The Citroën CX was 10 years old when Citroën decided to start studying for its replacement. Thus, in 1984, the Y30 project began for what would give birth to a new car wanted more upscale by Citroën where the brand will demonstrate all its innovation.
The specifications indicate a two-body sedan with front-wheel drive, transverse engine and hydraulic suspension which will have to innovate further to offer variable damping. It will be intended for sale in France but also for export, including the USA. The station wagon is planned as well as a 4X4 transmission. It must obtain a level of quality and reliability equivalent to German models. Finally, it will have to offer greater livability than those of the CX, a higher seat than the latter, corresponding more to a high-end position. The dashboard must also offer services worthy of the upper segment with, in particular, a seat / pedal centering which must be excellent.
After 55 months of studies and 7.5 billion francs invested, the Citroën Xm was born in May 1989 with two petrol engines (130 hp and 170 hp V6 which will be supplemented in 1990 by a 115 hp petrol engine and a diesel 110 hp. Its taut lines, arrow-shaped profile are surprising as well as the drop-out on the rear quarter panel.The Xm stands out in the automotive landscape with its very modern appearance and radically different from the competition.
Voted car of the year in 1990, the Citroën Xm started its commercial career in a very good way with nearly 20,000 units in its first year, followed by more than 40,000 units in France in 1990. Manufactured at the factory in Rennes where PSA had invested three billion Francs, it will experience a production rate of 550 units per day, a record year for the Xm with more than 93,000 units assembled. But from 1991 onwards, despite more than 100 prototypes each traveling around 30,000 kilometers, major reliability concerns, especially electrical ones, appeared. If these problems were quickly resolved, the career of the Xm will be marred by a bad reputation far from the real qualities of the car which Citroën never managed to undo. Citroën having refused to launch a vast recall campaign, it was not until 1993, the year when the brand recognized that the Xm was finally made reliable, that Citroën launched the "Xm trust" operation, but this did not make it possible to relaunch production which had halved in 1992 with 43,000 units produced, then barely 20,000 in 1993.
To correct the situation and relaunch the Xm which suffers from internal competition with the Xantia, Citroën decides, in 1994, to restyl the Xm with minimal exterior changes (new grille, thinner rear spoiler) but a revolution inside with a whole new dashboard much more qualitative and even more generous equipment. Thanks also to the introduction of new engines, new finishes but also several special series, the career of the Xm continues in an honorable way. Compared to its cousin, the Peugeot 605, the Xm does not look gray, especially in Germany, where it will sell better than in France!
It became "modern" from 1997, with front and above all side airbags as equipment as well as electric windows, power steering, ABS and air conditioning, all as standard on the Exclusive finish. Obviously, all this translates into prices higher than those of its direct competitor: the Renault Safrane. From 1998 however, Citroën's flagship began its end of career, enlivened by a very special (very) limited series: the XM Multimedia (which I suggest you read the test HERE ).
In April 2000, after 12 years of career, production stopped, where it was produced at only 25 copies per day, in the Rennes factory. While Citroën envisaged 800,000 units over its entire career, only 333,405 Xm found takers, allowing the brand to do better than Peugeot with the 605 sold at 220,000 units. It was therefore a mixed career for the Xm and Citroën will not give it a direct successor before several years and the marketing of the C6.
Here are the production figures for the Citroën Xm:
2000: will be released at a rate of 25 copies / day until April