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Citroen CX (1974 - 1991)

Last updated 8 January 2014


Model Timeline

August 1974
Citroen CX launched

The Citroen CX was launched amid much ballyhoo, moving the company's product range well and truly into the 1970s, sitting alongside the GS and SM in what looked like Europe's most exciting model range. The DS and the CX ran alongside each other for a few months as stock levels of the old car were run down. Styling was overseen by Robert Opron and seemed to combine the best bits of the GS and SM, to create a super-slippery body shape that Citroen claimed at the time had a drag coefficent of no less than 0.30.

Engine range was initially limited to the 2.0- and 2.2-litre four-cylinder units that debuted in the DS, suspension was by Hydropneumatics, and the steering was by rack and pinion, with the SM's DIRAVI self-centring system being offered as an option on the top models, before becoming standard equipment after a few months.

July 1975
Introduced in the UK

The CX was launched in the UK with the same limited line-up of engines and trim options. Despite this, the CX had already bagged the European car of the year award for 1975, and it would soon be winning plenty of friends on this side of the Channel.

October 1975
Estate and Prestige models unveiled

The five-door Safari (estate) was in the range, and was included in the UK's initial line-up. The Safari was particularly interesting, as it sat on a longer wheelbase, and was also available in eight-seat Familiale form, with a third row of seats in what was formerly the luggage area . The new Prestige was built on the estate's longer wheelbase and was offered with a suitably luxurious interior. Prestige models would later feature a raised roof line and vinyl roof.

October 1976
CX range expanded

The 2347cc engine, formerly used in the DS, finally made its way into the CX, with the arrival of the CX2400 Pallas and Super models. As well as this expansion at the top of the range, the 2200 diesel, the company's first DERV powered model since the Rosalie, produced in the 1930s, was added to the range.

February 1977
Further arrivals and departures

A new sporting model, the CX2400 GTi, with fuel injection and 128bhp, was added to the range - the fuel injected set-up was also introduced in the Super and Prestige versions. C-Matic semi-auto system was added to the range, too - it was a hydraulically automated manual transmission set-up and clutch, with torque convertor and electric operation of the clutch, similar to the system used in the NSU Ro80. At the same time, Citroen deleted the entry-level 2200 saloon.

September 1978
Range tidied further

The 2200 Super and 2200 Safari removed from the UK range, 2500cc diesels added to the range, replacing the old 65bhp models.

July 1979
Douvrin powered Reflex and Athena models replace old CX2000

The old 1985cc engine was finally replaced by the new 1995cc power unit also used by Peugeot and Renault, and built in Douvrin . Reflex was the entry-level car, which retained a four-speed gearbox, while the Athena was much more luxurious - the latter car would prove the more popular.

September 1980
C-Matic transmission phased out favour of a new and more conventional three-speed ZF automatic gearbox.

October 1984
Citroen CX Turbo launched

The legendary Citroen CX25 GTi Turbo was introduced, claimed by its maker to be the fastest passenger car it had built, with a maximum speed of 137mph. It featured a Garrett TO3 Turbocharger for a maximum power output of 168bhp. It won lots of fans, and the early steel bumpered versions are still considered one of the most desirable of all Citroen CXs.

July 1985
Citroen CX Series 2 unveiled

Big changed to he CX range after more than a decade in production. The Series 2 cars are easily identified by their plastic bumpers are more conventional dashboards. The engine range was updated to include an upgunned 2.2-litre version of the Douvrin engine as minor improvements for the 2.5-litre petrols and turbodiesels. But with work now underway on the CX's replacement, the constant development that marked the car's first 10 years in production markedly slowed down.

June 1986
Introduction of the CX25 GTi Turbo 2

With new intercooler and improved performance, although the headline power output remained at 168bhp. The CX25 DTR Turbo 2 did receive a useful boost from 95 to 120bhp to become the fastest diesel powered car you could buy in the UK, with a 0-60mph time of 10 seconds and a maximum speed of 120mph.

June 1989
Citroen CX production at the Aulnay-sous-Bois factory ceased

All saloon models discontinued to make way for the Citroen XM. Estates remained in production, though, with Heuliez getting the job of building this car for the final two years of production.

July 1991
Citroen CX estate discontinued

The final CX estate rolls off the line, making the final production tally 1,034,489 during a 17-year run.

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