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The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

Cactus car sips '3.4 litre/100 km'

2007-09-04 08:31
C-Cactus is the ingenious name adopted by Citroen for its environmental car concept. It averages 3.4 l/100 km and will be shown at next week's Frankfurt Motor Show.

The concept uses a diesel hybrid drivetrain combining a 52 kW diesel engine with a particulate filter and an electric motor dispatching an additional 22 kW. CO2 emission levels, over a combined cycle, are a claimed 78 g/100 km.

In urban use, the car switches to all-electric mode and produces zero emissions.

While the C-Cactus has been designed to be light on juice, it is also ecological. The entire interior is made up from 200 parts, which according to the manufacturer, is less than half that used in a conventional production model.

Simplicity

Several new design elements were sampled in the development of this concept. Engineers grouped many functions into single parts, simplified the number of parts and mechanisms used, and removed all non-essential parts.

The dashboard, for example, has been banished to the parts bin. Its functions (gearshift and touch screen governing the onboard computer, navigation system and air conditioner controls) are grouped on the centre console and the steering wheel's fixed hub.

The speedometer and controls for the indicators, lights and wipers are all controlled from the steering wheel. The ignition key of C-Cactus is a portable MP3 player with a touch screen.

Different styling

Styling could be described as unconventional, but is meant to be offbeat and modern using shapes and curving lines to convey the car's personality.

Crude steel treated for corrosion, but without paint or varnish, is used for several body panels. While helping to keep production costs down, it also gives the car a contemporary look, but don't expect those 21-inch wheels to make it into production at any time.

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