Happy 40th Anniversary for the Citroen CX

While the CX may not have had the most fortunately designed front fascias out of all the old Citroens, it’s certainly a memorable one, as is the rest of it.

Just over 1.2 million were sold between 1974 – 1991, and it’s the only car in the world where, as Jeremy Clarkson put it, “you could host a small tennis tournament” in the back.

It’s been exactly 40 years since the CX was unveiled, at the Paris motor show, so we put together some basic information and photos that should be known to all Citro fans interested in a bit of basic history.

The CX was seen as quite a bold design statement at the time, even for Citroen’s standards, and praised for being efficient (thanks in part to the low-drag two-box shape), as well as fast – the 2400 GTi model, launched in ’77, featured a 2.4-liter engine with fuel injection that put out 128 hp; even the diesels were fast, and the turbocharged 2.5-liter-engined car launched in 1983 could do 195 km/h or 121 mph.

The most powerful of the lot, the ’84 GTi Turbo was easily able to reach its top speed of 220 km/h or 137 mph.

However, the CX had plenty of faults. It was expensive to maintain, and not all versions were actually that economical. It was let down by poor quality parts, at best average electrics and while it was still and odd shape of car for its day, it didn’t quite strike the chord that its predecessor, the DS did back in its day. The subsequent XM model that followed suffered a similar fate, even if it blended the classic Citro formula with an angular air of modernity.

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