, given those markets’ propensity toward high-lux hardware rather than simple fun. Nevertheless, the Cactus M’s Mehari-inspired lightheartedness makes us want to drive one bad, even if it’s just while on vacation in Puerto Vallarta.