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Projet XB - CitroŽn BX prototypes

Above left, above right and below right: towards the end of the 1960s Robert Opron envisaged a single volume car and recruited Jean Giret who made these models.

Above, below and below right: models by Jean Giret building on the design imagined by Robert Opron.

Above and left not a pair of GSs but a BX mule - note widened C pillar

Above and left these designs date from 1977

Above and below this one is from 1978

Above right and below a strong Peugeot influence is obvious in this prototype dating from 1979 above left and in the left of the picture above and below left

Right one of many proposals for frontal treatment

Above, below left and below right an early proposal by Bertone

Above one of Bertone's sketches for the forthcoming BX.

Bertone was finally given the go ahead for Marcello Gandini's design above which strongly recalled that of his Volvo Tundra prototype of 1979 left and below, which was built on the floorpan of the Volvo 343; the Reliant FW11 prototype from 1979 and the Fiat X1/10 prototype also from 1979.

Reliant FW11 prototype above, above right, below and below right. Although the frontal treatment of the FW11 was unlike that of the BX, the profile and rear (see blue car below) are very close to that of the BX.

Below also from 1979 Bertone's proposal for the Fiat X1/10

Above left, above right and left design sketches

Four dashboard proposals - the picture bottom right shows a layout that is very close to the definitive one that went into production and interestingly features the steering wheel radio controls that first saw the light of day in the 1989 XM.

A three door break proposal from Heuliez right

Below left and below right a 1982 CitroŽn design team proposal for a BX Coupť - some of the styling elements were incorporated into the design of the XM .

Another pair of BX coupťs - from the pens of Bertone, above left and above right and Heuliez below left and below right

Above and below an Olsen project based on the BX platform. This is a plaster model designed by Dave O’Connell and had a Cd of 0.25.

Above and below a pair of Olsen proposals for a BX coupť (the two sides of this vehicle represent slightly different versions)

Above an Olsen proposal for a three box version of the BX

Above the front suspension featured MacPherson struts which use the axis of the hydropneumatic telescopic strut as the upper steering pivot.  Thanks to its simplicity and low manufacturing cost, it is a popular choice in cars but the design has a number of disadvantages in the quality of ride and the handling of the car since it cannot allow vertical movement of the wheel without some degree of either camber angle change, sideways movement, or both. It does  not give as good handling as a double wishbone suspension, because it allows the engineers less freedom to choose camber change and roll centre.  The BX was criticised for not providing as good a ride as either the CX or GS.
Furthermore it transmits noise and vibration from the road directly into the body shell, resulting in higher noise levels and a "harsh" feeling to the ride compared with double wishbones.

Below the rear suspension was based on that of the GS, albeit re-engineered to make it lighter and to allow easier access to the suspension spheres for maintenance.

A special thanks to Olivier Guin/Car Design Archives for the Fiat picture, Declan Berridge and Keith Adams for some of the other images on this page and to Dave Poole for the pictures of the Reliant FW11

© 2001 CitroŽnŽt/Bertone/Heuliez/Olsen Designs