Faced with urban concentration, environmental requirements and economic pressure, customers today see fuel consumption as a key concern. True to its DNA, Citroen is applying its creativity and technology to a new challenge with the C4 Cactus Airflow 2L, unveiled at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.
A true laboratory for new ideas, the C4 Cactus Airflow 2L Concept is packed with advanced technologies illustrating the ambitions and ability of Citroen to develop new and innovative responses to the automotive challenges of the present and the future.
With the C4 Cactus Airflow 2L Concept, Citroen delivers consumption of 2l/100 km. A breakthrough fuel consumption obtained with:
optimised design with a 20% improvement in aerodynamics
The C4 Cactus Airflow 2L project was conducted as part of the â€œ2l/100 km vehicleâ€ programme set up by the Plateforme de la FiliÃ¨re Automobile, an industry group. The objective: to deliver practical solutions to reduce the impact of vehicle running costs, on household expenditure and to reduce the eco-footprint of car travel.
Citroen has decided to develop this project on the basis of its new model, C4 Cactus. With this vehicle, Citroen has made a commitment to bring customers more of what really matters today: more design, more comfort and more useful technology at an affordable cost. More than any other vehicle, the C4 Cactus lends itself to this particularly ambitious exercise: to develop a very-low consumption high-tech concept that is both efficient and attractive.
The Citroen C4 Cactus Airflow 2L Concept
Clan, smooth design lines, efficient engines and technologies selected to reduce vehicle weight: the production Citroen C4 Cactus already ships with a range of features designed to reduce fuel consumption.
With the C4 Cactus Airflow 2L Concept, Citroen is going still further.
A body style optimised for aerodynamic performance
The unique design of the Citroen C4 Cactus reconciles style and purpose by associating flowing lines with strong graphic features, each one highlighting a function (protection with the Airbumps and wheel arches; transporting objects with the roof arches; light with the glazed panoramic sunroof).
On the C4 Cactus Airflow 2L, some styling features have been modified and others created in order to optimise vehicle aerodynamics.
Variable-geometry styling parts:
These changes reflect a strong design in which styling contributes to vehicle aerodynamics, reducing vehicle drag for an overall improvement of 20% in aerodynamic performance compared with the production model.
Innovative materials for a lighter weight
The production C4 Cactus is already 200 kg lighter than the Citroen C4, and the C4 Cactus Airflow 2L Concept shaves off a further 100 kg (including the drivetrain). These efforts have therefore reduced the weight of the concept by 11% compared with the production vehicle.
First, efforts to reduce the weight of structural parts: on the C4 Cactus Airflow 2L Concept, the body substructure features new materials:
aluminium, in particular, for the upper cowl panel, inner side members and rear floor pan,
This multi-material substructure made it necessary to develop special assembly techniques never used before in the automotive industry. Composite structural parts are a promising field of exploration and will certainly be essential to efforts to make cars lighter in the future. The large-scale production of these parts is one of the high-tech, industrial challenges to be addressed by the automotive sector.
Looking beyond structural parts, extensive studies were conducted on all vehicle parts to reduce the weight of the C4 Cactus Airflow 2L Concept.
Emphasis was placed on lightweight, high-performance materials:
Carbon-based composite materials were used for the suspension springs, tailgate, rear bench, side panels, roof, roof cross-members, wings and doors. On the lower side sill, wheel arches and lower part of the front bumper, the â€œtexturedâ€ look of the carbon brings out the matt appearance of these parts, providing an attractive contrast with the pearlescent appearance of surrounding features.
Given that every gram is important, Citroen also decided to use:
New processes to reduce the thickness of the tubes and cups of the exhaust line and thus reduce weight.
With its latestogeneration small engines meeting the future Euro 6 standard, the production Citroen C4 Cactus already ranks among the best in its segment with CO2 emissions from 82g/km and fuel consumption starting at just 3.1l/100 km.
The C4 Cactus Airflow 2L Concept goes even further by adopting the Hybrid Air drivetrain. Presented by the PSA PEUGEOT Citroen Group in January 2013 and at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show on the Citroen C3, this technology combines a range of proven sub-systems and technologies: a 3-cylinder PureTech petrol engine, a compressed air energy storage unit, a hydraulic pump/motor unit and an automatic transmission with an epicyclic gear train. An intelligent electronic management system manages input from the driver to optimise energy efficiency.
Three operating modes are available:
Air power (zero emissions) where the compressed air motor replaces the petrol combustion engine
The PureTech 82 engine, already available on the production model, has been optimised for this new hybrid drivetrain. Friction losses, which account for 20% of the power consumed by the engine, have been reduced in several ways: using a Diamond-Like Carbon coating, making moving parts lighter, and using bearings to guide rotating parts. Further improvements were made by adopting new polymer pads and using very low viscosity oil. Combined with efforts to optimise combustion, overall engine efficiency has been improved by 5%.
Combining the PureTech 82 engine with Hybrid Air technology on the C4 Cactus Airflow 2L Concept reduces fuel consumption by 30% and contributes significantly to achieving a vehicle of 2l/100 km while approaching the PureTech 110 in terms of dynamic performance.
C4 Cactus Airflow 2L Concept, just 2l/100 km
All these advanced technologies together deliver consumption of 2l/100 km. It could therefore be possible, in the medium term, for a vehicle such as C4 Cactus to reach this target.
This very low level of consumption is the result of:
optimised design with a 20% improvement in aerodynamics
Unladen weight: 865 kg