The Citroën CX 25 GTI – not just a contemporary architect’s car

There are many clichés that, if you look closely, are true. It is said that lawyers and architects used to drive Saabs. But in my hometown they also drove Peugeot 504 Cabriolets, with a sticker on the rear that is no longer communicable today and which indicated the profession in an ambiguous way.

And of course they also drove Citroëns. Citroën CX 25 GTI to be more precise. It was white and had a subtle gray architect lettering on the side, which fit seamlessly into the design. There were times when architects traveled in unusual vehicles. Tasteful, different, manifesting the free spirit of the profession.

But those are long gone.

Citroën CX 25 GTI (1987)
Citroën CX 25 GTI (1987)

The successful architect from the neighboring town is driving BMW's flagship today, showing how well business is going. The BMW is big, critics might see it as ostentatious. Perhaps his choice of vehicle reflects his buildings, which, following the mainstream, are as large, arbitrary and commercial as possible.

A white Citroën CX 25 GTI, on the other hand, is still a work of art on wheels. An architect's car.

A CXA - not a Citroën (official)
A CXA – not a Citroën (official)

But this Citroën is officially not a Citroën

Of course, my warning lights always go on when a nice CX GTI comes up for sale. If the color and features are right, it will be particularly difficult to say no. In some cases, very rarely, it is the case that it is not a Citroën that is being sold. But a CXA.

The somewhat strange-sounding story reads like this. The CX was never officially sold in the USA, but of course the free spirits and creatives on the East Coast didn't want to miss it. A company called CX Automotive, later called CXA, took care of the customers. CX were converted to US specification in the Netherlands and shipped across the big water.

Do you like the rims? The originals are still there!
Do you like the rims? The originals are still there!

Citroën did not want to accept this and tried to prevent and prohibit export activities. For this reason, the CX was only sold in small numbers in the USA as the CXA, even if the magical double angle was retained. If you come across one in North America, it's worth taking a look at the rear. Where on the right you can read not Citroën, but CXA.

One of these few imported examples made its way to Bring A Trailer (Link) found. It is a Series 2 CX originally registered in New York. It was repainted white by its current owner; the CX is said to have been blue from the factory. In addition to the new paint, the look was also Europeanized as much as possible.

Only the position lights still show the US model. If they were removed, this GTI would be pretty much the same as my architect car from memory.

Series 2 cockpit with single-spoke steering wheel and control satellite
Series 2 cockpit with single-spoke steering wheel and control satellite

The speedometer shows 55.000 miles (approx. 88.514 km), they are read and should be original. The mileage is low for a large 1987 CX, but it seems plausible. The interior is well preserved. The compartments in the center console, a weak point of this vehicle, still seem to have a tight fit. The CX 25 GTI is well equipped, air conditioning and a sunroof are available and you don't really miss the missing optional leather.

The seller is a Citroën veteran who states that he has driven everything from the Traction Avant upwards that bears the Citroën mark. One can argue forever about the rims he gave this work of art on wheels. For doubters there are still the originals, they are part of the sale.

Thermostatically controlled heating with air conditioning
Thermostatically controlled heating with air conditioning

The Citroën CX 25 GTI recipe is tempting

Yes, you could of course give in to the temptation and bring the CX back to the old continent as a re-import. The selection here isn't particularly large either; if you're looking for special colors and features, you usually need patience.

What are the pros? The large four-cylinder with a displacement of 2,5 liters and around 138 hp is fun. At less than 1,4 tons, the CX is lightweight and in combination with the hydropneumatics, it celebrates a driving experience that lies in an indefinable zone between a jet and a flying sofa.

GTI seats - extremely comfortable and suitable for long journeys
GTI seats – extremely comfortable and suitable for long journeys

So you don't always need a turbo engine to take off. The CX 25 GTI formula also delivers happy results, enriched with the avant-garde of the time.

If the question now arises as to whether you should plunge into the adventure - or not, then repainting might stand in the way. Whether it is good enough for European demands remains an open question. There is always some risk.

Featuring footage from Bring A Trailer

5 thoughts on "The Citroën CX 25 GTI – not just a contemporary architect’s car"

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    Saw an older, original white CX this summer. Standing and in excellent condition also inside (red upholstery)…

    A rare piece of luck. Much rarer than a DS, of which I always encounter 3 to 5 every year.
    Accordingly, I often ran from the rear to the front and vice versa and around it. I couldn't get enough of it.
    It still had chrome-plated bumpers, exterior mirrors and its add-on parts, like a lady wears jewelry, which suits her outrageously well and finally makes her a classic car - but what a vintage car!
    A Grande Dame, futuristic, avant-garde, French, diva-like, formerly typical of large Citroëns including the SM. It would have to be one of those for me.

    This one has a completely different demeanor. It's certainly a matter of taste and can hardly be discussed in a meaningful way, it can't be argued objectively, but I'm too in love with the older of the two women to be interested in this younger CX with add-on parts in the vehicle color. There is simply no longer as much of the spirit of the times that once produced them.

    I feel the same way with some models from other brands and then the exact opposite with others. To stay with Saab, by the end of its production the 900 OG had become the most form-fitting of all its versions. On the 96, however, add-on parts became more and more bulky towards the end.

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      I'm always torn. My only CX so far was a Series 2. But I also find the original form very attractive, also because the magnifying glass is part of celebrating Citroën. If I had to choose, it would be difficult.

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        Oh yes, the speedometer has something!
        He is real steam punk, already modeling analogue, optical and mechanical digital displays of today, is way ahead of his time, is unique. A real and very charming plus for lovers of historic automobiles.

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    Great, dear Tom!!! As if it wasn't bad enough to regularly cause cardiac arrest with great Saabs, now things are starting with CX from the USA.
    But thank you very much. I just floated happily over a highway while picking up the car. It's nice to still be able to dream.

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    A great sleigh! A huge ship with incredible comfort. At The Grand Tour the guys demonstrated this by defusing a bomb on a cobbled street in the back of a CX Break 😀
    The Diravi, which always pulls the steering wheel into the middle position, is also very nice. If a tire bursts, it doesn't matter. Or let's say: not much. The car continues straight ahead. The high-performance brake takes some getting used to. It is very poisonous and must be handled carefully.

    So: a car with character!


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