Last summer, Citroen made it clear there will be no second generation of the C4 Cactus. The company’s boss, Xavier Peugeot, confirmed in an interview a replacement for the model is in the works but it won’t wear the Cactus moniker and will ditch the unconventional design with side air bumps. Don’t believe us? Here are the first spy photos of this car.

What we see here is an early prototype of a hatchback-SUV mashup by the French automaker that will feature a more traditional design approach compared to the model that it replaces. Still, it won’t be a typical crossover as Citroen wants to give it a polarising appearance in a bid to create a vehicle that’s different than its competitors.

Gallery: Citroen C4 Cactus replacement spy photos

We already know the model will be based on an extended version of the PSA Group’s CMP platform, which is also used by the Peugeot 2008 crossover. The architecture supports petrol, diesel, hybrid, and all-electric powertrains, which suggests we will see several different engine options on sale.

In fact, the prototype from the gallery above could very well be a zero-emission test car judging by the lack of exhaust pipes at the back. There’s also a warning sign on the rear right window, which says there’s a lithium-ion battery inside the vehicle. We are pretty confident this is an electric car or, at least, some sort of a plug-in hybrid.

The Cactus replacement should arrive before the year’s end in a segment that’s pretty crowded on the European market with fresh new models, including the new Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Octavia, plus the Ford Focus, Renault Megane, and the likes.

Photos: Automedia

Gallery: 2018 Citroen C4 Cactus