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A road-going prototype based on the Citroen Cactus concept car (pictured top) has been spied undergoing hot weather testing, signalling the four-door compact crossover’s future production reality.

First teased, then revealed in leaked images, the Citroen Cactus concept is due to make its public debut at next week’s Frankfurt motor show.

Despite the depth-messing camouflage, the test car snapped by CarAdvice’s spy photographers appears to share much with the concept, including its short overhangs, stumpy rear end and near identical wheel design. The concept’s ultra-thin headlights, however, have made way for larger, more conventional fixtures.

Citroen Cactus Spied - 1

Recently detailed by the French car maker, the Cactus (in concept form at least) will feature an all-digital driver interface comprising a seven-inch instrument cluster display and an eight-inch vehicle function touchscreen – housing climate, audio and sat-nav controls.

Protective “Air Bumps” will bring innovation and style points to the exterior while “sofa-style” front seats will join a cabin finished in natural materials such as cotton fabric and camel leather. A ceiling-installed passenger airbag is less likely to make it past the concept stage.

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The Citroen Cactus’ biggest drawcard, however, will be its Hybrid Air drivetrain – a compressed air propulsion system first detailed by PSA Peugeot Citroen in January.

Teamed with a turbocharged petrol engine, Citroen claims the system will result in the Cactus returning fuel consumption figures of less than three litres per 100km.

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Measuring 4210mm long, 1750mm wide and 1530mm high – 331mm shorter, 33mm narrower and 116mm lower than a Nissan Dualis – Citroen says the Cactus’ styling marries the aesthetic with the practical.

“The idea was to keep only the essential and this approach allowed the designers to break free from classic automotive cues and explore new solutions,” the manufacturer said in a release.

If Citroen’s original goals for its Hybrid Air propulsion system are met, the Cactus-based production car should enter the manufacturing phase by 2016.

The new Cactus concept follows Citroen’s 2007 Frankfurt motor show attendee, the diesel-hybrid C-Cactus.

Click on the photos tab for more images.

Citroen Cactus Spied - 7




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