Thursday, January 20, 2011

1992 V6, 24 Valve, Citroen XM - In The US

My appreciation (or love) of the Citroen XM is too well known, I guess. Over half of the e-mails I received in the past two days have been about this car.

And what a car it is...

This XM is in the US and it's not one of the few that CX Automotive imported back in the early 1990s. This is a privately imported, 5 speed manual, 3 liter, 24 valve, V6 XM.

Quoting the seller: "As the top model, the v6 24v was fully equipped for the sportif luxury driver – 5 speed manual transmission only (series 1), leather interior with genuine rosewood accents, AC auto climate control, power windows w/ driver’s one touch up/down, power sunroof, power front seats, heated front seats, an electrically adjustable center console, rear hatchback with 13th window (for protecting rear passengers from the elements!), remote central locking, driver status display, adjustable aim headlights, foglights…and most significantly Citroen’s superlative hydraupneumatic self-centering steering (Diravi), brakes (discs all around), and suspension."

The XM got a bit of a bad rap when it was introduced, some of which was deserved. Launched in 1989, the XM had some early electrical problems. Faulty connectors affected just about everything in the car. Bad grounding caused problems with the hydropneumatic suspension. The design of the headlights made them inefficient by modern standards, a problem Citroen was never able to cure 100%.

The worst rap came from Citroen fanatics, who decided that because the XM shared some parts (including the floorpan) with the Peugeot 605, it wasn't a real Citroen. I don't buy into that argument. By the time this car was introduced, sharing parts between brands (sometimes unrelated brands) was commonplace and necessary in order for automakers to survive. This car, even with 605 parts, is all Citroen.

It's the looks of this car that really pulls me in. It's a wedge sedan with a hatchback and a ton of glass. There was nothing that even looked remotely like it back in 1989. There's nothing that looks like it now. Bertone did an amazing job with this car.

The car being offered on eBay is owned by a Citroen XM fan. It has has a valid Oregon title and has been very well maintained. The listing contains a lot of details, pictures and even a few words of caution. He's including repair manuals and a CDR of all the info he's gathered in his years of owning an XM.

Located in West Linn, OR, click here to see the eBay listing.

A big thanks to everyone who sent me the link to this car!


pickles said...

That is car-nerd sex on wheels. So fantastic. So current, considering it's 19 years old!

Anonymous said...

I have a neighbor who is obviously crazy about French cars. He has 2 (yes, two!) Renault Alliance GTA cabriolets, a Peugeot 405 Mi16, and most importantly, a Citroen XM, just like this one.

I believe he works for Imported Car Center in Williston, Vermont.

Blair Russell said...

I am not sure how that car got registered in the US, but God bless the person who was able to pull it off! It's like how on Bring A Trailer there's that entry about someone who somehow got in several Audi RS4 Avants. Great men, you are.

Anyway, I figured that other people would send in tips about that car besides me, but I guess I should have also figured that there'd be a tidal wave of mentions.

Dave said...

I do like the idea of the XM.

Two things about this car give me pause. First, there's no evidence that it was imported legally (that's my question on the ebay ad). If it *was* legal, you'd see side reflectors and a speedometer in miles per hour.

That opens you up to a huge liability issue if you ever get in an accident.

Note that a legal importation should be totally possible, as the XM was type-approved by CXAuto in the early nineties. You just need to go through the process and the expense, which doesn't look like it was done in this case.

The second thing is that Citroen had some major issues with premature failure of the 24 valve V6.


Anonymous said...

As Clarkson said, " When I'm in a Citroen, I expect to feel like I'm in a Salvador Dali painting."


hansjorg said...

Fantastic car. It is correctly registered in OR and I bet there is insurance on the car too.
So, what's the problem with "legal"
importation and "huge" liability issues. You can go "pedal to the metal" in Europe with these cars, but they are unsafe in this glorious country? Because of what?
Bad headlights, warning buzzers for key and seatbelt, DOT approved glass? Makes me laugh.The seller gave a good explanation to one question in this ebay ad. If anybody is afraid of the car, just don't bid.
BTW, I was the original owner in the USA of the Alfa 33 you featured in your 10 best cars of 2010. Thank you.

Dave said...


I completely agree with you about the silliness of speedometers, warning buzzers and reflectors. My comments about liability have nothing to do with the car itself.

It's more that if anything ever happened -- say you hit a child that ran out into the street in front of you -- a lawyer would have a field day with a car that "wasn't up to US standards" if you couldn't show that it had been imported correctly.

Your insurance company might not cover you because your car wasn't street legal. Etc.

And the fact that a state government titled it is totally irrelevant. It's federal law.

alfaguy said...

I think the comments regarding the liability of buying and owning this car if it was not imported properly are being misunderstood here.

The issue(s) are if the DOT and/or EPA finds out that the car is in the country illegally I believe that they have the right to confiscate the car and possibly crush it if it does not comply with the US regulations.

Still cool though, and it really makes one wonder how this stuff gets into the country?

Just A Car Geek said...

Jeff (Alfa Guy) is 100% correct.

enmotors said...

The XM was imported into the USA by CXA. CXA most likely had enough paperwork to have DMV’s across the county to clear most DOT regs to have some other XMs imported, if they cleared customers. “Most” is clearly a vague term. Other “Grey Market” vehicles that were cleared such as the e36 posted a couple of days ago has to pass a basic DMV/DOT paperwork test. Vehicle with basic body type/engine sizes from other countries that were originally imported are easy to get in, I.E. e36, Citroen XM, Beetle. Other cars like the Porsche 959, diesel Land Cruiers, post 1986 Citroen CV2, Mini, ARO are virtually impossible.
I’m an insurance claims adjuster for a large auto insurance company. This is some of the language in the policy’s that would denial any and all coverage including liability from our policies if a vehicle was brought in and did not clear the DOT, regardless of what the state that titled the vehicle.

2. Motor vehicle means a land motor vehicle or a trailer but does not mean a vehicle:
b. Incapable of being licensed for use on the public roads.

(f) your insured car is:
(1) so mechanically defective that its operation might endanger public safety;
(6) subject to an inspection law and has not been inspected or, if inspected, failed to qualify.

The language in the policy is open for interpretation. Our company spends millions having attorneys on staff and would make it almost impossible for the average vehicle owner to try to fight this policy provisions. If something legally happens in a questionable vehicle, it would most likely fall on the vehicle owner. The easiest answer would be to make sure any vehicle meets DOT specs and has clear language from a collector car insurance policy.

Matheus Marques said...

Citro├źn XM Turbo CT top, in Brazil!