5 things to know about the Citroën BX [vidéo]
On September 23, 1982, Citroën presented the BX. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the model, the editorial staff of L’argus went to the Conservatory of the brand in Aulnay-sous-Bois (93) to interview Denis Huille, one of the bibles in the history of the Chevron mark. Engine, Action!
40 years ago the BX was born. With this model, replacing the GSA, Citroën is playing its survival. It is the first model with Chevrons of the PSA era. Fortunately, success is at the rendezvous. More than 2.3 million copies of the model (sedan and break) will see the light of day in 12 years of career. On the occasion of the anniversary of the BX, September 23, the editorial staff of The argus went to visit Denis Huille. The director of development of the association L’Aventure Citroën opened the doors of the conservatory to us to tell us the story of this vehicle.
The BX inspired by the Volvo Tundra?
The Citroën BX, designed by the famous Italian coachbuilder Bertone, was launched in 1982. It took four years for the XB project to become the sedan we know. Yet in March 1979, » Citroën leaders almost choke can we read in the special issue of Citroscopy* devoted to the BX. In the middle of the Geneva Motor Show, they discover the Volvo Tundra concept whose lines appear very close to their prototype. And for good reason… The Swedish prototype, which will never see the light of day, is signed by the same designer as the XB project: Marcello Gandini. Since then, » an ever-living misunderstanding is born recalls François Mortier in his article, “ where some believe the BX was inspired by the Volvo « . Yet, chronologically, they are wrong!
Suspended for several days under the Eiffel Tower
Did you know that the BX stayed several days under the Eiffel Tower? The sedan was not exhibited at the foot of the building, but hung under it in a wooden box. The concept was simple: it was a matter of gradually losing this box in altitude between September 16, the day when it was hung at the height of the first floor, and September 23, the day of its presentation… On the evening of the revelation, the box finally lands on a podium in a spectacular musical and sound atmosphere. An extraordinary communication operation signed by the advertiser Jacques Séguéla.
A line of sportswomen… and competition models!
In the mid-1980s, Citroën launched the first sports engines on the BX. The line starts with the BX Sport in March 1985, then continues with the BX GTI (1987), the GTI 4×4 and the GTi 16 valves. It is also the first French car with a multi-valve engine. Even the break will be entitled to its vitaminized engine with the TRI Evasion (1988) and TZI Evasion (1990) versions.
In parallel with its activity as a car manufacturer, Citroën engages in competition and in particular in the world rally championship. As such, he developed the BX4 TC for 4-wheel drive Turbo Competition. However, the model will not have the expected success. Of the 200 chassis planned, Heuliez will only manufacture 86. If the BX did not shine in Group B, it distinguished itself in other disciplines and in particular in rallycross dominating the French championship from 1991 to 1993.
An increasingly sought-after youngtimer
At 40, the BX does indeed have the status of a « collector’s car ». It is also more and more popular with collectors, after having been mocked for a long time. The most accessible versions are exchanged for » a few thousand euros assures Denis Huille. If you are looking for a sports model, the rating is bound to rise. » A 16 valve today reaches 10-12,000 € says the development director of L’Aventure Citroën. May (future) buyers be reassured. The association is able to ensure the maintenance and repair of the models, but also the supply of spare parts.
An amazing BX at the Citroën Conservatory
The Citroën Conservatory is located in Aulnay-sous-Bois (93). It is open from Monday to Saturday. 300 models telling the story of the Chevron brand, from its beginnings to the present day, are exhibited in a 5,000 m² hangar. Several BX are of course to discover including a cutaway copy. « At the time, during presentations dedicated to the press, it was not uncommon to come across a coupe car. These copies allowed to show behind the scenes of the design of the model explains Denis Huille. Notice to amateurs, the model is present in the hall of the exhibition venue until the end of the year. Admission: €10 (€5 for 7-18 year olds).
*Citroscopie special issue 40 years of the BX, to be found at the bookstore « Au Chat Botte », 85 Boulevard Lefebvre 75015 Paris