Find of the Week: 1994 Citroën XM

Our Find of the Week this week looks straight out of a science fiction movie. But it's not a one-off designed by a fan in their garage. This one comes from a real manufacturer. But you probably won't see another one on the road with you. It's a 1994 Citroën XM.

If you've ever watched an old movie set in the "near future," the one thing that always looks strange is the cars. Designers try and envision what the car of tomorrow will look like, but they never seem to get it quite right. This one gets it right. This car could be dropped into just about any movie that's set in the future and it will look right. Even against the decades newer crossovers and sedans in the background behind it, this car looks lit it comes from tomorrow.

The Citroën XM was revealed in May of 1989. It was the latest in a line of full-size cars from the French automaker that included the extra quirky CX and the iconic and oddly-shaped DS.



The shape came from Bertone. The Italian design firm that was at the same time penning shapes like the Lamborghini Diablo. It was angular, but not in the usual 1980s way. This took that look and turned it up to 11. The sharp creases in the bodyside, the step up from rear door to trunk, the partly covered rear wheels, and the windshield and grille having a nearly identical rake. And look at all those windows! Twelve pieces of glass. Like a VW Bus. Make that 13, there's actually a second rear windshield inside the hatch that's designed to keep air out of the cabin if you're driving around with the hatch open.

It looked like it could be right at home in the 2015 of Back to the Future. But without the ability to fly.

Big Citroën are known for two things. That styling, and a soft ride. The XM continued the hydropneumatic suspension that made the DS legendary for its soft ride and self-levelling. Take a look under the hood and you'll see two of the nitrogen tank spheres, used to charge the suspension. It uses hydraulic pressure, rather than springs and separate shocks, to control the body motions of the car.



The XM's Hydractive suspension system added more electronic sensors to the hydropneumatic system. Sensors for the steering, brakes, suspension, throttle, and the gearbox told the computers what you were doing, and what the car was doing. In milliseconds, the computer can connect or disconnect an extra pair of suspension spheres and make the car ride like a cloud or stop it from rolling in the corners. It also had sport and soft modes, to give the driver more relaxation or better handling. You can also raise and lower the car using a control located beside the shift lever.



Two V6 engines were available through the XM's life, sitting on top of a pile of four cylinder gas and diesel choices. A 12-valve and a 24-valve version of the same basic motor. This one looks to be the 12-valve, which means that the 3.0L V6 makes 165 hp and 173 lb-ft of torque. Not quite the 200 hp of the more powerful model, but still enough today and downright impressive for when the car was launched. Matched with that engine is a four-speed automatic transmission.

Citroën hasn't been sold in North America since 1974. That means that the XM was never officially sold here, although a private company imported and sold a handful in the US in the early 1990s. That makes this car exceptionally uncommon here. The seller states it's the only one for sale in North America, and that's not hard to believe.

This car was imported to Canada earlier this year. It shows just under 59,000 km on the odometer, which is definitely low for the year. If you're looking for a French classic, one that rides like nothing else on the road, this 1994 Citroën XM, for sale in Ottawa, ON, could be exactly what you're looking for.

Oui, monsieur 6/13/2018 1:03:23 PM