Home CitroŽnŽt home

Site search powered by FreeFind
Do NOT include 'Citroen' in your search terms

1990 CxAuto XM Vitesse advertisement
and review 

Although CitroŽn pulled out of the North American market in the mid seventies, their products continued to be available to the cognoscenti, thanks to CxAuto, a Dutch outfit who remanufactured CitroŽns to ensure that they complied with US Federal rules.

Once their stock of CXs was exhausted, CxAuto started importing XMs and showed the XM at the 1991 New York Motor Show. CxAuto imported two versions - the XM Pallas fitted with the 2 litre injection engine and the XM Vitesse fitted with the 3 litre V6.

in 1993, the XM Exclusive was added to the range.

With a price in excess of $50,000, not many were sold.

New US anti-pollution standards meant the import of these cars ceased in 1997.

The Philadelphia Inquirer November 13, 1992

Citroen's a French import with a look and style all its own

Only 70 XMs will be sold in the US this year. No wonder. Each one costs about $50,000.
By Al Haas

Renault left the U.S. marketplace in the late '80s, then Peugeot pulled out in the early '90s. For the forsaken lovers of imported French transit, Francophilia was fast becoming necrophilia.
But all is not lost, at least not for America's more affluent Francophiles. If you have enough francs, and a yen for something unforgettably French and ridiculously rare, then Citroen has a set of Wheels for you.
It is called the Citroen XM.

Fifty thousand dollars will buy this Cjtroen XM, shown on Logan Circle with City Hall in the background.
No aerodynamic egg, this, with a pointed snout that slashes through the air.
Photo © The Philadelphia Inquirer / GERALD S. WILLIAMS

The XM is a luxurious, $50,000 European road car that is quite mainstream by Citroen's standards - and fairly esoteric by ours. It also is an automobile that comes with an unwritten guarantee that it will not be confused with someone else's when you pull into the country club parking lot. According to John Stout, the car's West Chester dealer and national distributor, only about 70 of these distinctive denizens will be sold in the United States this model year.
The exclusivity has to do with demand and the rather limited conversion capabilities of CXA, the Middlesex, N.J., company that imports the Citroens and then modifies them to meet U.S. requirements. The changes include the substitution of a BMW catalytic converter and the installation of Pontiac headlights, a third taillight, a set of door-mounted automatic seat belts and side-impact beams in the doors.
While it is just making its debut here in the colonies, the front-drive XM is not really a new car. It is a version of a midsize, five-door Citroen sedan and four-door wagon that have been on the European market since 1990.
What makes the XM so unusual, apart from its import numbers, are its styling and suspension. Unlike its predecessor, the XM doesn't look like the Car from Mars. Rather, it qualifies as handsome, highly original business.
It manages to be arresting and aerodynamic while assiduously avoiding that most ubiquitous of contemporary cliches, the aerodynamic egg. I found my eye particularly drawn to that projectile front end which looks like it is knifing through the wind even when is standing at the curb.
The car's interior is roomy, comfortable and sufficiently sumptuous, thanks to .a generous use of leather and exotic wood trim. Its only aesthetic downside is the dashboard which has that clunky, other-generational angularity found in some Volvos.
The XM has operational touches that caught this driver a little off guard. The steering wheel is a rather strange, one-spoke affair that returns to center with such enthusiasm that it can yank you a bit off course if you let it. The foot-operated parking brake has to be locked in place by the dash control that also releases it.
The stereo controls are secreted behind a lift-up wood panel. The fuel gauge is graduated in liters. There is a second rear window inside the regular one that keeps the cool or warm air inside the car when you open the rear hatch.
If this sort of thing isn't offbeat enough to meet your exotica quota, you can always order the car with the voice-controlled stereo and telephone. This $3,000 option will dial the radio station and the telephone number you ask for and play the compact disc you mention.
From a technical standpoint, the XM's most offbeat feature is its hydropneumatic suspension. The XM doesn't have springs and shock absorbers like other cars. Its ride is controlled by spheres of nitrogen gas and a related hydraulic system.
The computer-controlled hydraulic system adjusts the stiffness of the ride and the degree of shock absorption by varying the pressure it exerts on the gas in the spheres. By selecting the automatic suspension setting, you let the computer adjust the ride and shock absorption to driving conditions. Selecting the ''sport suspension'' keeps things firm all the time. The unique suspension system also allows you to adjust the car's ride height.
The XM rides and handles well, 'although with a tad more wind and tire noise than you might expect from a luxury car. Acceleration, courtesy of a three-liter V-6 that develops close to 200 horsepower, is brisk but not blinding. The acceleration times - zero to 60 m.p.h. in 9.4 seconds - improve a bit if you substitute the optional five-speed manual gearbox for the standard four-speed automatic.

Citroen XM
Base vehicle: 3-liter engine, four-speed automatic transaxle, speed-sensitive power steering, disc brakes, anti-lock braking system, 15-inch alloy wheels, P205/60VR 15 performance tires, power windows, heated power outside mirrors, power front seats, tilt/telescoping steering, leather seats and door panels, wood trim, stereo/cassette, air conditioning, keyless entry, security system, front and rear foglamps.
Test Model: sunroof, upgraded sound system.
Base price: $49,990
Test model: $55,140 (inc. shipping and $1,700 gas-guzzler tax)
EPA city rating: 15 .
Warranty: one year/12,000 miles bumper to bumper, three years/50,000 miles on major mechanical and electrical components, roadside assistance.

© 2008-2009 Julian Marsh/CitroŽnŽt and © 1991 CxAuto and © 1992 The Philadelphia Inquirer