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
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
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.