Citroen C4 and C4 Cactus to converge into one model
The updated C4 Cactus will be on sale for at least three years before the next generation arrives
Production of the ageing C4 has stopped while the C4 Cactus has just been facelifted, but the next generation will merge the two models into one
The Citroen C4 Cactus and C4 will “converge” into one model with their next generation car, due in 2021, as the French car maker seeks to streamline its product line-up, according to product boss Xavier Peugeot.
While the crossover-styled C4 Cactus has just received a facelift, production of the more conventional C4 saloon has stopped and Peugeot said its replacement would incorporate the C4 Cactus. That means Citroen will only have one model in the family hatchback C-segment, which includes rivals such as the Peugeot 308, Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.
“We needed to reduce our line-up to eight silhouettes [as demanded by Citroen’s parent company PSA’s boss Carlos Tavares], so one of these models had to go. The C4 and C4 Cactus are converging into one.”
Previously, it was understood that the C4 Cactus was only a temporary replacement for the ageing C4, but now Peugeot has confirmed there will only be one compact non-SUV model for Citroen in future.
Asked why the C4 Cactus had won out over the C4, he said: “It was a choice to go for C4 Cactus. It is more in line with Citroen positioning. We want to position ourselves differently [to other brands] and the C4 Cactus was the stronger basis to do it.”
Since going on sale in 2014, the C4 Cactus has outsold its more traditional sibling, the C4, in Europe.
Peugeot said the development of the replacement model had already started. Whether the car keeps the C4 Cactus nomenclature or reverts to the C4 depends on the success of the updated C4 Cactus model. “If this car is a strong success, the name Cactus could become iconic,” Peugeot said, suggesting it would then make sense to keep the name for future generations.
Peugeot said he did not yet know whether the next-generation C4/C4 Cactus would keep the slightly higher, quasi-SUV styling of the C4 Cactus. However he acknowledged that the updated model had purposefully been made to look less SUV-like. “We needed to remove some of the SUV markers on it because it became too much like the C3 Aircross.
“We wanted to tone down the SUV elements and make it more like a hatchback. But our research shows people interested in crossovers are also interested in this car, too.”
He also expressed his desire to keep making cars which polarise buyers to achieve the car maker’s goal to be different to its rivals. He said the original C4 Cactus was polarising and expected the facelifted version to do the same.
“I believe this car will continue to polarise, though a little bit less than the last. I like this because I believe Citroen should challenge the norm. There should be a little more level of dislike compared to a normal car.”
Source: Autocar Online