AX

When first seen at the 1986 Paris Motor Show, the AX heralded a major refresh for the smaller end of Citroen's range. The Visa and LNA were still available, and the 2cv - of course - showed few signs of giving up. In fact, Xavier Karcher, CEO of Citroen, faithfully promised that the 2cv would continue to live so long as it was still being bought.

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The Visa and LNA, however, were less iconic, and their days were clearly numbered. The new car was neatly styled, very light - due to significant use of composite material for panels - and powered by a new range of engines, the TU family, available in 954cc, 1124cc and 1360cc capacities, together with a 1360cc (later 1527cc) diesel. The combination, especially with all the lessons learned from the ECO2000 project which had been carried out over the preceding years, in conjunction with Renault and the French Government, showed almost unheard of fuel economy. The 1.4D reached the Guinness Book of Records, achieving the 1,000 miles from Dover to Barcelona on a single 10 gallon tankful.

Even better, it was a lot of fun to drive - especially in GT form, where 85bhp from the largest 1360cc version of the TU engine only had 750kg to hold it back.

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Criticisms of the build quality ("made out of crisp packets") meant that weight increased at the 1991 facelift, with a move to fuel injection meaning the GTi version didn't have the throttle response and smile-factor of the GT, even with an extra 15bhp.

The more basic trim-level AX versions stayed in the range, mainly as "special editions", alongside the Saxo following it's release in 1995, finally ceasing production in 1998.

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