Citroen Rally – The BX 4TC

Citroen Rally – The BX 4TC

Kris Meeke says his Rally Finland win ranks second only to becoming World Rally champion among his career goals.

Within the rallying world, Citroen is often outshined by its sister-company Peugeot. However there was a short period of time when Citroen went heat-to-head with Peugeot in the toughest and most dangerous Group B World Rally Championship series.

Citroen's short-lived involvement in Group B rallying also meant that road-going versions of Citroen's monstrous rally machines are very rare and is among the most sought after modern classics today.

The BX 4TC was Citroen's sole attempt at the World Rally Championship. The regulations to compete in Group B rallying are such that manufacturers are required to build at least 200 road-going examples of the participating race car.

Of the 200 examples of the BX 4TC built between 1985 and 1986, less than 70 are thought to remain today, making the BX 4TC one of the rarer homologation specials.

Citroen Rally – The BX 4TC

The BX 4TC was based on Citroen's hugely successful BX hatchback. Launched in 1982 under the Eiffel Tower, it was designed by the famous Marcello Gandini, who was best known for his work with the Lamborghini Miura.

The BX had a very iconic, futuristic shape for its time. It even had all-round disc brakes, an aerodynamically efficient streamlined body that does not need a radiator grille and had covered rear wheel arches, lightweight plastic body panels as well as Citroen's signature self-levelling hydropneumatic suspension.

While the standard BX had a transverse four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels with the highest range 2.0-litre model producing 158 hp, the BX 4TC had a longitudinal 2.2-litre turbocharged engine producing 300 hp driving all four wheels.

Citroen Rally – The BX 4TC

The body shell was modified slightly to fit the larger engine, while the front-end saw a radiator grille reintroduced to allow the powerful engine to breathe better, and the rear wheel arch cover was removed to accommodate rally specifications tyres.

It had the potential to be competitive but Group B rallying was coming under intense scrutiny as crowd control was getting increasingly difficult, while the speeds that these Group B cars can achieve are starting to match Formula 1 cars of that era. The death of Henri Toivonen in a Lancia gave FIA a strong reason to step in and banned Group B rallying forever.

The Citroen only had 3 rally outings before Group B was banned. The highest position scored was sixth, at the 1986 Rally of Sweden. Although it was the BX 4TC's fame was short-lived, it burned very brightly and today a BX 4TC is one of the most coveted cars among car connoisseurs.

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