There are brands that have built or are successfully building airplanes and cars. Saab did, Subaru still does. At Citroën, the traditional French brand, you may not be so sure. Did they or didn't they? It is known Citroën RE2, at least in fan circles. A helicopter, of which there was a rotary engine. Something could have come of it. But then economic reality threw the shaky dreams down from the sky.
Concretely for the road, Citroën realized a completely different project. The Citroën CX Concorde Turbo was a tribute to the supersonic aircraft and vehicle for Concorde pilots, Air France employees and enthusiasts of the brand.
Our story began in 1986. At that time the world was still enthusiastic about technology, so flying supersonic across the Atlantic was not characterized by concerns or shame about flying. The word didn't exist yet. What seemed technically feasible was realized. Without taking costs and subsequent profitability calculations into account.
In 1986 the Concorde celebrates 10 years of flight operations. Air France decided to honor the event. With a jet for the road. What could be more obvious than to choose the futuristic CX Turbo?
Citroën CX Concorde Turbo
Hardly any other vehicle of those years symbolized the idea of fast flying as well as the CX, no other nationally produced vehicle was anywhere near as comfortable and extravagant as it. Peugeot? They only had the conservative 604 to offer. Renault? The R25 was good, but also uninteresting. Talbot with the Tagora? Inferior in every way.
So Air France went for the CX. Of course, only the powerful four-cylinder turbo engine with 168 hp, which delivered outstanding driving performance, came into question. The hydropneumatics, unmatched then as now, were standard on board. The design - of course - had to be adapted to the Concorde. The body was to be painted pearlescent white, in keeping with the fuselage of the supersonic plane.
As with the Concorde, red fabrics were used for the seats and side parts in the interior and the seat belts were also red, just like the prototype. Thick carpets and the full equipment with air conditioning were standard, on the rear a discreet sticker in the colors of the airline showed that no normal CX could be on the road here.
The CX mutated into a red supersonic dream for the street, you had to love that.
What was temptingly conceived did not go as smoothly as expected. Mother-of-pearl white was the fashionable paint at the time, only sporting super sports cars and luxury vehicles. As an exception to the rule, also two Kreidler mopeds, which is a different story, but should underline my competence in matters of mother-of-pearl-white. Incidentally, Saab offered the paintwork for a hefty surcharge of almost 2.000 DM for the 9000 CC Turbo, but now I digress for good.
Please go back to France.
In any case, Citroën had a problem with the paintwork, the system probably did not exist in the factory, because the paintwork consists of a particularly large number of layers that do not tolerate any defects. In fact, the challenge remained too complex, the development of the Concorde CX was delayed, and Air France lost interest in the project.
The airline canceled, depending on the source, only 6 or 7 copies should have been completed. Three CX were delivered to Citroën dealers in France, the rest were driven by the manufacturer's employees, some of which are said to have been destroyed internally.
A much larger number was planned. Originally there were 200 Citroën CX Concorde Turbo, allegedly another 800 copies based on the cheaper CX 22 TRS would have been added after their production. The source situation is somewhat unclear, the number of pieces is not secured.
A Citroën CX Concorde Turbo for €170.000
If one assumes that, at best, a handful of specimens would have survived, then it is clear how rare the Concorde for the road is today.
Is it any wonder that a fully restored example is offered for sale for €170.000? A French Corporate, which keeps the spirit of the old brand alive with fine restorations. There is no need to discuss the price or the possible market value.
There is no market as such, the Citroën is too rare for that. You have the money ready, you want to buy the jet, and you just do it. Or forget the dream from the happy, future-affirming supersonic era again.
With images from Citro Collection