CITROËN unveiled the CX 2000 for the first time at the Paris Motor Show in 1974 - and 40 years after that launch it's worth taking a look at this iconic brand.
The CX quickly established a reputation for exceptional comfort, advanced ergonomics and impeccable road holding, claiming the ‘Car of the Year’ award, ‘Safety Prize’ and ‘Award Auto Style’ in its first year on sale.
Designed by Robert Opron, the CX was a two-box saloon, measuring 4.63m in length. It was the first saloon of its type in Citroën’s history to be specified with a diesel engine. With the CX, Citroën was able to compete in the European tourer market with an alternative to petrol engines. One year after the 1973 oil crisis, Citroën was able to demonstrate its innovative capabilities with engines that would meet high standards in terms of driving pleasure and lower fuel consumption. The aerodynamics of the CX played a key role in achieving its impressive levels of fuel efficiency and the acronym CX in itself illustrated the vehicle’s low drag coefficient – Cx being French for the aerodynamic coefficient Cd.
Over the next few years, Citroën continued to upgrade the CX with further technological improvements, including an estate version in 1975, a 2400 GTi electronic injection sports version in 1977 – considered as the fastest French tourer of its time – and a Prestige version in 1978, which was 28cm longer than the original car.
Recognised for its style and bold technical choices, the CX was also an exceptionally comfortable car. It inherited the constant-height hydropneumatic suspension of the DS as well as the power-operated self-centring steering system seen on the SM in 1970. The same high standards of comfort were apparent in the subsequent innovations provided for an improved driver experience. For example, the C-matic torque converter did away with the clutch pedal, freeing up space for greater driver comfort. Also, the interior design placed particular emphasis on convenience, with a futuristic driving position, enabling the driver to access all the controls without having to take their hands off the steering wheel.
Further reflecting the innovations of the original car, the Citroën CX was the first French car to be fitted with ABS brakes in 1985.
The CX was a huge market success, selling more than 1.2 million units globally up to 1991. Today, the Citroën CX lives on through the events and meetings organised by many owners clubs around the world, including the CX Club de France and l’Amicale de France in its home country.