1980-1985 Chevy Citation X-11
Welcome back to Forgotten Sporty Cars, where The Garage recalls some of the sporty runabouts of the past. Who here can recall the Citation? It seems old and boring today, but when Chevy introduced the car in 1980, it was a radical design and packaging departure for the General. Aimed squarely at bread and butter middle class folk, yes. But Chevy did offer something spicy in the X-11.Ã‚Â
Chevy wanted to take the Citation SCCA racing, and the X-11 was their ticket. In 1980, the car featured front and rear stabilizer bars, a rear spoiler, full instrumentation and other sporty bits. Buyers could choose from a 2.5L four-cylinder, or a 2.8L 115hp V-6 coupled to either a 4-speed manual with overdrive or a 3-speed automatic. In 1981, the V-6 boasted 135hp, which gave the X-11 a 0-60mph time of 8.5 seconds, which was very good for 1981. Later X-11’s had lesser torque, due to emission controls.
The X-11 was available as a three-door hatchback, or as a two-door notchback pictured above. X-11 devotees (yes they exist) prefer the 2-door for its rarity. Since the design of the Citation was to be a hatchback, I disagree with this assessment. Saab also sold a two-door notchback of the old 900, and that car didn’t look right to me either.Ã‚Â
Sadly, the X-11 and Citation were the victims of appalling build quality, lawsuits over safety concerns, and a litany of factory recalls. North American consumers were instantly drawn to the car’s design, front-wheel drive, and practicality. When the promise of the Citation failed to meet its expectations sales dropped quickly. Chevy tried to improve the car, but the Citation’s reputation was so badly tarnished they finally gave up, and replaced it with the Corsica sedan or Beretta coupe.