|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupé|
The Chevrolet Citation was a compact car sold by General Motors' Chevrolet brand from 1980 through 1985. The Citation (originally to be the "Condor") and its X-body siblings (the Buick Skylark, Oldsmobile Omega, and the Pontiac Phoenix), were the first compact front wheel drive vehicles sold by GM (the nameplates which once dominated the rear wheel drive X platform were used on the front wheel drive X-cars with the exception of Chevrolet - the Nova nameplate was officially retired). Realizing the consumer need for smaller cars, GM switched from V8 engines to smaller, more economical V6 and 4-cylinder engines. The X-body cars were 800 lb (363 kg) lighter than previous similar vehicles. The Citation was Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year for 1980. 1980 model sales were brisk, causing significant delays in delivery to customers; some had to wait nine months to receive their vehicle.
Planning for this family of vehicles started in April 1974. The first prototypes were created in mid-summer 1976, and the Citation was released in April 1979. The Citation's initial retail price was under US$6,000. Three body styles were available, a 2-door coupe, 3-door hatchback and a 5-door hatchback. The front wheel drive design and hatchback bodies were a radical departure for the U.S. industry, and GM was widely praised for the X-body's efficient packaging and smaller engines.
The X-body cars were the target of an unsuccessful lawsuit by NHTSA, describing a tendency to lose control under heavy braking. The X-body cars were, however, recalled many times and the Citation's reputation took a beating, resulting in decreasing sales every year. 1984 and 1985 models were known as the Citation II in a halfhearted attempt to convince consumers that the vehicle's problems had been overcome to the extent that the car deserved a new name. The introduction of Chrysler's similarly packaged, but more conventionally styled K-cars (the Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant) for 1981, along with GM's J platform also ate into sales of the Citation.
The 2-door coupe was regarded by many as awkward looking, and after slow sales was dropped for 1981. However, it was reintroduced for 1982.
In addition to the X platform, GM also created a new line of engines for the Citation and its sisters. The 2.8 L LE2 V6 was the first of the 60° family of engines still in use today. The X platform was used in 1982 as the basis for the new front wheel drive A-body cars. The X platform was also the basis for the L-body and N-body cars.
The 1980 Citation X-11 was little more than a striping package, but 1981 to 1985 models had legitimate performance upgrades, including stiffer suspension, 14" alloy wheels, P215/60 R14 Tires, working cowl induction hood from 81-84, and a high-output version of the V6 engine. 1985 model of the X-11 had a MPFI V6 engine with a faux cowl induction hood and the Rally Wheels became an option, plus the interior has red or blue piping around the seats and door interior.
Additional Sources for Citations:
X-11 History Page
Chevy Citation's Forever Club