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Frankfurt: Citroën plants Cactus on the beach

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Citroën’s Cactus M concept car is being pitched as a leisure vehicle, with even a social media competition underway to offer winners a ‘Beach and Breakfast’ test drive in it.

Unveiled at the Frankfurt show, the Cactus M is based on the C4 Cactus but inspired by the Mehari, a lightweight beach-buggy style offroad vehicle that the French brand last sold in 1988. The newcomer is evolved from the Aircross concept which Citroën displayed at the Shanghai show in April.

It is a permanently open-top car, but does come with a canvas hood which can also be used as a tent, folding out from the back of and suspended with tubes inflated by a compressor that is supplied with the car.

Unlike the four-door Cactus production vehicle the M only has two doors, each formed in single-piece moulded plastic coated on the outside in the same material used for the ‘airbumps’ on the Cactus. It also has steps in the sides so that rear seat passengers can simply clamber over the door to get in.

The beach theme continues on the inside, the seats and dash faced in the same neoprene waterproof fabric used for wetsuits, allowing occupants to jump in the car while still wet from the seat. Holes in the footwells even allow it to be hosed down, particularly after mounting surfboards on the rear arch.

Industry reports that Citroën has registered the ‘e-Mehari’ trademark suggest that the model could be making a comeback, with an electric powertrain.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.