It’s a Tonka toy for grown-ups! Citroen’s new off-road concept, designed with the help of fashion label Lacoste, has been stripped back to the essentials to hint at a future economical supermini-sized SUV.
The Lacoste Concept measures 3.45m, making it over 50cm shorter than MINI’s Countryman and Nissan’s Juke. Aiming to steer customers away from these two, any production car based on this concept would form part of a new breed of tiny off-roaders in the mould of the 4x4 Fiesta seen here.
The car’s pared-back ethos evokes Citroen’s Seventies Mini Moke rival – the Mehari. This is evident on the dash, which is cleared of all clutter to leave a two-spoke steering wheel and LED display strip. It would be practical, though – the steering wheel can be moved out of the way to improve access, the rear bench can slide into the boot to carry large items and there is storage in the two benches.
The exterior is an evolution of 2007’s C-Cactus concept and features a high waistline, bulging wheelarches and a wheel at each corner. An innovative soft-top inflates along the centre rail to keep passengers dry. Power comes from a three-cylinder petrol engine, likely to be Citroen’s next-generation 1.2-litre unit, with 100g/km of CO2 emissions.