citroen gsa

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History of the Citroën GS and GSA in text.

The GS was introduced by Citroën in 1970. It lasted untill 1986 before the car was taken out of production. In nearly sixteen years, the GS undertook a lot of changes. The GS was the first small car with the hydropneumatic suspension, which was also used in the legendary Citroën ID/DS. For this and other aspects, like the styling and the revolutionarity of the car, the GS was awarded "Car of the year 1971". At the Car Saloon of Geneva, the GS is awarded the "Car Style Award" by an international jury.

GS Confort

First types
Production started in 1970 in France. The car was at first only available as berline, at the end of 1971/beginning 1972 the break (stationcar) and service (3-doors GS Break) versions where introduced. The car had a 1015cm3 engine.Which produced 55,5HP at 6500 rpm at his best. It's topspeed was 147 km/h. The model was first available in two versions.The "comfort" and the "club". The price of the confort was F8130,- (Dutch guilders), the club costed F8765,-. Because the 1015cm3 engine of the GS was a bit small, the company started producing the GS club with a 1220cm3 engine. This was a little bit stronger than the 1015cm3, it produced 65,5HP at 6000rpm. It's topspeed was 151km/h. Around 1974 another version was added to the GS program; the Gspécial which became the base version, instead of the GS Confort. The Gspécial was available in both the berline and break versions. In 1975 the GS Pallas, the most luxury version of the GS and the GS X and GS X2 where added to the GS program. The X-versions where the most sportive models. The GS X2 had a bigger engine then the GS X. Of course there was the GS Break which was available in the Gspécial and in the club version. Also Citroën produced a van, based on the break, which was called "service", and was also available as Spécial and Club.

GS BirotorGS Birotor
In 1973 Citroën started to produce the GS Birotor. This was due to the cooperation with NSU (who produced the RO80 with a wankelengine). The GS Birotor was a marvellous example of engineering. The Rotary Combustion Engine (wankelengine) in combination with the hydropneumatic suspension, increased the preformance of the car enourmously. For instance, the car could now drive 175 km/h. Although the Birotor was in production for two years, only a small 900 where produced. Citroën recalled the car, and most Birotors where destroyed. This has made the car a real collectors item. A Birotor in good shape can cost a fortune.

Series II
In 1977 the first restyle of the GS followed. The biggest changes where the new rear lights, more powerfull engines, a 5-speed transmission instead of 4-speed and a more complete basic equipment. The following engines where now available:

  • A 1130cm3, 56,6HP engine which could take the car to a topspeed of 149km/h.
  • A 1222cm3, 59HP engine, which produced a maxium speed of 151km/h.
  • And a 1222cm3, 64HP engine which could take the car to 156km/h.
Beside some minor styling changes, and a few equiment changes, the car was nearly the same as the first series GS. In 1977 and 1978 sales of the car raise to top level (Holland) aprox 13.000 GS's a year where soldin those days. In 1978 the GS X2 was replaced by the GS X3.

GS Pallas

GS Basalte
In 1978 the first "limited edition" of a GS is introduced. The car is called "GS Basalte", around 5000 cars where produced. They where sold in France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, England and Scandinavia. All Basalte's had black paint with red striping. Further the car was equiped with a sunroof, red and black interiour, extra headlights, Pallas wheelcovers, radio/cassete player, and occasionally headlight whipers (France only). Because of the Limited Number of Basalte's produced the car has become unique. Only a handfull still exist.

In 1979 the GSA was introduced, the GS was taken out of production. (Only the GS Special could be bought untill 1980) The GSA was a GS based car, which was adjusted to the more modern standards of the late seventies/early eighties.The car looked obviously different from previous GS models. For instance the GSA was 9,5 centimetres (berline) and 3,6 (break) longer as the GS. Also the car was given plastic bumpers (metal on GS), bigger rear lights, a restyled interiour and standard striping. Remarkable by the introduction of the GSA was that Citroën continued selling the GS Spécial (also the Break and service version). Somewhere in 1980 the GS Spécial was also taken out of production and the GSA Spécial was introduced. The Citroën GSA was available in the folowing models: GSA Spécial (basic version), GSA club (bigger engine, and more standards than the special), GSA Pallas (luxury top model of the GSA line), GSA X3 (sportive model) and of course the Breaks and service. Later on a GSA X1 was added to the program. The X1 was technically the same as the X3, but was equiped less.

GSA Cottage Break Limited Editions
Citroën produced total three Limited Editions of the GSA; The GSA Tuner, The GSA Cottage Break and The GSA Chic. The "GSA Tuner" is introduced in 1982. The GSA Tuner is another limited edition which came in a number of 1500 cars, who all where sold in France. All GSA Tuner's where painted black, with a blue striping. They where equiped with a Philips Car Audio set.
At the end of 1983 the "GSA Cottage Break" is introduced. This is a limited edition of the GSA Break. It is equiped with striping, metallic paint, Light Metal wheel caps and a special interiour.
The last limited edition of the GSA is introduced in 1985, the "GSA Chic". The car is delivered in the color grey, with red striping. It is standard equiped with a spoiler, Light metal wheel caps, radio and a five speed gearbox.

In 1982 the BX was introduced. The BX was to become the succesor the GSA. The 1985 GSA program was reduced to the GSA Spécial, GSA Spécial Break and the GSA X1. On Juni, 1, 1984 a GSA Spécial could be bought for F18.800,- (Dutch guilders). The break costed F19.800,- and the X1 was available for F20.100,-. Citroën continued selling the GSA untill 1986, when it was replaced by the BX

Citroën BX

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© W.M.Kemmink

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