2014 really hasn’t been a bad year for cars at all. Dare I say we find ourselves in the middle of what some people will call “the good old days” in a couple of decades? Hopefully CC will still be around to document the survivors. Which one is most likely to grace the front page of our site then?
A couple of things came to mind. An unrestored Charger Hellcat would certainly make it. I mean, who doesn’t love big “screw-you” American cars? The Hellcat is notable because not only would we have never imagined that Chrysler would release a 707HP sedan capable of eating BMW M5’s for breakfast, but because it represents a segment that most people thought was dead and buried.
Speaking of dead, can we get some love for the Ford Falcon FG X, the last of the Aussie-built Fords? I know production isn’t over until late 2016, but this is still Revelations, the end of a lineup dating back to the 1960s and that more than a few Americans have looked at through envious eyes.
How about the Jeep Renegade? Jeep has been on a roll lately and the Renegade is supposed to bring that traditional Jeep off-road capability and ruggedness in a smaller, dare I say cuter, package. If they pull it off, they would have given the market something not seen since the Suzuki Samurai. If they don’t, down goes brand image and people will see it as something of a Kia Soul that’s slightly more capable of dealing with rough terrain. Either way, it’ll definitely be worth future analysis.
Personally though, I think that the best future CC of 2014 is the car above this text. Everyone, I’d like you to meet the Citroen C4 Cactus. I will admit that it doesn’t have much in the face of it. Just another cheap, quirky French hatchback that’s powered by a tiny 1.2L 3-cylinder engine and that’s about as well equipped as a taxi-spec 1968 Chevrolet Biscayne. Case in point: the rear windows pop out rather than go down. It also appears to have some nonsensical growths in the doors, which must’ve used all the budget that would’ve been used to make air conditioning available on the base model or a 60/40 split folding rear seat instead of having the whole thing flop down.
But look closer and it all starts to make sense. Those growths in the doors are actually called “Airbumps” in Citroen-Speak, and they’re there so you don’t get dents whenever someone carelessly opens their door into your car. All those omissions means you can get a car that’s very light (in the order of 300kg less than a similarly sized Nissan Juke or Fiat 500L) and very cheap, undercutting almost all of its rivals. Of course you can make it considerably more expensive by toying with the options list and adding climate control and a giant panoramic glass roof or toying with the customization options, but that’s entirely up to the buyer’s discretion.The engine may not be the most powerful thing in history, but the low weight means it should be nippy enough around town and at least not completely terrifying on the open road.
In the face of people endlessly saying that the current crop of cars are too big, too expensive and too tech-laden, the Cactus was released at a very low price with funky styling (do I see a proper interpretation of what the Jeep Cherokee was intending to do in the front?), those nifty airbumps to protect the doors, a very low price and endless customization options. I’d say that it’d make a great piece here at CC. What about you? Have I completely lost my mind this time?