Automotive

Citroën’s Gorgeous Failure Of A Group B Rally Special Begs To Be Hooned


Image for article titled Citroën's Failure Of A Group B Rally Special Is Some Real Eye Candy

Photo: LBI Limited

I’m getting the urge to import another car again. This time I want something different, something European. While eyeballing total beater Renault Twingos I’ve come across a fantastic import that’s already made its way here. This 1987 Citroën BX 4TC allows you to live out your Group B rallying dreams, but in something a bit different than you’d expect.

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In 1982, Citroën entered Group B with its front-wheel drive Visa rally racers and later, four-wheel drive Visa Mille Pistes racers. These cars ran for years competing in the B9 and B10 classes, Rally Group B Shrine notes. But Citroën aspired for more and wanted to compete with the fastest and most powerful Group B racers in the field. The French automaker wanted to squash the competition from Ford, Audi and Lancia to win it all.


Image for article titled Citroën's Failure Of A Group B Rally Special Is Some Real Eye Candy

Photo: LBI Limited

To achieve that goal, Citroën took its BX sedan and heavily modified it. Citroën didn’t have the cash to pour into its next racer like the competition did, and Citroën Compétitions built five BX-based Group B prototypes to find out what worked best. Despite the lack of funds, it was believed that Citroën’s ingenuity would persevere.

Eventually, Citroën landed on the BX 4TC, and its road-going homologation special is the vehicle you see here for sale by LBI Limited for $198,000.


Image for article titled Citroën's Failure Of A Group B Rally Special Is Some Real Eye Candy

Photo: LBI Limited

The selling dealership notes what all went into making these cars a reality:

The final road-going version of the BX4TC would look similar to a production BX but with fender flares, CX Turbo wheels, graphics, and the car’s nose extended for the Chrysler/Simca Turbo motor to be mounted longitudinally. A modified Citroën SM 5-speed transmission was used, and a Peugeot 505 rear differential. There was no transfer case, locking differential, or even viscous coupling so both ends of the car would fight each other in the corners. Once again Citroën’s sophisticated hydropneumatic suspension and quick steering helped the cars compete.

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Image for article titled Citroën's Failure Of A Group B Rally Special Is Some Real Eye Candy

Photo: LBI Limited

Unfortunately, not only was the BX 4TC late, entering into Group B in 1986, but it came at a disadvantage to its competitors. The lack of funding showed in the car being heavier and with less power than the competition. The BX 4TC would make 380 HP to the Audi Sport Quattro S1 E2’s and Lancia Delta S4’s 500 HP.

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And while the competition weighed as close to the 1,962-pound minimum weight for the class as possible, the Citroën came in at 2,535 pounds.


Image for article titled Citroën's Failure Of A Group B Rally Special Is Some Real Eye Candy

Photo: LBI Limited

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Despite the disadvantage, the BX 4TC put up a good fight in the three races it was able to compete in before Group B itself shuttered. Its best finish was sixth place in the 1986 Swedish rally.


Image for article titled Citroën's Failure Of A Group B Rally Special Is Some Real Eye Candy

Photo: LBI Limited

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Image for article titled Citroën's Failure Of A Group B Rally Special Is Some Real Eye Candy

Photo: LBI Limited

As Rally Group B Shrine notes, Citroën managed to sell 85 road going cars and 20 Evolution racers. Citroën then scrapped the rest of the 105 total road going cars built. It even tried to buy back then scrap the ones that were sold. Yep, Citroën couldn’t even build the 200 units required before Group B got canceled. The dealership says that there are about 30 of these road going specials remaining and just six of the Evolution racers.

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The road going version of the BX 4TC is a lot tamer than the racer. The engine that would make 380 HP in the racer is detuned to 200 HP here. It’s still good for a 0-62 mph acceleration time of 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 137 mph.


Image for article titled Citroën's Failure Of A Group B Rally Special Is Some Real Eye Candy

Photo: LBI Limited

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This particular car is said to have been sold new in France and remained with the first owner until 2000. Then it passed through one more person to make it into the hands of a third owner in the same year. That person kept it until 2018, then the fourth owner purchased it and imported it to the States. It recently had a major service and is mostly in original, unrestored condition.

At $198,000 it’s an expensive toy, but it’s also one of the rarest Group B homologation specials you’ll find. And at least you don’t have to import it. Group buy, anyone?

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