Rare Rides: There's a 1991 Citron BX 14 in Maine
Citroën’s on-and-off history with North American importation make almost all of them rarities, and perfect for this series. Thus far, we’ve seen Citroëns in the form of Traction Avant, XM, and CX. Today’s front-drive Frenchy is a sporty BX hatchback from 1991.
The BX debuted in 1982, and filled a market segment where Citroën hadn’t played for a few years: the large family hauler. The lower trims of the DS filled the gap through its demise in 1974. At that point, the more luxurious “executive” DS trims were supplanted by the CX (and eventually the XM). But those cars were too expensive for the average family; BX took its place between the smaller (and dated) GSA and the larger CX.
Citroën hired Marcello Gandini to pen the angular styling, and he gave it his hallmark flat rear wheel arch. Gandini didn’t need to do a lot of work to come up with the BX: He simply searched in the V section of the filing cabinet, where the rejected 1979 concept for the Volvo Tundra resided. The slightly reworked design was applied to a joint Peugeot-Citroën platform shared with the upcoming Peugeot 405, and the older Citroën Visa.
The BX was available in five-door hatchback or wagon variants. Plastic body panels kept down weight, and underneath them was Citroën’s adjustable hydro-pneumatic suspension. The BX came with a variety of engines depending on year and market, but critically, Citroën avoided using the air-cooled engine from the GSA. All engines were four cylinders and liquid-cooled, with displacement ranging from 1.1 to 2.1 liters. Gasoline or diesel, carburetor or fuel injection, front-drive or four-wheel drive: BX allowed for consumer choice.
BX remained in production through 1994, before its replacement by the less interesting Xantia. During its run, Citroën kept itself busy by adding additional engine options and sporting versions to the BX lineup. Today’s Rare Ride is one such sporty model. In the middle of the range, the 14 on the badge indicates a 1.4-liter engine under hood. That particular engine is good for about 70 horsepower via the five-speed manual transmission. An import from salt-free Spain, this BX is yours for $9,500.
Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Writing things for TTAC since late 2016 from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can find me on Twitter @CoreyLewis86, and I also contribute at Forbes Wheels.
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