WhichCar
Powered by
  • WheelsWheels
  • MOTORMOTOR
  • 4X4 Australia4X4 Australia
  • Street MachineStreet Machine
  • Trade Unique CarsTrade Unique Cars

1985 Citroen BX 4TC - Forgotten fast cars

By Andy Enright, 12 Jan 2021 Features

1985 Citroen BX 4TC - Forgotten fast cars

This car was a Group B rally weapon so inept that its maker tried to delete it from history

Conservatoire Citroën is an incredible place. Housed in a dull, unmarked industrial unit north-east of Paris are Citroën’s crown jewels dating back over a century.

The docent for the day is Denis Huille, who waxes at length about each entry, before briefly pondering the 1985 BX 4TC homologation special. He harrumphs and moves on when I ask him about it. All he will say is “this car was a disaster.” He has a point.

READ NEXT: The weird and the wonderful of Citroen’s hidden treasure trove

Citroën was late to Group B rallying, but rather than adopt best practice of a mid-mounted engine, Citroën decided its BX weapon would retain a front-engined platform. Out went the transverse layout and in came a longitudinal arrangement. However, the 147kW 2.1-litre 8v Simca-Chrysler four was pushed so high and far forward that weight distribution was goosed.

To further compound its dynamic shortcomings, it weighed 1280kg, around 200kg more than its rivals. It used a modified SM transmission and had no centre differential, so on anything other than loose, low-friction surfaces the front and rear axles would engage in open hostilities. The rally version fared little better, competing in three events, scoring a best of sixth and then having the rug pulled from beneath it when Group B was cancelled.

That it was even permitted to compete was a miracle. Coachbuilder Heuliez needed to build 200 cars for homologation, but only around 110 were ever made, with just 86 finding buyers.

READ NEXT: 1955 Citroen DS - Classic Wheels Retro Series

Citroën went into damage limitation mode and tried to buy back the road cars, offering double the original asking price. Only around 40 survived, with Citroën stripping the buy-back vehicles and destroying them.

You’ll find no mention of the BX 4TC nor its Group B involvement on the competition section of Citroën’s website. Yet despite the company’s efforts to erase the car from history, we love an underdog and they don’t come much doggier than the BX 4TC.

1985 Citroen BX 4TC specs

Engine: 2141cc inline-4, SOHC, 8v
Power: 147kW
Torque: 294Nm
0-100km/h: 7.1sec
Weight: 1280kg

READ NEXT: 2001 VW W12 Nardo - Forgotten fast cars