It's safe to say that the car world has gone a little retro-crazy recently. Be it the new Mini Cooper, the Fiat 500 or any one of the muscle cars that America has fallen for, we love it when our automobiles give a nod to their heritage. A dip into the past is definitely evident in Citroen's Cactus M Concept, which harks back to the Méhari of old with its topless, beach-loving design.
The Citroen C4 Cactus has already served as the base for a number of interesting concepts including a fascinating study in aerodynamic efficiency, but the two-door M certainly isn't shaded by its peers.
Unlike the road-going Cactus, the M Concept has a wide-open convertible top that is designed to let adventurous drivers feel closer to the elements. In keeping with its easy-going, outdoorsy vibe, the interior has been fitted out with footwells that drain, water- and salt-proof seat covers and neoprene trim.
So just like old Jeeps and the old Citroen Mehari, the Cactus M's cabin can be hosed down without worrying about ruining the finish. Drivers needn't worry about getting soaked in a shower though, thanks to an inflatable roof that is powered by an air compressor mounted in the boot floor.
The Cactus' functional interior is matched by an exterior designed for easy use by adventurous drivers. The doors are covered in the same impact-resistant Airbump material as the production car and there is a step scalloped out from the bodywork that allows rear passengers get into the car easily.
It's one thing to fit the Cactus out with a rugged interior, it's another to actually create a car that can get down and dirty. Although it's on tall, narrow tires, Citroen has fitted the car with Grip Control which, like the Terrain Response system on Range Rovers, lets drivers put the car into four different modes depending on the surface they're traversing.
For campers, the Cactus offers up a couple of different shelter options. The car's inflatable roof can be removed and used as a tent, or owners can tilt the back seats down and turn the rear tailgate into a small couch.
Powering the Cactus M is Citroen's PureTech powertrain, which produces just 110 g/km of CO2 and ekes out 58.9 mpg (4.8 l/100km).
The Cactus M Concept will be on show at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Gizmag will be on hand to bring you further details and photos of the Cactus M in the flesh.