The Citroen C4 Cactus has been declared the 2015 World Car Design of the Year at a press conference hosted by the New York International Auto Show. The French crossover, equipped with Citroen’s innovative air pocket panels that prevent dents and scratches, gathered most votes in a final that also included the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Volvo XC90.

As with each edition of the awards, the candidates were first reviewed by a panel consisting of five highly respected design experts. The 75 World Car Awards jurors then voted on the expert’s recommendations. World Car Design of the Year candidates are required to be available in quantities of at least 10 in one major market during the period beginning January 1st, 2014 and ending May 31st, 2015.

"The Cactus is a truly innovative piece of design. It has an appealingly distinct exterior announced first by its slender upper front lights, proportions slightly different to any other car, and by those stand-out ‘air-bumps’ that help safeguard against parking scrapes. Inside it eschews lots of dials and buttons for a very minimal uncluttered approach: controls centered on and around a central digital screen and many of the core surfaces and volumes kept linear, reduced, and pleasantly un-car-like. The Cactus design is a proper breath of fresh air," the experts that favored the C4 Cactus concluded.

This is the second Citroen to win the World Car Design of the Year, after the C4 won the inaugural edition in 2006.

Continue reading to learn more about the Citroen C4 Catus.

Why it matters

Citroen C4 Cactus Wins 2015 World Car Design Of The Year Award Interior
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Having won the inaugural edition and having been listed as a finalist on other four occasions, Citroen is no stranger to these awards, and it’s not at all surprising the French took home yet another prize. Citroen is most famous for its innovative approaches and daring designs, and there’s no questioning that the C4 Cactus is a vehicle that stands out in many departments. But looking at the finalists, it’s probably the never-before-seen "air-bumps" that brought it this award.

What’s somewhat ironic here is the fact that the C4 Cactus won its award in New York. Not only is this vehicle is not available in the U.S., Citroen hasn’t been selling its products in North America since 1974. That’s 41 years! Heck, the C4 Cactus wasn’t even displayed at an American auto show since its introduction. Of course, this doesn’t mean the French crossover didn’t deserve the award. But it would’ve been nice if Citroen had sent an example to New York for the event. Yup, the C4 Cactus was the only candidate missing from the awards. How rude!

Citroen C4 Cactus

2014 Citroen C4 Cactus High Resolution Exterior
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Learn more about the 2014 Citroen C4 Cactus in our detailed review here.

Press Release

The CITROEN C4 CACTUS was declared the 2015 World Car Design of the Year at a press conference hosted by the New York International Auto Show, Bridgestone Corporation, and Autoneum.

Citroen is no stranger to the World Car Awards program – now in its 11th year. Citroen won the inaugural 2006 World Car Design of the Year award for the C4. And, Citroën has been a “Top Three in the World” finalist in the world design category a total of 6 times out of 10 including this year. (2015, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2007 and 2006).

Linda Jackson, CITROËN CEO said, "By giving this prestigious title to the C4 Cactus, all of CITROËN‘s daring and creativity is rewarded. The C4 Cactus is like no other car, it’s a CITROËN, and the CITROËN design is like no other. CITROËN has a UNIQUE IDENTITY all over the world, which has been our recipe for success in the PAST, in the PRESENT, and will be in the FUTURE. We are convinced that we have something very strong with C4 Cactus and we believe that we have started a new chapter in our history. We have not finished surprising you! "

The World Car Design of the Year category, and the corresponding award, are meant to highlight new vehicles with innovation and style that push established boundaries.

Candidates for the design award may be on the overall World Car of the Year list OR may be included as a stand-alone entry provided the vehicle is available in quantities of at least 10 in one major market during the period beginning January 1, 2014 and ending May 31, 2015. Candidates may be pre-production or all-new production.

A design panel consisting of five highly respected world design experts was asked to first review each candidate, and then establish a short-list of recommendations for the jurors. The design experts were:

Masatsugu Arimoto (Japan – Freelance design journalist)

Silvia Baruffaldi (Italy – Auto & Design magazine)

Gernot Bracht (Germany – Pforzheim Design School)

Sam Livingstone (U.K. - Car Design Research and Royal College of Art)

Tom Matano (USA - School of Industrial Design at Academy of Art University in San Francisco)

The experts commented that, “The Cactus is a truly innovative piece of design. It has an appealingly distinct exterior announced first by its slender upper front lights, proportions slightly different to any other car, and by those stand-out ‘air-bumps’ that help safeguard against parking scrapes. Inside it eschews lots of dials and buttons for a very minimal uncluttered approach: controls centred on and around a central digital screen and many of the core surfaces and volumes kept linear, reduced, and pleasantly un-car-like. The Cactus design is a proper breath of fresh air.”

The 75 World Car Awards jurors then voted on the expert’s recommendations in February and their ballots were tabulated by the international accounting firm KPMG.

A short-list of three finalists were announced in March month at the Geneva International Motor Show: the Citroen C4 Cactus, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Volvo XC90.

Previous winners of the World Car Design of the Year award were the BMW i3 (2014), the Jaguar F-Type(2013) , the Range Rover Evoque (2012), the Aston Martin Rapide (2011), the Chevrolet Camaro (2010), the Fiat 500 (2009), the Audi R8 (2008), the Audi TT (2007) and the Citroen C4 (2006).

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