Over the years, car designers occasionally have tried to capture some of the charm and practical benefits of athletic shoes in cheeky auto show concept cars. Now one of those concepts is headed for production.
Citroen's C4 Cactus crossover has protective body cladding modeled on a Nike sneaker. But the French car won't be sold in the United States, the land known for marketing gaudy NBA-inspired sneakers with price tags the size of mortgage payments.
The cladding, which Citroen calls "Airbumps," appeared on the doors of the Cactus concept unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show in September. Now Frederic Duvernier, who designed the concept's exterior, says the feature will appear on the production car that goes on sale in Europe in mid-2014.
The Airbumps have air capsules inside and are designed to resist scratches and damage caused by small impacts.
"The material used for the Airbumps is very resistant and durable. It is similar to what you find in the sole of a Nike Air shoe," Duvernier told Automotive News Europe. "The Airbumps will protect the bodywork from small impacts, such as a shopping trolley hitting it in a supermarket parking lot."