Talking B____X

Tell us about life with your BX, or indeed life in general!
User avatar
Tim Leech
Over 2k
Posts: 15098
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:12 am
Location: Burton on Trent
My Cars: 1963 VW BEETLE 1200 KGJ413A
1972 Morris Marina 1.8 SDL BFA720L
1979 Rover SD1 3.5 V8-S TSL 982
1980 Morris Marina 1.7HL DBV468W
1985 CITROEN BX 19GT C1TBX
1991 CITROEN BX 19TZI AUTO A/C BXi 19
1994 CITROEN XANTIA 1.8 SXi M908HRY
2002 Rover 75 CDT Connossieur SE Nav Auto R40TSL
2002 Rover 45 1.6i Spirt S TAL 91S
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL L33CHT
x 50

Post by Tim Leech » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:29 pm

If one was to purchase a copy of Junes Practical Classics, Mr C and a few of his fleet are in it! 8)
1985 BX 19GT Mk1
1991 BX 19TZI Auto A/C
1994 Xantia 1.8i SX
1972 Morris Marina 1.8 SDL
1979 Rover SD1 V8-S
1980 Morris Marina 1.7HL
2002 Rover 75 CDTi Connossieur SE AUTO Nav
2002 Rover 45 1.6i Spirit S Special
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL 5 DR
1963 VW BEETLE 1200

User avatar
Paul296
Over 2k
Posts: 3483
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:39 pm
Location: Newark Nottinghamshire
My Cars: Citroen BX 17 TZD Hurricane
Citroen BX 17 TGD

Post by Paul296 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:58 pm

I think the BX is a great design - perhaps the build quality has more to do with the perceived 'kit car' feel than anything inherent in the design. I do think the estate/break struggles a bit though - the rear isn't really integrated into the whole design of the car and consequently looks a bit like an after-thought? Heuliezs' 'Dyana' made a better stab at it . . .

Image

scarecrow

Post by scarecrow » Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:34 pm

Never seen a two door bx! What's going on there?

User avatar
Paul296
Over 2k
Posts: 3483
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:39 pm
Location: Newark Nottinghamshire
My Cars: Citroen BX 17 TZD Hurricane
Citroen BX 17 TGD

Post by Paul296 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:08 pm

It was a 2 door break built by Heuliez the French coachbuilders - I think they might have been responsible for the 4 door estate as well (?) The Dyana wasn't built in large numbers and I'm not sure any were sold in the UK. Nice though.

User avatar
Philip Chidlow
Over 2k
Posts: 11561
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 1:08 pm
Location: Chelmsford, Essex
x 14

Post by Philip Chidlow » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:33 pm

FROM MY CITROENIAN ARTICLE

Heuliez and the BX


When the Citroën BX was conceived, no 'break', or estate model was envisaged (in fact if it had been, the saloon may well have been different to look at - most notably in roof line, rear door form and the angle of the 'C' pillar - but I digress). The reason for this was largely down to Citroën's prevalent dire financial state and limited production capacity.

The BX had been received well and sales were strong, so in late 1983 Citroën teamed up with Heuliez - a company down in the SW of France, in a place called Cerizay - with a view to developing and manufacturing an estate version of the new car. Not the first time these two companies had worked together (on the Visa Chrono, Mille Pistes 4x4 and convertible) this new project was, however their largest to date.

Citroën insisted that most of the components of the saloon be retained - importantly the rear doors - which limited the options considerably. However, Heuliez, over the coming year designed and demonstrated the new BX estate which was 16 cm longer and 7 cm taller than the hatchback saloon and had about double the cubic capacity in the rear.

The first BX breaks were sold in 1985 and continued in production until the introduction of the (Heuliez-built) Xantia estate in 1994. Along with the XM estate this proved a rich vein for the company, which since 1985 produced over 450,000 cars (including the Peugeot 205 T16 and Opel/Vauxhall Tigra amongst others).

Heuliez
Heuliez was founded in 1920 by Adolphe Heuliez and quickly moved on from manufacturing horse-drawn carts (acknowledged even now in their corporate logo). The Peugeot 177B was the first car produced by them. Selling off a bus/coach business allowed the company to grow as a provider of commissioned range-extensions for all the major French car makers. But recently projects such as the folding roof for the Peugeot 'cc' cars, the innovative rear seats of the Renault Modus and a fair few still-born developments - combined with a distinct lack of work from Citroën - has plunged the company into major trouble. In October 2007 protection from creditors under French law was obtained. Since then Heuliez has put its efforts behind developing and getting to market its own electric vehicles. Indian investors bought 60% of the firm in 2008. And then the French government announced plans to invest €10 million in Heuliez but as yet a deal has not been struck. As we enter a new decade, the company's viability remains in doubt.

So, let's rewind the clock back to the early 80's…
Heuliez was on a high, with a brand new production line at Cerizay producing the BX as well as other projects - including the ill-starred BX4TC Group B rally car - strengthening their position as one of the principle suppliers of bespoke model variants to La Grand Trois: Citroën, Peugeot and Renault. In total, 186,827 BX 'breaks' were produced in nine years (nearly a tenth of all BX production for much of that time). This resulted in some special editions and options, for example: two rear-facing child seats "l'option banquette enfants", a commercial version or two (including a boarded-out van and something called the Entreprise), as well as the Buffalo and Evasion 'luxury' models. Then there were the ambulances and other specialist low-volume versions. All in all, Citroën seemed to have an ideal partner, not just for production, but for development.

What if?..
Citroën, as part of PSA, and thanks to the rapid success of the BX, had begun to climb out of the near bankruptcy of the late 70's and early 80's. Buoyed up by a growing European economy, PSA started to plan for the future. The BX range was instrumental in sustaining Citroën at this time, enabling future expansion of the range and the development of new models. Citroën themselves must have done some in-house studies of BX variants, and this must be considered elsewhere, but essentially it was Heuliez that seems to have lead the way in proposing and prototyping BX derivatives. First, in 1986 the BX Dyana was displayed at the Salon de Paris. This was, along the lines of the Volvo 480ES, Lancia HPE and Honda Aerodeck, presented as a three door estate. With it's very long rear side glass and Webasto roof it was certainly bold, but it probably suffices to say it didn't make production.

That same year the Buffalo was launched, which was a fairly standard 'break' but for its leather interior with a smattering of wood. Later a more appealing variation was proposed: The Cottage. But the sun was setting on the BX as a leading model and this oddly-named project seems to have faded away with few being made.

So what else failed to make to showrooms? First there was the BX Coupé: although rather tastily derived from the standard hatchback, it is difficult to see how Citroën could have made it work commercially: the coupé market was - and is - peculiarly sensitive and the BX didn't on the face of it have the 'credentials' for acceptance. It is tempting to imagine that had it been further refined and put into limited production, mated to the contemporary BX Sport's (and later GTi and 16v's) powertrain, it would have made a fantastic car. It could have even spawned a convertible - stranger things have happened: but it was not to be.

Then we come to a vehicle, shown in 1985, that echoed the new, Matra-built Renault Espace (launched 1984). The Espace was originally intended to be sold as a Talbot, and to be a replacement for the Rancho. In 1978, Chrysler UK and Simca were sold to PSA, and the embryonic Espace project was given to Matra. PSA (after realising the project wasn't going to conveniently die) decided that the Espace was too expensive and too risky a design to put into production. Matra took their idea to Renault and the rest, as they say, is history. There might have been some who doubted the wisdom of this decision - certainly within Heuliez (who can be forgiven for wanting to show Matra their mettle too) - and so the BX Monospace was born. Essentially it was to be an Espace rival - a functional if less than pretty, seven seat addition to the hydropneumatically suspended BX range. It's an attractive thought to us BXers, especially those who have wanted better headroom in the rear of the hatchback! There's little doubt the BX Monospace could have taken significant market share from Renault - especially in diesel form - but whether that would have actually been commercially viable is another matter (maybe the strength of the BX design was also its weakness in that the 'People Carrier' market, given the choice would probably have chosen conventionally suspended car). Much in the same way as the Espace did, it is possible that the BX Monospace could have continued - face-lifted and improved - well beyond the end of the 'standard' BX's production, maybe inheriting the Xantia's floorpan and drivetrain, but the BX moniker would have been long discarded no-doubt. Ah well, what might've been… In the end though, PSA was not ready to accept this new interpretation of the car and seemed to blithely ignore the trend as the Espace and it's imitators grew in popularity. Eventually, panicked into a response the Synergie/806/Ulysse/Zeta was rushed into production for launch in 1994. It seems now, with the massive success of the Xsara Picasso, Citroën/PSA have finally made up lost ground.

A couple more BX oddities to consider: The BX Surlévé - an estate with a taller, part-glazed roof, and the 4x4 Orignal, which had a very tasty interior. Neither of these made production but, as with some of the others mentioned above were, as recently as the late 90's I think, held in Heuliez's own Conservatoire. Now there's a place I'd like to have visited! Sadly, however, I doubt much remains of the Heuliez BX prototypes… but I did find a (rather sad) picture of an unearthed Coupé… Does anyone else know of a surviving project?
• 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
• Xsara Picasso 1.6 16v
• COMING SOON... 1998 Citroen Xantia 2.0 16v auto Exclusive

User avatar
Paul296
Over 2k
Posts: 3483
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:39 pm
Location: Newark Nottinghamshire
My Cars: Citroen BX 17 TZD Hurricane
Citroen BX 17 TGD

Post by Paul296 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:43 pm

With it's very long rear side glass and Webasto roof it was certainly bold, but it probably suffices to say it didn't make production.
. . . and thats' why you never see any Dyanas! :D

Thanks for that - really interesting article.

User avatar
citsncycles
Over 2k
Posts: 3224
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:14 pm
Location: Dursley, Gloucestershire

Post by citsncycles » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:15 pm

I keep thinking that the 2cv is prime for electric conversion - if someone hasn't already done it. That one is just so wonderful, but imagine the pain the first time someone runs a supermarket trolley into it.
Not only has it been done, but there have been a couple of 50's cars turn up in France with period electric conversions in.

The first electric 2CV I saw was at the Dutch World meeting in the 90's. It had been shipped from Japan by it's owner and apparently could out perform a standard car both in terms of acceleration & top speed, although only for 60 miles. Basically, a big DC motor was bolted to the front of the gearbox, then the boot floor and any spare space under the bonnet filled with batteries.

Last year there was an electric Dyane at the French national. Similar setup to the Japanese car, but the technological advances over the last 15 years meant the motor was a lot more energy efficient, as well as smaller. It also had a bank of solar panels on the roof & tailgate, which the makers claimed boosted the range considerably!

There is also a 2CVGB member who built one with his school class, which was featured in the club mag last year.
Mike Sims
BX 19RD Estate Mk1 - Timex!
BX 4X4 Estate - Oh god, I've done it again!
BX 17RD MK1 - it called to me!
BX14 TGE, - SOLD
XM Turbo SD,GS Club Estate,Visa 17D Leader,HY Pickup,Dyane Nomad,Dyane 6,2CV AZL,Falcon S,Trabant P50,3x Land Rovers (88" series 1,109" series 2a FFR,series 2a Marshall ambulance),DKW F7, Lambretta LD150 x 1.5,Mobylette SP93,Ural Cossack,Ural M63,CZ 250 Sport,Honda Varadero 125,lots of bicycles & tricycles including (but not only) Sunbeams,Higgins & Bates!

scarecrow

Post by scarecrow » Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:49 am

I want one - I think it's my new dream car! I can't understand why battery-car manufacturers aren't incorporating solar collectors into their designs as a matter of course - when fossil fuel prices go up, the cost of renewables comes down - the more renewables we produce, the cheaper they become.

I'd take an electric Dyane with a flexible solar roof any day - imagine never having to join the exhaust to the manifold ever again...

User avatar
MULLEY
Over 2k
Posts: 8375
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 11:10 pm
Location: Derbyshire
x 3

Post by MULLEY » Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:51 pm

I presume solar panels are kinda impractical to fit & they don't provide enough wattage yet to make it worthwhile. Those one-off solar cars only appear to use the very expensive panels which can be moulded to shape & the motors are very high tec & prohibitely expensive.

I'm sure i remember seeing an electric AX a few years back on someones website page, no solar panels though.
2002 C5 2.0 HDI Estate - Remapped - It goes better
2011 Mini Cooper D Clubman - it does over 60mpg
1992 TZD Turbo - SORN - slowly getting there
1991 Gti 16V - Blaze is back on the road since 2008
1990 Gti 8Valve SOLD - looks like it's been scrapped
2002 Mini Cooper S - SOLD - i miss this car
1992 TXD - Scrapped in March 2014

I'm not just a username, i'm also called Matthew.

scarecrow

Post by scarecrow » Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:25 am

I seem to recall that solar panels can be manufactured as flexible sheets (like semi-rigid polythene), but as ever, I agree it's not feasible given current permutations of efficiencies.

According to my calculations based on Oxford, an electric car with 1 m2 of pV would generate enough electricity over 1 year to do 245 miles!!

Back to the drawing board then ;)


Useful link: http://www.diyelectriccar.com/

User avatar
mat_fenwick
Moderator
Posts: 7271
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 4:08 pm
Location: North Wales
x 13

Post by mat_fenwick » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:11 am

scarecrow wrote:an electric car with 1 m2 of pV would generate enough electricity over 1 year to do 245 miles!!
Or an extra 2/3 of a mile range per day; what sort of a percentage increase would that be? I would guess less than 1% :(
Image

1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
2006 Renault Kangoo
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2004 MINI Cooper (hers)

User avatar
Mike E (uk)
1K Away
1K Away
Posts: 1115
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 9:10 am
Location: High Wycombe, Bucks

Post by Mike E (uk) » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:01 pm

A friend of mine has an electric Berlingo van. It has a max range of 60 miles, max speed 60mph (eventually) and is very unreliable.

Best thing about it is the low cost per mile.

Mike
la BX 16 soupapes: sachez apprecier avec moderation.



It might be clever now, but it won't be in the morning!

User avatar
Philip Chidlow
Over 2k
Posts: 11561
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 1:08 pm
Location: Chelmsford, Essex
x 14

Post by Philip Chidlow » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:37 am

Talk about not moving on: this is from spring 2007...


Another GTi auto (DGK) and TXD estate (GRX)... :roll:

Image
• 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
• Xsara Picasso 1.6 16v
• COMING SOON... 1998 Citroen Xantia 2.0 16v auto Exclusive

User avatar
Philip Chidlow
Over 2k
Posts: 11561
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 1:08 pm
Location: Chelmsford, Essex
x 14

Post by Philip Chidlow » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:43 am

Rediscovering some pics from 2008: Lurcy-Levis in central France...

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
• 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
• Xsara Picasso 1.6 16v
• COMING SOON... 1998 Citroen Xantia 2.0 16v auto Exclusive

User avatar
electrokid
1K Away
1K Away
Posts: 1764
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 2:14 pm
Location: Woking

Post by electrokid » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:15 am

Very interesting and well written article Phil - excellent :-)
Liking the photo Phil. It reminds me how I (strangely and possibly uniquely) prefer the lines of the estate.
Me too - though I think for me it's a preference for the overall shape rather than detail. There used to be a general principle that an estate car was a saloon with an extra box on the back which pretty much ignored any idea of re-styling the rear door's window line to match - and I think we're probably used to that and live with it.

The BX is no exception to that - but then I like the BX for it's engineering and the fact that it does so many things well :-)
1992 BX19 TGD estate 228K Rusty - SORNed
2002 C5 HDi SX estate