How Airbumps Protect the Citroen C4 Cactus

“Fender Bender” – a term commonly representing the damage caused by a low-speed collision – is a real problem for drivers in today’s ever-increasing congested roads and parking lots. Vehicles and bumpers are not designed to handle much impact and bend against this force, even though these types of crashes happen every day.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a series of crash tests and found that the damage to small vehicles from these minor collisions was about $3,000 to $4,000 (or more!) in repairs depending on the model.

About the Airbumps

To protect the vehicle exterior from impact and scratches, the PSA Peugeot Citroën C4 Cactus features a first-of-its-kind solution.

Large air-filled cushion bumpers, Airbumps®, are fitted around the car to help absorb the impact from low-speed collisions.

In addition, the Airbumps give the C4 Cactus its characteristic graphic looks, offering the automaker the optimum combination of cool design and damage protection.

How Airbumps work

Thanks to thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), the C4 Cactus has a buffer zone.

The Airbumps includes Elastollan, which combines traditional properties of TPU with new features. The injection-molded component is mounted to a polycarbonate and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) support shell, forming flexible cavities that can be dented and still bounce back. The entire structure is fixed to the metal chassis.

The Elastollan High-Performance Material, created and optimized by BASF, has many advantages. It offers freedom of design and long-term durability combined with attractive haptics and a high-class appearance. Other advantages include:

  • Good tensile strength
  • Abrasion resistance
  • Elasticity
  • Excellent impact resistance
  • Low wall thickness
  • Scratch resistance
  • UV- and weather- resistant

And, the Elastollan HPM can be pigmented so the Airbumps do not have to be painted. Thus, they do not require any special maintenance, which helps reduce the repair costs if an accident arises. They are offered in contrasting colors – black, brown, light and dark gray.

“With their characteristic Elastollan surface, Airbumps embody the philosophy of the Citroën C4 Cactus perfectly, they have style and are multifunctional,” said Jérôme Vinot Préfontain, purchasing general manager for the C4 Cactus program at PSA Peugeot Citroën. “Together with BASF and the suppliers of Airbump parts, we have shaped material development and the manufacturing process in such a way that the two have resulted in models offering the optimum combination of quality, aesthetics and costs.”

This is the ideal surface to absorb impact – the first bumper that bounces back.