The French have a way of using contrasts to make a point - as in dressing a sexy girl in a tuxedo - and none more than Citroen, which has confirmed the Frankfurt motor show debut of its Cactus concept with a teaser video entitled 'Touch me'.
For, despite its prickly name, the stand-out feature of the new concept is apparently its "Air Bump" bumpers, with inserts that can yield slightly to cope with car-park dings and then bounce back undamaged - almost as if Citroen were taking the 8km/h bumpers mandated by US authorities in the 1970s to the next level.
ENTRY LEVEL CITY-CAR
Citroen's 14-word media release (now that's gotta be a world record!) says nothing about the mechanicals under its resilient skin, but the teaser image shows very slim LED upper headlight clusters, combined with high-beam projectors where the foglights would normally be - much like the new C4 Picasso - a chunky-looking alloy rim and black plastic cladding along the bottom of the bumper and around the wheel-arch.
The detail work suggests a beefy crossover, but the leaks (official and otherwise) dripping from the Citroen skunk works suggest that it may presage an entry level city-car, to slot in below the E3 Essential concept, a budget hatchback derived from the C3 platform, to be introduCed at Frankfurt under the slogan 'Pure, Simple, Smart'.
The big difference seems to be that the E3 Essential is close to production, whereas the Cactus (not to be confused with the C-Cactus concept of 2007) is a true concept, a showcase for radical ideas and next-generation technology.