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    CITROËN CX GTI TURBO ( #1985 - #1989 ) / #Citroen-CX-GTI-Turbo / #Citroen-CX-GTi-Turbo / #Citroen-CX25-GTi-Turbo / #Citroen-CX-GTi-Turbo-Series-1 / #Citroen-CX / #Citroen

    Citroën owners are passionate ones. They get the brand; all its pitfalls suddenly become attractive characteristics that make the brand stand out. The Citroën CX GTI is certainly amongst Citroën’s quirkiest models, and the CX itself is often regarded as the last proper Citroën before its takeover by Peugeot.

    The CX took over the big saloon gauntlet from the DS within the Citroen family. It was praised for its free-revving, long legged performance even before the GTI model arrived. The addition of the turbocharger in the 2.5-litre CX boosted power to a healthy 168bhp and top speed reached 135mph. While the speed aspect isn’t something to shout home about, it’s enough to help the CX along the way. Besides, its good looks are enough to woo you anyway.

    Today, finding a CX GTI is difficult enough, let alone one in RHD. We found just one example for sale, which resided in sunny Spain; a left-hand drive, automatic example which had covered almost 90,000 miles priced at just under £14,000.
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    Citroen for beginners. Julius Goldmann restored a Citroen-CX25-GTi-Turbo from Würzburg in 1984. The CX enthusiast benefited from his parts warehouse, his special tools, his expertise and his patience.

    The turbomachine and all attachments have been revised or reworked.
    All connections of the instruments were tested, plugs and pegs renewed.

    He likes the Citroën CX very much, finally, it combines pleasant childhood memories with it. "But about a decade ago, I was annoyed by a specimen with the most curious bitches," recalls Julius Goldmann. And when he was on his way to work again, the fuses burned through him. The consequence was a big bump in the side of the CX, into which he had stepped with rage with its stable footwear.

    But after that, he quickly regained control. After all, this vehicle was a kind of gift - an encore that made him buy a no-longer CX 25 GTi Turbo. And this is the story. If the turbo were in a better condition, Goldmann would have taken it without this special discount: "It was a copy of the first series, which was built for only half a year."

    For a CX fan, it is not only something special to own a car, but also because it has written history. "When it came to the market, there was a giant scandal in France, because Citroën had overthrown an agreed performance restriction with this 168-horsepower car, which even the Minister of Transport chafed," says Goldmann.

    Extensive test drives

    While he took the offered CX for everyday driving, he underwent the still operational turbo first an intensive assessment. This included many test drives in order to get an accurate picture of the state of the various technical components. "Then I first began to remedy minor deficiencies," reports the 32-year-old. The car had some bumps and scratches, a rusting in the front wheelhouse and had already been repaired and painted in some places. But you would not have had to put in as much work as Goldmann did in the end. "But I wanted everything to be perfect," he says.

    The chronology of the restoration appears somewhat confused in retrospect. At the beginning there was not the complete disassembly of the car, but only certain parts were worked on.

    And so many events over the years led to the fact that some work had to be done twice.

    The success of the first bodywork and painting work was only temporary, until it was shown that the filler applied in some places in the past could not cope with the new lacquer construction.

    The roof was, incidentally, worked independently of the rest of the body. Here rusty damage on the sunroof forced an early action, the elimination of which was more laborious than thought. But something like this is typical CX.

    Construction site sunroof
    It was only after dismantling the inner skies, for which the front windshield, too, that there was free access to the sunroof. However, in order to be able to weld in this area, it was necessary to scrape away parts of a building-like mass which stabilized the entire roof from the inside and proved to be highly flammable. Thanks to the slight curvature of the roof, it was also not easy to fit the self-made repair panels exactly.

    And the idea of making the sunroof frame hot-dip galvanized also caused anger, because it was then spoiled, which affected the casters of the sliding roof. Finally, all problems were solved, and the entire roof was finally painted.

    As the engine room should also be nice, the CX-lovers built the entire drive unit. Where necessary, he renewed the seals and wear parts and worked carefully all the components of the periphery.

    His hobby workshop is fortunately equipped for everything, because over many years, Goldmann has acquired from all former Citroën companies in Germany or France all special tools for the CX, up to the frame bench. He even built some of his tools, for example for testing the mechanical-hydraulic steering in the removed state. And the hydraulics are no longer frightening him, and in this area he does his work in his sleep.
    In order to list all the work done on this turbo, the place is missing here. But the thing was right, when Goldmann on a country road had to avoid a car coming on his side in the ditch. The result was a warped front and a squat right fender. That is why Goldmann opted for a deep body restoration, which was to be carried out with the support of a specialist company.

    But the sheet metal work was more extensive than planned. For a night away from the street car had rammed the still healthy left side of the CX parked in front of the company premises. Now, the sheet metal dress was repaired from scratch with several new parts, on remaining old parts the lacquer was cut down to the sheet metal. Only the roof remained unaffected by this action.

    After about a year the CX Turbo was again complete. Newly painted and with a partially restored interior, he made a perfect impression. But shortly thereafter, Goldmann had another blow, because the engine suffered a camshaft damage.

    The hobbyist once again set off again. He disassembled the engine and brought it with two others from his huge fundus to an engine repairman. This should make a good one out of the three, while Goldmann himself took over the final assembly.

    Meanwhile he had learned from Citroën that his car had once had an air-conditioning system, and so he built another one. And then it was finally so far, the project GTi Turbo had come to an end. The danger of the car mucking again is low. And if, Goldmann will be left. It would be a pity about the nice side part.

    In his hobby workshop, Julius Goldmann has all the special tools required for a CX.
    The recesses in the wheel cover of this Citroën CX remind of a T like Turbo.
    CX restorer Julius Goldmann.

    New sheet for body work on the electrics

    The dashboard was also removed. Among other things the wiring harness and the connections and pegs of the instruments were renewed. Since this CX originally had an air-conditioning system, another one was mounted - Goldmann had one in his warehouse

    Already carried out body work was destroyed as the CX slipped into a road ditch. After that, he stood on the site of a workshop, where another car also rammed the side that had been left behind. He was rebuilt with new parts

    RESTORATION Citroën CX 25 GTi Turbo from 1984
    Place / year of purchase: St. Wendel, 2005
    Purchase condition: Damage had always been repaired in the past, various repaints provided for a respectable condition, at the purchase showed some initial corrosion damage, the technology was in a working condition
    Background: The CX was delivered as a demonstration car to Citroën Deutschland AG in Cologne in November 1984, but was not approved until the following year. In 1987 he became owner of a painter's company, which employed him as a company car with a few interruptions until 2001

    Restoration scope: Functional check of all components, renewal or overhaul of all technical units, partial renovation of the interior equipment, gradual repair of the bodywork, starting with the restoration of the rusty sliding roof, then reworking of previously repaired damages, installation of new sheet metal parts like doors, mudguards, bonnet and tailgate, Repainting, the conclusion formed the overhaul of the engine including the reprocessing of the entire periphery, air conditioning installed, refilled and put back into service

    Restoration period: from 2008 to 2016
    Expert support: Auto Hartlieb, 97239 Aub, Tel. 093 35/249; Autohaus Lieb, 63322 Roedermark; Büsing GbR, 76474 Au on the Rhine, www.auto-buesing.de; Kiechle & Mayr, 87474 Buchenberg, Tel. 083 73/93 21 65; CX-Basis, 76676 Graben-Neudorf, www.cx-basis.de
    Costs: approx. 11 000 Euro without purchase price and internal services

    Facts and figures #Citroen-CX25-GTi-Turbo / #Citroen-CX25-GTi / #Citroen-CX25-GTi-Turbo-Series-1 / #Citroen-CX25 / #Citroen-CX / #Citroen-CX-Series-1 / #Citroen /

    Engine: #Citroen-M25 / #M25-659 Water-cooled 4-cylinder in-line engine, front crosswise, bore x stroke 93 x 92 mm, displacement 2482cc, Max Power 168 hp at 5000 rpm, Max. Torque 290 Nm at 3250 rpm, two valves per combustion chamber, actuated by side, chain driven camshaft, pushrod and rocker arm, five crankshaft bearings, exhaust gas turbocharger, #Bosch-L-Jetronic

    Power transmission: single disc dry clutch, five speed transmission, front wheel drive
    Body and chassis: Self-supporting steel body, front independent suspension with double cross-brakes, stabilizer, rear suspension, longitudinal steering, stabilizer, hydropneumatic suspension, serviced steering rack steering, disc brakes, wheels 150 TR 390, tire 210/55 VR 390 TRX

    Dimensions and weight:
    Wheelbase 2845 mm, length x width x height 4659 x 1770 x 1360 mm,
    Front and rear track 1522/1368 mm, weight 1412 kg
    Driving and consumption: Max Speed 212 kmh, 0-100 kmh / 0-62MPH 8.7 s,
    Consumption 15.8 litres 100 km

    The Citroën CX GTi Turbo with metal push rods has been built just six months - a rarity.
    The interior is overhauled, the air conditioning system, which was developed by the previous owner, was again supplemented.

    With the restored CX Turbo, fast and comfortable travel is a pleasure.
    Julius Goldmann has dedicated himself to the Citroën CX - a demanding hobby.
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    TURBO TWOSOME #1985 #Citroen-CX vs. #Saab-900-Turbo

    How do the #Citroen-CX-GTi-Turbo-Series-1 and #Saab-900-Turbo-16S shape up now they have extra firepower?

    Less than a decade ago turbo-charging spelt high performance and exclusivity, but it was also synonymous with dubious reliability. The few models around came with a degree of turbo lag that had to be experienced to be believed. But while the early turbos may have been raw and unrefined they were also highly exciting cars to drive, and as Saab discovered with its classic black-only 99, there was a tremendous amount of prestige associated with the turbo badge.

    Now everybody is turbocharging and the reasons are easy to see: for a relatively small investment an existing engine’s power output can be dramatically increased, in the short term bypassing the need to build a new engine, and. because of the amount of development which has gone on over the years, the turbo is now perceived by the buying public to have sufficient reliability.

    It’s arguable that few other cars could be as well suited to a turbo adaptation as the two we look at here. Both cars, in normally aspirated form, rely on four-cylinder engines which must surely have very nearly reached the end of their development potential.

    Saab in particular have done an excellent job in developing turbo technology on an existing engine. From a slanted single overhead camshaft engine of 1.85 litres which once powered a rear-driven Triumph the Swedes have produced a front-drive two-litre intercooled, turbocharged engine which in 1982 gained the benefit of automatic performance control, an ignition system allowing it to run on any grade of fuel.

    But even more exciting than this was the recent introduction of the same engine with double overhead camshafts plus four valves per cylinder, increasing the already respectable power output of 145 bhp to 175 blip at 5300 rpm. and marginally improving government fuel figures in the process. Torque is a healthy 201 lbs ft at 3000 rpm.

    Citroen do not have the same turbo experience as #Saab , but this hasn’t stopped the French company making a supreme effort to freshen up the look of the #Citroen CX.

    The big four-cylinder 2.5-litre engine (which sits transversely, unlike the Saab's) nevertheless bears some similarity to the Saab in having a #Garrett-T3 turbocharger bolted on, plus an intercooler and #Bosch fuel injection, and produces 168 bhp at a slightly lower 5000 rpm. Torque is marginally more than the Saab: 217 lbs ft at 3250 rpm. Both cars employ five-speed transmissions.

    There are three different versions of the Saab 900 Turbo 16-the three-door, four-door, and the exceptionally racy- looking three-door 16S, which we test here. Its running gear is the same as other 900s wishbones at the front and a dead axle on coils at the rear - though springs are tougher and alloy wheels are shod with fat 60series tyres. Steering is by a power-assisted rack and pinion system.

    Extra equipment also includes side “skirts” integrated with a front spoiler, plus a rear deck spoiler. Inside there is cruise control, central locking, electric windows, and a sunroof. All this results in a £14,090 price tag an extra £600 over the normal Turbo 16 three-door.

    The Citroen’s running gear is the usual hydropneumatic suspension and Vari-power steering ( #DIRAVI ), though for the turbo model bigger anti-roll bars are used and damping rates are changed. The high pressure hydraulic brakes now have larger front air scoops, and the 55-series tyres run on alloy wheels. In its appearance the Citroen looks positively low key alongside the Saab. Only the wheels, a rear bootlid spoiler, and some discreet badging sets it apart from other CXs. But inside there has been a pretty drastic change by Citroen standards - the adoption of a conventional facia panel bearing six round dials. The much praised fingertip controls remain, however. Central locking and electric windows are included in the specification. The #Citroen-CX25-GTi-Turbo is £12.990.

    By just about any standards the performance of both cars is utterly thrilling; abundantly quick for even the still unrestricted German auto-bahns. and providing acceleration which remains breathtaking no matter how often sampled.

    Yet neither, we feel, can go all the way to five marks in this category. Essentially, the Saab’s performance edge is flawed just a little by that age-old turbo characteristic - the lag before power pick-up. The engine has to be working at around 2500 rpm before too much happens in the way of boost, and although the new double cam unit feels more flexible than either the APC eight-valve or the predecessor to that, there’s still a very slight hesitation before the needle on the boost gauge hurls itself into the all-systems-go sector.

    Possibly the slight lag is exaggerated by gearing which is a shade high for a car of this performance potential, (or third and fourth gears necessarily keep the engine around 2000 to 3000 rpm at normal road speeds. If, for example, you want to blast away from 25 mph, a quick change down to second is advisable.

    But as soon as the Saab gets into its stride, it's just unbelievably quick. Once the boost gauge is in the go section the eerie turbo whistle can be heard rising in pitch, and the ensuing quickening of pace makes everything in the rear view mirror shrink away rapidly. And there seems hardly any top end limit to the rocketship acceleration; even at 90 to 100 mph in top full throttle sends the Saab surging forward, the steering momentarily lightening as it does so.

    It should be clear by now that the Saab’s performance is at its best on motorways. Working at higher revs - than would be used around town, say 3500 to 4000 rpm in fifth, a mere brush of the shoe on the accelerator pedal is sufficient to produce enough passing power for virtually any circumstances.

    On paper the Saab’s figures can-not fail to impress: a standing 60 mph is reached in 8.2 secs, while 100 mph comes up in 24.3 secs. The eight-valve APC turbo achieved 0-60 mph in 8.9 secs when we tested it in May 1983. Even though there is still a slight degree of turbo lag. pick-up times are excellent: in fifth 50 to 70 and 70 to 90 mph come up in 8.5 and 6.0 secs respectively.

    Back down to earth, the Saab dis-plays no sign at all of any temperament, and the improved breathing of twin cams and more valves reduce the slight harshness of the normal turbo when revved. The gearchange is acceptable rather than sporty; it has a reasonably precise movement but a dead feel to it.

    Despite the CX's extra three cwt over the #Saab-900 , plus a marginal power j disadvantage, it provides acceleration figures which are broadly similar to the Saab, and at the crucial 0-60 mph time it actually beats the Saab by a fraction.

    By giving the GTi slightly lower gearing, Citroen have managed to almost completely disguise any turbo hesitation, and the result is an instant pick-up not available from the Swede. Add to this that the turbo begins to spin well below 2500 rpm, and the overall effect is that Citroen's turbo installation is arguably a more usable one for most road conditions.

    Performance is certainly tremendous compared with any other CX we have tried in the past; 60 mph is covered in only 8.0 secs, and 100 mph is seen in 22.3 secs. Fifty to 70 mph and 70 to 90 mph in filth are covered in 7.9 and 7.4 secs.

    As with the Saab, the CX is in its element in high-speed motorway dashes. Again only the slightest pressure on the throttle is enough to provide all the acceleration one could wish for. and the high speed at which the CX responds swiftly to instructions from the right foot is impressive. What the CX’s turbo also does is to disguise the rather tired and asthmatic note of the big banger’ four-cylinder engine; the rousing note of the turbo induction mostly covers the harshness which is present at high revs. Another welcome effect is that because the turbo tap starts to run at low revs, the engine feels immensely torquey - second gear becomes virtually redundant m town-speed traffic.

    But at very low speeds the CX begins to shed marks left right and centre. The gearchange has a stiff, notchy movement which can be described as good only in comparison to previous CXs.

    The respective top speeds of these cars are somewhat academic, so we have left them to the end of this category. But for the record, the Saab will achieve 125 mph, and the Citroen 131. Few owners will attain such speeds, but nevertheless they cannot fail to impress.

    PERFORMANCE
    SAAB ••••
    CITROEN ••••

    HANDLING AND RIDE
    SAAB ••••
    CITROEN •••

    The two cars could hardly be more different in this respect: the Saab is firmly sprung with a taut feeling at all times, whereas the CX is more luxuriously compliant. Considering just how old is The Saab's heritage, there's a surprising amount of road- holding in its chassis. And in this uprated version. Saab engineers have wrung even more grip out of it. The low-profile tyres cling to every corner with stubborn grip and the big car really is a joy to hurl through a series of tight bends.

    What’s more, the Saab always feels very safe indeed; there is no sting in the tail if the driver goes too far, for the amount of understeer simply gets more and more marked. The rear beam axle defies the usual front-drive trait of sliding out of line if power is taken off midway through a corner. It's a pity, though, that the steering does not have more weight to it, because while taking speedy bends the system feeds back little of what is happening under the front wheels. This latest Saab has more weight to the steering than previous 900s, but a little more still would be welcome nonetheless.
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