During this time Citroën engineers had explored options, including a bubble car and rotary powered vehicles before opting for a range of small flat four cylinder air cooled engines from 1015 cc / 62 cui 54 hp to 1299 / 79 cui 66hp that were to power the front wheels of four door fastback, 5 door estate / wagon, 3 door service van bodies styled by Robert Opron with independent hydropneumatic suspension.
The advanced design of the GS appealed to the same journalists who had voted it’s immediate competitor, the Renault 16, European Car Of The Year in 1966 and the 94 mph GS was given the same award after it’s launch in 1970.
In 1974 Citroën declared bankrupcy in part due to the late introduction of the GS and the development cost of the DS replacement the CX, but the company survived after Michelin handed control over to Peugeot.
The GS was face lifted to GSA specifications, with 5 door hatchback and 5 speed transmission options, in 1979 with the top speed now being quoted as 102 mph.
Of the 576,757 GSA models built between 1979 and 1986 5,500 were reported to have been exported to East Germany, where Communist Party Leader Erich Honecker was a fan of the marque.
Today’s featured GSA Spécial, seen at Castle Combe last year was first registered in the UK on the 30th of April 1982.
Thanks for joining me on this Five Speed Hatchback edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psychoontyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be visiting Brands Hatch. Don’t forget to come back now.