Entry into the hydropneumatic galaxy - Citroën BX 16 TZI
As cars get older and more collectible, special technical features become the focus of fans. That's why the two-stroke models are doing well at Saab. The 900 Turbo is in demand in the US, and Turbo plus 32-bit Trionic make the 9000 exciting. In the case of Citroën, it would be hydropneumatics that exert a certain irresistible appeal.
I think you should have owned a hydropneumatic Citroën at least once in your motoring life. Getting started with the art of elegant levitation is not expensive. A Citroën BX 16 TZI (1991) would be ideal.
The real challenge if you want to venture into the hydropneumatic galaxy is to find the right model to get you started. The DS and CX are meanwhile priced ahead, the GS and GSA are hard to find, and the XM might be a bit daring for newcomers. But the BX, the success and baguette and butter car of the French, is ideally suited.
Unfortunately, the offer is as sparse as the water level of the Loire in a dry summer, you need perseverance and some nerves of steel until you have found the right specimen.
Citroën BX 16 TZI (1991)
In Switzerland, the home of many well-kept classics, a BX 16 TZI (1991) is for sale that would be worth getting into good hands. The abbreviation TZI is a cryptic abbreviation for a higher, technical level of equipment.
The sedan chair from Citroën spoils at this level with, among other things, a rev counter, door locks with radio remote control and electric exterior mirrors and window regulators. The function monitor (Original sound Citroën) in the center console conveys a touch of technology and computers in the 80s. The sporty seats for the driver and front passenger come from the GTI models.
None of this was a matter of course in 1991. The BX is considered almost luxurious, and compared to the German market competitors there was a lot of equipment for the money. The 1,6 liter PSA engine puts out 89 hp, and as the BX weighs in at just under a tonne, it handles it well.
In the hierarchy of the BX models, the 16 TZI is above the entry-level models and marks the popular middle class.
Maintained and original
Good BX's have become rare over the years. They suffer from the problem that plagues all hatchback vehicles, regardless of brand. They are practical, because they are excellently suited as station wagons and sedans, and are unscrupulously consumed during their cheap phase as used vehicles.
That and the fact that the BX has real tough qualities has wiped out many vehicles. Plus, the BX has never been expensive. Neither as a new car nor as a year-old car, or as a youngtimer. Guaranteed low entry prices attracted the wrong audience, by today's standards.
The BX in Switzerland seems to have done better. It only has 111.000 km on the odometer, it seems neat and in original condition. That makes them exciting and the ideal introduction to the hydropneumatic galaxy. Despite its condition and the few kilometers it is still not expensive. CHF5900,00 (about 5.950 €) he writes Retailers on the price tag, that's manageable.
A definitely appealing classic
What you have to know, of course, if you dare to tackle such a definitely attractive project, is that there hasn't been any support from the manufacturer for a long time. The Stellantis Group doesn't have tradition at the top of its list of priorities, relying on what the market has to offer.
There is good news and less good news. Many consumable and wear parts can be obtained inexpensively from independent suppliers, and it is possible to keep a BX running at low cost. Specific components, for example for the interior, are difficult or impossible to acquire. When purchasing, you must therefore ensure that the item is complete and in good condition.
With images from autoscout24
9 thoughts on "Entry into the hydropneumatic galaxy - Citroën BX 16 TZI"
I know the BX from our neighbors. It was a diesel in red. I was allowed to go to the GDR in early 1990. And don't remember bad roads 😀 The car wasn't luxurious but extremely practical and very, very comfortable.
I had two C2015s from 2021 to 5, 2009 and 2015. The younger one had the Hydractiv suspension. I had expected a lot more from that, the C5 with steel suspension was by no means less comfortable. Maybe that was due to the tendency to offer "sporty" chassis, as they are supposedly wanted by "everyone".
The BX is really interesting... It's not easy to get spare parts, but: there's a busy scene there too. At SAAB you are even better off when it comes to that.
Thanks Tom for tracking down 🙂
Well, I've already ridden a few kilometers with my father's BX, so I might as well make a snag. But yes, I should have put it away, but unfortunately sold. The 89 hp were sufficient for everyday use, the show was really the up and down driving of the body.
Now it's getting nasty here...
Now, gateway drugs are actively being promoted—without warnings or package inserts. It's deliciously written. My FOMO (fear of missing out) is growing...
Do I have to have ridden the Hydropneumatique, owned it, once in my life? Will I ever come clean again? What if I toss and turn at night with a BX in my possession and drenched in sweat craving for a SM?
Citroënolvaab Driver? A nightmare. I envy aero50 that he has already ticked off the topic for himself with a CX at a high level and in good time and I encourage myself - courage to leave gaps.
In this big world and in one life you cannot have everything, you cannot experience everything and you cannot have seen everything. Too bad but true.
Not that bad either. The gateway drug is only available in limited quantities. The chances that someone will jump on it and become permanently addicted is slim.
A certain desire for one or the other hydropneumatin can be read here over time 😉
The first sentence of the most recent article is already a key sentence. Others follow. That's exactly the case! There are certain features that fascinate today and can no longer be found in the cross-brand uniformity of new cars or can no longer be found in this purity ...
Citroën was really special and the combination of thin sheet metal and plastic on front-wheel drive, hydropneumatic chassis was very special. Cameramen all over Europe were deeply connected to Citroën in a love-hate relationship for decades.
There was nothing better for certain camera trips than a hydropneumatique. One once raved to me about his faded CX (Break). In more ways than one, it was the best car he'd ever had...
Until it just broke through in the middle (loaded but not overloaded) after only 5 years. I couldn't believe it right away, had a hard time imagining myself as a Volvaab driver and asked several questions. But it was probably really like that and the side members under the CX simply rusted through.
I happen to know a Saab 900 and Saab 96 driver who also owns a BX from the start. Somehow Saab and Citroen somehow come together somewhere.
I think he's from Vienna?
I can do that once in a lifetime with a CX 2200 Pallas. Car of the Year 1974 or 75. I drove it from 1980 to 82, then it just got too big and sluggish for me, then traded it in for a new Lancia Delta GT, also Car of the Year 1980.
Citroën, Lancia, Saab, somehow nothing wrong with it.
There were once 2 copies of the BX in the neighborhood. A red break and a sedan. The break was always dropped to invite, that was a spectacle. Everyone was fascinated when he moved back up.
There is currently no Citroën in the immediate vicinity. Somehow, since the C5 was discontinued, there has been a gap that has never been filled. Too bad.