PSA Peugeot Citroen Group it seems is taking sustainable mobility very seriously. The company has already announced that it will showcase its Peugeot 208 Hybrid Air 2L Demonstrator at the upcoming Paris Motor Show. Read all about that car here. Close on the heels of that declaration comes the news of it unveiling another ultra-frugal car to the world. The model in question is the Citroën C4 Cactus Airflow 2L concept – based on the production version of the Citroen C4 Cactus.
Citroen says that the car delivers a staggering mileage of over 141mpg (2litres/100kms). This figure is achieved because of several factors such as – use of lightweight materials, improvements in aerodynamic efficiency and a hybrid drivetrain. The manufacturer says that, the C4 Cactus concept consumes 30 per cent less fuel, has 20 per cent more aerodynamic efficient design and above all weighs 865kgs, which is a whole 100kgs less than the production C4.
The car has been designed with minimum weight in mind. Many structural components have been made with lightweight materials like aluminum, carbon-based composite materials and high-yield steels, offering the concept lightness and structural rigidity. Further weight shedding measures include the use of translucent polycarbonate for the panoramic sunroof instead of multi-layer glass and reduction in the thickness of cups and tubes in the exhaust system.
As the name suggests, the manufacturer says that the car is very aerodynamically efficient and this has been made possible because of clever design and the utilization of various components. For a start, the C4 Cactus concept gets “ultra ultra” (that’s not a typo, it’s how the company describes it)) low rolling-resistance tyres having a “tall and narrow design”; the wheels themselves have mobile shutters that are activated and work according to centrifugal force. The front bumpers get three air intakes which close and shut according to engine cooling requirements and mobile side deflectors at the back end of the vehicle, with the help of extended tail gate spoiler, facilitate the smooth flow of air around the vehicle therefore reducing air resistance and drag. Lightweight carbon-fibre “Airbump” panels on the sides are another addition to the aerodynamic quotient of the car.
The C4 Cactus Airflow 2L concept has a hybrid drivetrain featuring a three-cylinder Puretech 82 petrol engine and Hybrid Air technology. The transmission is an automatic making use of an epicyclic gear train. Performance figures have not been revealed yet but we do expect more information to come in at the unveiling. The Hybird Air technology works through compressed air. Its components include two compressed air storage tanks located at the rear of the vehicle and a hydraulic motor positioned in front, close to the engine. The concept can run in three modes – Air power, Petrol power and Combined power. In Air power the car runs only on compressed air and gives out zero emissions, in Petrol power only the gasoline engine is utilized and in Combined mode both units are used for maximum driver engagement.
Citroen hopes to put the car in production and has hinted that this technology may be available on its cars in the foreseeable future. We hope that it comes soon enough; especially with the cost of gas rising incessantly. It could be the silver lining that we have been waiting for!