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Citroën CX – The Funky French Flagship

The CX a space-age ’70s French design still looks other-worldly today!

Watching a CX rise up on it’s unique hydro-pneumatic suspension is reminicent of a hovercraft starting up!

Launched in 1974, the CX developed as the successor to the now legendary DS range. Highly acclaimed by the press, being voted Car of the year in 1975. CX refers to the cars aerodynamic shape. Manuafactured until 1991, Citroën sold nearly 1.2 million CXs over it’s 16 year lifespan.

Citroën spent a fortune on developing the CX, and it bankrupted them! Luckily the concept survived into production, and the result was absolutely spectacular:

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Easier To Drive Than Its DS Predecessor. It was fitted wih an improved version of the DS’s unique interconnected hydropneumatic suspension which in terms of ride comfort is even today superior to virtually everything else on the road Rolls Royce still uses it under licence!

The CX also features Citroëns unique self centering power assisted steering, and their powerful braking system.

It improved considerably on the iconic DS as a drivers car and is certain to become a design icon like the DS.

“The CX’s flowing lines and sharp Kamm tail were designed by auto stylist Robert Opron, resembling its precursor the GS. Citroën had been using a Wind tunnel for many years, and the CX was designed to perform well in aerodynamic drag, with a low coefficient of drag (Cd in English;CX in French) of 0.36.

No stalks – control buttons reached by hands on steering wheel

Mechanically, the car was one of the most modern of its time, combining Citroën’s unique hydro-pneumatic integral self-leveling suspension, speed-adjustable DIRAVI power steering (first introduced on the Citroën SM), and a uniquely effective interior design that did away with steering column stalks, allowing the driver to reach all controls while both hands remained on the steering wheel.

The CX suspension’s ability to soak up large undulations and yet damp out rough surfaces was extraordinary, with a consistent ride quality, empty, or fully laden.[7] The suspension was attached to sub frames that were fitted to the body through flexible mountings, to improve even more the ride quality and to reduce road noise. The British magazine Car described the sensation of driving a CX as hovering over road irregularities, much like a ship traversing above the ocean floor. This suspension was used under license by Rolls-Royce on the Silver Shadow. The Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 was not built under license, but copied the Hydropneumatic suspension principles after the less effective Mercedes-Benz 600 Air suspension installation.

The CX was a transverse engine design, in contrast to the longitudinal mid-engine layout of the Traction Avant and DS. This saved space; the CX was 8 in (20 cm) shorter than the DS.

A Citroën design principle was that turning signals should not cancel themselves – this should be a conscious decision of the driver. The CX perpetuated this feature, which is not shared by virtually any other contemporary automobile, limiting the CX’s potential use as a rental car.” (Quoted from Citroen CX Wiki entry)

Watch the Grace Jones Citroën CX series 2 ad from 1985:

More great Citroën CX  links:

Citroen CX history

Driving the Future: 1974 Citroen CX 2200 Super road test

1976 Citroen CX Prestige Review

1974 Citroen CX Review



#Citroen #Flagship #DesignIcon #Hydropneumatic #aerodynamic #French #AutomotiveDesign

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