Citroen decides the Mehari should be reborn as an eco-friendly vehicle [gallery] image

The French automaker has surprisingly unveiled online the all new E-MEHARI, which serves as a modern reinterpretation of the classic model, with an environmentally friendly twist added for good (CO2) measure.

Some might say the interesting Cactus M concept was a preview, but the E-MEHARI looks like a different kind of “beast” and has been developed jointly by the PSA Peugeot Citroen brand and the Bolloré Group. As such it uses the Bolloré Bluesummer convertible as a basis and also comes with the instantly recognizable new design language adopted by Citroen. We have the front side definitely inspired by the Citroen C4 Cactus, alongside buggy-styled plastic body cladding, as well as a set of familiar-looking alloy wheels. We’re treated here to a four-seat convertible that comes with a two-tone paint, as the windscreen and B and C pillars have been painted silver. There’s also a different color removable roof (black, orange-red) and a thermoformed plastic body (available in blue, orange, yellow and beige), while the interior comes with its own dual personality: an elegant beige or a more high-tech orange-red. Not much was to say about the interior, with Citroen describing it as adopting a central pattern inspired by water sports. As such it has been manufactured with plastic-coated fabric and is completely waterproof.

The automaker also said the chassis has been raised to enable all-terrain eco driving, while the convertible features a clever system that mates the removable top and a side foldaway system with large windows – the vehicle can be covered entirely, on the side or left completely barren. Under the hood resides an electric motor churning out 67 bhp (68 PS / 50 kW) that receives power from a 30 kWh battery – enough to reach a top speed of 68 mph (110 km/h) and go for 124 miles (200 km) between recharges (which take either eight or thirteen hours with 16A or 10A sockets). The model’s launch has been scheduled for next spring and production will be handled in France by a PSA Peugeot Citroën factory.