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A 4x4 military vehicle



Derived from the Mťhari 4x4, the CitroŽn “A 4x4” a light cross-country military vehicle with four-wheel drive and metal body, has received official recognition from the French Army, which is considering an order for 5,000 of them.
The testing of this military vehicle (which has remarkable obstacle-clearing capacities, at least equal to those of the civilian CitroŽn Mťhari 4 X 4) was done simultaneously on the Army's technical proving grounds and in the field,  between March 1979 and October 1980.

During this 20-month period, in order to test the vehicle's sturdiness and mechanical reliability, 168,000 miles were covered on tracks and across country by ten A 4x4 prototypes.

The vehicle is powered by a 652-cc air-cooled flat-twin engine with integral electronic ignition, developing a maximum DIN power of 34 HP at5,750 rpm, and a maximum DIN torque of 36 lb.ft at 3,500 rpm.

The gearbox, with 7 forward speeds and reverse, includes a reducer gear on three ratios and a dog clutch on the prop shaft to the rear wheels. The rear axle differential can moreover be locked.

This offers six possible modes of propulsion: normal running (4x2 without reducer gear), front-wheel drive with reducer gear (4x2), 4-wheel drive (4x4) with or without reducer gear, and with or without the rear differential locked.
It is however recommended that 4x2 running, without reducer or differential locking, should be adopted on dry or non-slippery ground.

Speed up to 70 mph.
Consumption on the road: 31.4 mpg.
Consumption over rough ground: 0.66 to 1.32 imp.gal. per hour.
Standard fittings include:

  • hand throttle,

  • safety hoop,

  • 4x4-utilisation timer,

  • fold-down windscreen,

  • radio adaptation with a 12-24 volt converter.

Weight in running order: 1850 lbs.
All-up weight: 2730 lbs.
Max. towable weight, with brake: 770 lbs.

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A united Europe was already in existence, but in practice each country put military vehicle purchases out to tender to private industry.The French army used the Mťhari as a light field runabout but it was not capable of transporting more than a few soldiers and their guns and something more robust was required.

Renault submitted its TRM 2000, Peugeot and Mercedes collaborated in the two-ton category and CitroŽn submitted the A 4X4 - a variant of the FAF with the mechanics of the four-wheel drive Mťhari. This vehicle would be assembled in Mangualde in Portugal and because the original version of the 602cc engine was not deemed powerful enough, it was fitted with the two cylinder 652cc engine from the LN and Visa..

Ten of these vehicles were delivered to the MinistŤre de la Defense in Paris for extensive testing over 270,000 km.

The test drivers were positive about its capabilities - "It is an extraordinary vehicle, managing slopes of 50 percent, even with a full load. Thanks to the special Michelin tyres the handling is excellent, the Ami Super derived suspension gives unprecedented comfort in this class. The gearbox with seven ratios solves all problems and consumption in the field is three to six litres per hour. When we see how the vehicle performs with five people on board in a mud bath at the Satory test track, we can not but congratulate CitroŽn. A worthy successor to the plastic Mťharis that the French army had purchased over the years.”

In April 1981 CitroŽn issued a press release in which it stated that the A 4x4 had been approved by the French army and an order of five thousand was expected (see above).  This was, however premature since despite the excellent test results the French army decided to concentrate on a heavier 4x4 and the requirement for a light vehicle was dropped. The army instead placed an order for the Peugeot/Mercedes P4.

At the Paris Salon in 1983, an A 4x4, painted in CroisiŤre Jaune livery was displayed but otherwise it seems that the company wanted to forget this debacle as quickly as possible.

The ten vehicles supplied to the army remained in service for some time but when they decided to dispose of them, it was discovered that they had never been type approved.

CitroŽn tried to interest the armed forces of other countries - in particular Latin America. But this also came to nothing.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

ENGINE


Type

Air-cooled, 2 cylinder, horizontally opposed, mounted longitudinally

Bore

77mm

Stroke

70mm

Cubic capacity

652cc

Compression ratio

8.3:1

Maximum power

34 bhp @ 5250 rm

Maximum torque

5m/kg @ 3500 rpm

Ignition

Integral electronic

STEERING


Type

Rack and pinion

Ratio

2.54

Turning circle between kerbs

11m 30

Turning circle between walls

12m 00

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM


Type

12 volt, 48 Ah

Headlamps

Adjustable from driver's seat

DIMENSIONS


Length

3m 62

Width

1m 55

Wheelbase

2m 37

Track

1 m 26 (front and rear)

Height (unladen)

1m 68

Ground clearance unladen

238mm

PERFORMANCE


Maximum speed

110 km/hr




TRANSMISSION


Type

Front wheel drive and four wheel drive

Gearbox

7 ratios (3 with reduction gearing)

Differential

Locked rear (vehicle should be driven in front wheel drive mode on tarmac)

Suspension


Independent on all four wheels

Derived from Ami Super with 4 longitudinally mounted shock absorbers

WHEELS AND TYRES


Wheels

Steel 4.50x14 with 3 bolts

Tyres

Michelin 155x14 XCM +54 PR6TT

BRAKES


Type

Inboard front and rear discs with brake pad wear indicator.  Parking brake operates on front wheels.

Brake fluid

LHM

BODY


Type

Steel, mounted on modified 2CV chassis, roll bar behind the front seats

EQUIPMENT


Dashboard

Fitted with speedometer, tachometer, voltmeter and fuel gauge; warning lights for oil pressure, brake pad wear and rear differential lock; hand throttle

FUEL TANKS


Type

Two each with 35 litres capacity

WEIGHTS


Unladen

840 kg

Fully loaded

1240 kg

Max towing weight

500 kg

FUEL CONSUMPTION


Tarmac

9 l/100 km

Field

3 to 6 litres/hour

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Above this vehicle (chassis number 600205, manufactured in 1985) was supplied to the Yugoslav Army in the early 80s and this photo was taken in the Cimos factory test ground in Koper.
Below the same vehicle is still in use and is now owned by the Slovenian government. It was modified in the early 90s  and is now painted in red and has been fitted with front doors and is used by the fire brigade.
Photos courtesy of Janez Kežmah of 2CV KEZA

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© 1981 le Double Chevron/2013 - 2016 CitroŽnŽt Thanks to JL