Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 1
The First from PSA
The Citroen BX is important to remember as being the very first new car from the PSA group. It showed a sense of co-operation between Peugeot and Citroen without losing the individuality of the Citroen marque. The basic floorpan of the BX served as a foundation for other cars from the group, and had a 104.5-inch wheelbase and the well known hydropneumatic suspension
The front suspension
arrangement was a breakthrough for Citroen, who adopted the MacPherson strut system to hydropneumatic
operation, locating the wheels with transverse arms and utilizing an anti-roll bar
. At the rear, the trailing arm layout was similar to that used in the Peugeot 305 wagon (estate), with the spring/damper units mounted horizontally alongside the suspension
arms and operating through bell-cranks; in the BX, the mechanical suspension
components were replaced by hydropneumatic units
A great effort had been made to limit body weight and the number of pressings in the body had been drastically reduced - there were 334, compared with 531 for the GSA, and the number of welds had been correspondingly reduced, with 2676 as against 5024. It was also the first time that Citroen had used body panels in composite polyester/glassfibre.
Areas affected were the bonnet and the rear hatchback, which had the window cemented in place. The result of this work was a five door saloon, 166.5 inches long (1.18 inches longer than the GSA), weighing between 1951 and 2094 Ibs, 77 Ibs less than the GSA. The BX was based on a Bertone
design study and showed some resemblance to that company's Tundra prototype
from the pencil of Maurice Deschamps.
It was a hatchback of rather heavy lines, and its drag factor was greater than the 0.32 of the GSA X3, being 0.335 for the small-engined BX 14 and 0.341 for the BX 16. Engine mounting was transverse, and alternatives were offered; the four-cylinder used in the Peugeot 104 and Citroen Visa, which had the gearbox mounted underneath, and a new PSA-developed four, which had appeared in a Diesel version in the Peugeot 305 and Talbot Horizon and which had the gearbox mounted on its end, Giacosa-style.
The basic BX 14 model had the 1360-cc engine in two states of tune, offering 45 kW (62 hp) at 5500 rpm with 108 Nm (79.6 Ib-ft) torque at 2500 rpm or 52 kW (72 hp) at 5750 rpm with a similar torque figure coming at 3000 rpm. The lower powered version had a four-speed gearrbox, while five speeds were standard with the uprated engine. The BX 16's all-alloy four had an overhead cam driven by a toothed belt and a capaciity of 1580 cc (83 x 73 mm). Compression was 9.5:1 and there was a twin-choke carrburettor and electronic ignition. Power was 65 kW (90 hp) at 6000 rpm with 127 Nm (93.6 Ib-ft) of torque at 3500 rpm, and drive was through a five-speed manual box from the PSA components pool.
Rack and pinion steering
was fitted, with 3-3/4 turns of the wheel taking the car from lock to lock. The turning circle between walls was 35 ft 9 inches. Braking was by discs all round, with a high pressure servo and a built-in compensator to split the braking effort between front and rear. Tyre equipment was 145 R 14 on the BX 14, but the top-of-the-Iine BX 16 was equipped with 170/65 R 365 TRX-AS Michelins. The BX offered a roomy passenger compartment, with interior width at elbow level beeing 55.1 inches. Usable length of the interior was 67.3 inches. Comparable figures for the GSA were 52.75 and 62.6 inches.
A full five-seater, the car had a hatchback which opened right down to the rear bumper to reveal a load-space of no less than 31.78 cu ft, if the rear seat backs were folded down. Top speed figures for the three models were 155, 163 and 173 km/h (96.3, 101.3, and 107.5 mph) respectively, and the corresponding 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) times were 15.6, 13.5 and 11.5 sec; average fuel consumption is announced as 40.9 (34.08 US), 40.4 (33.6 US), and 38.7 (32.2 US) mpg. The interior was typical Citroen, with a futuristic control binnacle and fascia. There were three trim levels, and even the basic model featured such equipment as a laminated screen, a single, wide-arc wiper with three speeds, rear-window demisting, quartz-halogen headlamps, rear fog and reversing lamps, .and remote-control exterior mirrors. The higher trim levels were the Rand TR, the latter only being available with the larger engine and including head restraints, electric window-lifts, and central locking.