by R. M. Clarke
The CX was introduced in 1974 to replace the aged but much loved DS. The car was well received and was voted European Car of the Year in 1975. Often referred to as the last real Citroen the CX was designed by a team led by Robert Operon prior to Citroen becoming merged with Peugeot to create the PSA group.
Unfortunately the CX had a rather troubled gestation even by Citroen's standards. The car was developed from the Projet L prototypes that were originally planned as a replacement for the BMC 1800 Landcrab. One of the Projet L cars survives in the Citroen conservatory and is powered by a watercooled version of the GS flat four engine. The original plan was to use a tri-rotor Comotor Wankel unit but a six cylinder air cooled unit was also tried.
Ultimately the Wankel engine option failed through issues of reliability, excessive fuel consumption and Citroen/NSU/Comotor agreement breaking down. Unfortunately the lack of a suitable engine came very late in the day for the CX's development and the engine bay was too small to allow anything larger than a four cylinder engine.
While the body and interior were extremely stylish and modern the mechanicals were a pretty humdrum (by Citroen standards) carry over from the DS. Early cars were plagued with heavy, unassisted steering and the 2.0 litre petrol engines were also rather underpowered, ironically these early cars are now extremely sought after.
Brooklands Books Ltd "Road Test" books provide a wide range and collection of road tests, comparison tests, new model introductions, long term tests, and other articles taken from the world's leading motoring magazines. The regular Road Test series contain 100 pages with approximately 200 illustrations.
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