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Visa GT

1982 article from le Double Chevron  68

Autocar - MŤre Peugeot’s Citroen
Visa described (1978)

Since 1st July 1982, CitroŽn has been offering for sale in France (later in the other countries) a new version of the Visa, the Visa GT, fitted with a 4-cylinder 80 HP engine and a 5-speed gearbox.

The Visa GT is more than a substitute for the Visa ll Super X: it can reasonably be placed in the class above as far as performance and driveability are concerned. It is fast and responsive, with a definite sporty character, and is more highly specified in keeping with its new image.

Moreover, it is characterised by the fact that it consumes less petrol than the Visa ll Super X. One could describe the Visa GT as “a civilised sports saloon” compared with the Visa Chrono (“butchsports saloon”) (Double Chevron no. 67) and the Visa Trophťe (“professional sports saloon") (Double Chevron no 66).

With its 80 HP 5,800 r.p.m. (25 per cent more than the Super X) and 79 1b ft of torque at 2,800 r.p.m., the 1,360 cc engine of the Visa GT produces impressive performance (0- 1,000 metres in 33.1 sec.; 0-62 m.p.h. in 10.9 sec.; maximum speed 104 m.p.h. against 35.8 sec.; 13.6 sec. and 96 m.p.h. for the Super X), whilst using less fuel (50.4 m.p.g. at 56 m.p.h. and_38.2 m.p.g. at 75 m.p.h. against 46.3 m.p.g. and 36.2 m.p.g. for the 5-speed Super X).

These characteristics give the Visa GT a lively feel, agility both in town and on the open road, and great flexibility at low speeds (maximum torque achieved at 2,800 r.p.m.) which makes it a real pleasure to drive.

The external appearance emphasises the up to date and sporty character of the car (Front air dam, rear spoiler, alloy wheels).
The air dam and spoiler mean that a CdS figure of 0,648 can be achieved which is 4% better than the standard Visa.

The interior has also been treated in a careful and practical way (re-designed front seats, a split rear seat which is both folding and removable, and carpeted floor, door trims and boot).

Either light-hearted or serious at the whim of the driver, the Visa GT responds to the tastes and requirements of the customer who wants a comfortable and practical car, but who appreciates a modern, fast and responsive small car.

Since the presentation of a “restyled” Visa II in March 1981, the output of the Visa has grown from 117,451 units in 1980 up to 178,961 in 1981.

This rising production stems from the increasing orders of the 4-cylinder engined Visa (which also entailed 10,000 2-cylinder engined Visa more sold)- from 35,070 units in 1980 (less than 30% of the overall output of the Visa) it climbed up to 86,090 units in 1981 (around 50% of the overall output).

Of these models, the proportion with 1,124 cc engines (L and Super E) is substantial: 72,542 vehicles in 1981, say 85% (more than 40% of the overall output of the Visa) against 13,548 Visa Super X with 1,219 cc engines. The launch of the Visa ll Super E with reduced fuel consumption contributed to a sales improvement: 45% of the overall Visa output, 90% of the 4-cylinders Visa, for the first four months of 1982.

These results offer a clear conclusion: if an effort has to be made to enlarge the number of Visa's customers, one has to concentrate on the weak part of the range: the sector of the Super X.

The Visa GT has been built as a result of CitroŽn’s wish to expand the Visa range customer profile. The objective is to increase the number of Visa customers through the conquest of other makes (the performance figures compare more than favourably with its rivals). It is anticipated that the rate at which the GT penetrates the market will be superior to that of the Visa II Super X, which means that more than 60% of its sales should be from outside the established CitroŽn clientele.

However, the objective is also to make a qualitative adjustment to the customer’s profile, by reducing its average age. It is expected that at least 60% of Visa GT buyers will be less than 40 years old (compared to 56% for the Super X).

The Visa GT has been built to attract new buyers; young (between 25 and 35) householders, employed in middle management and mainly living in big towns.

The body is distinguishable from those of the other Visa models, by its embellishments.

Two coachlines (dark grey or silver depending on the interior colour scheme) follow the centre line of the body. A grey grille, black washer jets and radio aerial and with a “GT” monogram on the bonnet, rear quarters and hatchback complete the effect.

New split rear seats, more bucket-shaped, folding and removable, give a wider combination of usable space: use as a bed, for example, or for carrying a pram, etc… New front seats, better shaped and more bucket-shaped. Seats covers and door covers in grey Shetland cloth. Dashboard in matching grey, steering-wheel with the “GT” monogram.

The standard equipment of the Visa GT includes features that are sold as optional extras on the other Visas:

  • Alloy wheels and Michelin TRX tyres (front tyre pressures: 25 psi),

  • Laminated windscreen,

  • Radio equipment,

  • Rear wash/wipe.

Two optional extras are offered with the Visa GT:

  • Sunroof,

  • Tinted windows.

The Visa GT is available in 3 colours:

  • Gris perle with dark grey stripes,

  • Black with silver stripes,

  • Rouge Vallelunga with silver stripes.

The 1,360 cc 4 cylinder-engine is installed transversely and inclined 72 degrees rearwards.

The block is made of light alloy with separate liners. Five bearing crankshaft.

Forged steel connecting rods. Light alloy cylinder head with hemispherical combustion chambers. Chain driven overhead camshaft.

Carburation through mechanical pump. Two vertical single choke carburettors. Manual choke-dry. Air filter. Transistorised ignition with a diagnostic harness.

This engine reaches the maximum power of the Visa Super X at 4,200 rpm (instead of 6,000 rpm).

The Visa GT has front wheel drive. Drive shafts with constant velocity tri-axial joints at the gearbox and Rzeppa type joints at the wheels.

Clutch: dry single plate diaphragm and mechanical operation by cable.

Five speed all synchromesh gearbox is integral with the engine and sharing the same lubrication.

Dual circuit servo assisted brakes operating from a tandem master cylinder.

Front: disc in the wheels; floating caliper; single piston with automatic adjustment.

Wear warning device.

Rear: drums with floating shoes and automatic adjustment. Load compensator to avoid rear wheels locking. Hand brake working on rear wheels.

The 4 wheel independent suspension has been specially adapted for performance.

At the front, the coil spring has been shortened by 0.2inches compared with the Super X; integrated telescopic dampers (Mac Pherson type) with 23 mm anti-roll bars

At the rear (trailing arms suspension), the coil spring has been shortened by 0.9 inch; concentric telescopic dampers and anti-roll bar diameter 17 mm (Visa Super X:16 mm).

© 1982 le Double Chevron/2013 CitroŽnŽt - thanks to JL