The Fallen Stars Citroën Xenia

  • 26 March 2022
  • 2 min read
  • 6 images
The Fallen Stars Citroën Xenia image

It wouldn’t be wrong to wonder whether Trevor Fiore had been thinking about the Reliant Scimitar when he created the Citroën Xenia back in 1981. The curious English sportscar had already introduced the concept of a functional Gran Turismo back in the 60s, offering all the thrills without sacrificing creature comforts. So, the large rear space that made it look like a shooting break was also used in the new Citroën project, not only for luggage but also for two real and very comfortable rear seats. 

1-Trevor-Fiore The Citroen Xenia (1981) by the designer Trevor Fiore, who also penned the little Karin. Two jewels that had no future

We are in those years when the Americans were increasingly intrigued and attracted by “compact” European and Japanese cars and playing the originality card could have been a wise move. And for sure, Citroën needed no introduction in this sense, as the car was without question decidedly original. At just over four metres long, the Xenia ticked all the right boxes: clean lines, an innovative shape, harmonious proportions, effective aerodynamics, seductive with its two enormous “gull wing” doors that made it easy to access the rear seats, it immediately aroused interest. 

2-English-Reliant-Scimitar The English Reliant Scimitar from the 60s had already anticipated the concept of functional sports cars: its role as a muse for the Xenia is a credible one

It was also highly innovative, using solar radiation sensors to regulate the air-conditioning system settings, an on-board computer which was unheard of at the time to calculate fuel consumption and show various parameters like average speed and remaining driving range and a sort of keyboard located behind the steering wheel to control the various functions on the car.

3-French-style-citroen-xenia-1024x667 The unmistakeably rational French style rear is very nice, which promised ample space even for a model with a sportier character

So, what happened? Nothing. Once again innovation scared people off and the car, which today is on display at the unmissable Conservatoire Citroën collection, remained a dream. The maquette, in 1:1 scale, was sold to a collector in 2017 for just over 7,000 Euros. What would the proud Trevor Fiore have made of that?

4-Reliant-Scimitar-1024x768 A little more than ten years earlier, the Reliant Scimitar proposed a sporty line for golf and leisure time

5-interior-citroen-xenia-1024x768 Innovation on the inside: four adult seats in addition to ample cargo space and the first advanced electronic applications including an on-board computer and function monitors

6-Xenia-1024x683 The non-running style model of the Xenia in the warehouse of the Citroën Conservatoire ready for auction where it was sold to a collector. The original running model is still with Citroën