Citroën LNA

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Citroën LN (1976-1978)
Citroën LNA (1978-1986)
Citroen LN bleu.jpg
1977 Citroën LN
ManufacturerPSA Group
AssemblyAulnay-sous-Bois, France[1]
Villaverde, Madrid, Spain[2]
Body and chassis
ClassCity car (A)
Body style3-door hatchback
LayoutFF layout
RelatedPeugeot 104
Talbot Samba
Transmission4-speed manual
Wheelbase2,230 mm (88 in)[3]
Length3,380 mm (133 in)[3]
Width1,520 mm (60 in)[3]
Height1,370 mm (54 in)[3]
Curb weight700 kg (1,500 lb)[3] approx
PredecessorCitroën Dyane
SuccessorCitroën AX

The Citroën LN (Hélène) and Citroën LNA (Hélèna) are city car automobiles produced by the French manufacturer Citroën between 1976 and 1986. The added "A" used in the name of the bigger engined LNA stood for Athlétique (Athletic).[4]

Citroën LN (1976–1978)[edit]

The LN was introduced in July 1976.[5][6] It combined the bodyshell of the Peugeot 104 Z (a shortened floorpan version of the 104) with the economical 602 cc two-cylinder gasoline engine of the Citroën 2CV. Equipment levels were low, but the LN's key selling points were its cheap price and low running costs.

Citroën LN (rear view)

There was evidence of defensiveness at the press launch, possibly because a car that looked like a Peugeot, but was assembled at a Citroën plant and fitted with a Citroën engine, sharply refuted assurances that the two marques would retain their individuality. Those assurances had been provided by the same press departments just a few months earlier, when Citroën had again run out of money and Peugeot had taken control.[1] When pressed, Citroën explained that the LN project had been rushed through because of "the need to supply customers and the [dealership] network with a model to strengthen Citroën's position at the lower end of the market"[1] which was hardly a ringing endorsement of a range which at the time included the Ami and the Dyane as well as the venerable 2CV which would continue in production long after any of the others. Citroën made it clear that this would not happen again.[7] They stayed true to this until the 1996 Citroën Saxo.

Citroën LNA (1978–1986)[edit]

Citroën sold the LN mainly in Southern Europe and neighbouring countries, but a more powerful replacement, the LNA, was introduced on 6 November 1978[8] and was exported to much of the rest of Europe (including right-hand drive versions for Great Britain, where it was not launched until early 1983). It had the more powerful and modern 652 cc two-cylinder engine of the Citroën Visa with electrical ignition.[9] In December 1982 a 1.1 L four-cylinder engine was added which had a top speed of nearly 90 mph (145 km/h) for the LNA 11E and 11RE, which spelled the end of the two-cylinder models in many markets.[10] But like the smaller-engined LN, the LNA was cheap to buy and cheap to run. For Italy and France only, there was also an intermediate version called the LNA 10E, with a 954 cc Peugeot engine.

By 1980 the LNA could also be purchased, in France, badged as the "LNA Entreprise", with the back seat removed. This was effectively a function of taxation rules, whereby the two-seater car could be sold with a reduced rate of value-added tax (Europe's answer to American sales tax), to the delight of budget conscious tradesfolk and sales representatives.[11]

1983 facelift LNA, rear 3/4 view

After the LNA was launched, its Peugeot-sourced bodyshell also spawned the Talbot Samba which had square headlights and a different, slightly longer, rear body part. The mechanicals and a developed version of the full length 104 floorpan were used in the Citroën Visa that was also launched in 1978. 1983 cars arrived early, in July 1982, and benefited from new molded black plastic bumpers, a new decoration for the C-pillar, a newly positioned rubber side-strip, new larger rear lights on a black-painted rear panel, blacked out chrome window trim, and more elaborately styled wheels which were shared with the manufacturer's Visa Super E. The interior was also improved (with a parcel shelf, for instance) and the folding rear seat was now split.[12] In July 1985 Citroën introduced cars for the 1986 model year. The previously black grill and bumpers were now coloured grey, although LNA production ceased in the summer of 1986, around the same time as the Talbot Samba. Its successor, the Citroën AX, was launched shortly afterwards.

It was not launched onto the British market until early 1983, where the most popular entry-level small cars were the Austin Metro and Ford Fiesta. It also reached the UK market during the same year as the Fiat Uno, Nissan Micra, Peugeot 205 and Vauxhall Nova, but failed to prove anywhere near as popular as any of these cars and was withdrawn from sale there after just two years.

The Peugeot 104 remained in production until 1988 even though its hugely popular successor, the 205, had been launched five years earlier, as an entry level model in some markets. The Visa also lasted until 1988. The Visa-based box van Citroën C15 version was the longest lasting 104 derivative, using 205 and 206 mechanicals it was made until 2005.

1986 Citroën LNA

Technical specifications[edit]

Engine specification
Type V 06 / 630 R 06 / 630 V 06 / 644
Bore 77 mm (3.0 in) 74 mm (2.9 in) 77 mm (3.0 in)
Stroke 70 mm (2.8 in) 70 mm (2.8 in) 70 mm (2.8 in)
displacement 652 cc 602 cc 652 cc
Volumetric ration 9 / 1 9.5 / 1 9.5 / 1
Working compression 11 bars 11 bars 11 bars
Max power 36 PS (26 kW; 36 hp) at 5,500 rpm 32 PS (24 kW; 32 hp) at 5,750 rpm 34.5 PS (25 kW; 34 hp) at 5,500 rpm
Max torque 5.3 kg⋅m (52 N⋅m; 38 lb⋅ft) at 3,500 rpm 4.2 kg⋅m (41 N⋅m; 30 lb⋅ft) at 3,500 rpm
  5.1 daN.m 4.8 daN.m at 3,500 rpm
Max rpm 5,850 rpm 6,000 rpm
Camshaft values for 1 mm rising
R.O.A 7° after TDC 0°5' after TDC
R.F.A 42° after BDC 49°15 after TDC
A.O.E 35° before BDC 35°55 after TDC
A.F.E / R.F.E 6° before TDC 3°30 after TDC
1st gear 11/50 11/50
2nd gear 18/45 18/45
3rd gear 28/46 28/46
4th gear 34/39 34/39
reverse gear 11/46 11/46
transmission ratio 8/33 8/35 9/35


  1. ^ a b c Daniels, Jeffrey (14 August 1976). "Hasty hybrid: Citroen LN joins the range". Autocar. pp. 21–22.
  2. ^ "Citroën LNA". Autopista. 1985.
  3. ^ a b c d e Westrup, Klaus (27 April 1977). Simoneit, Ferdinand (ed.). "Test: Citroën LN. Kurzfassung. Neuer französicher Kleinwagen im Mini-Format". Auto, Motor und Sport. No. 9. pp. 60–71.
  4. ^ Büschi, Hans-Ulrich, ed. (3 March 1982). "Automobil Revue '82" (in German and French). 77. Berne, Switzerland: Hallwag, AG: 256. ISBN 3-444-06062-9. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Quattroruote: Tutte le Auto del Mondo 77/78 (in Italian). Milano: Editoriale Domus S.p.A. 1977. p. 146.
  6. ^ "All about the LNA-Visa-Axel family". Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  7. ^ Armstrong, Douglas (December 1976). "Sobriété in gay Paree". SA Motor. Cape Town, South Africa: Scott Publications: 19.
  8. ^ "Automobilia". Toutes les voitures françaises 1979 (salon [Paris, Oct] 1978). Paris: Histoire & collections. Nr. 84s: 15, 20. 2006.
  9. ^ Renaux, Jean-Jacques (2 June 1983). "Referendum des proprietaires: Citroën LNA" [Owner survey]. Le Moniteur de l'Automobile (in French). Brussels, Belgium: Editions Auto-Magazine. 33 (770): 136.
  10. ^ Renaux, p. 137
  11. ^ Bellu, René (2008). "Toutes les voitures françaises 1981 (salon [Oct] 1980)". Automobilia. Paris: Histoire & collections. 90: 13.
  12. ^ Verhelle, Tony (16 September 1982). "Het Jaar 1983 (5)" [The year 1983 (5)]. De AutoGids (in Flemish). Brussels, Belgium: Uitgeverij Auto-Magazine. 3 (78): 80.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)