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The Tricorps CitroŽn XMs
Heuliez XM Palace Limousine and XM Prťsidentielle, XM Sedan and US market Sedan

The Heuliez XM Palace Limousine was shown at the Geneva Salon in 1992.

Built on an elongated platform and fitted with a traditional grill which anticipated the restyling of the model in 1995. Heuliez also redesigned the bonnet and front wings.

Above and below Heuliez-designed XM Prťsidentielle was presented to Jacques Chirac in 1996 but was rarely used.

Left when President Mitterand left the Elysťe in 1995, he did so in an XM V6 Exclusive on the advice of his doctor.  The company provided him with this car but he passed away some six months later.

Below PSA built their own, lengthened and armoured XM for the Elysťe but again, it was not used very often.

Above - another view of the Heuliez Palace
Below - CitroŽn's own proposal for the XM Sedan.

Below - in the mid eighties, CitroŽn contemplated a return to the North American market and came up with the following designs for a three box sedan (pictures courtesy of CITROEXPERT). 

Recently, Citroexpert discovered documentation which showed that a great deal of time, effort and money was invested by the factory with the intention of returning to the North American market with an 'Americanised' XM -both the V80 (sedan) and the V82 (break) were considered.

When the XM was developed CitroŽn had employed a number of American designers including Carl Olson. These Americans not only saw it as a challenge to create a US market-specific vehicle but they also took on interns from the USA who had the same motives.

French designers on the XM team including Jean-Claude Bouvier had already proposed a three box XM.

Carl Olson told Citroexpert that during the period 1982-1987 it was clear that the Marketing Department wanted a three volume variant with an 'optically isolated' boot because the car's competitors in the USA (primarily the Mercedes S-class and the BMW 5-series) used this layout.  Hatchbacks have never been particularly popular with American buyers in this market segment.  This was confirmed when the XM was cliniced in the USA.Carl Olsen said he suspected that a 'tricorps' version would have enjoyed more success in Europe than the hatchback did.

He added that his brief was not to do violence to Bertone's original lines.

He said that the probability of returning to America was  extremely small, given the huge investments that would have been required.

The XM is actually a cross between a hatchback and a three-box model with the internal rear screen protecting the rear passengers when the hatchback is open.

The top picture has the profile of the standard XM, but there is no hatchback; the rear screen is fixed and it has a conventional boot (trunk).

Other changes included three optic headlamps, side markers and all red rear lamps.

The picture below shows two different side treatments.

These cars shared the same rear overhang as 'our' XMs.  It is my opinion that increasing the dimensions of the boot might have improved the car's aesthetics.

Special thanks to Wouter Jansen of CitroExpert for permission to use his photographs and for providing the information.
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