Shed Of The Week: Citroen Xsara VTS – PistonHeads

12 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Shed Of The Week: Citroen Xsara VTS – PistonHeads
Citroen Xsara


Dull to look at, anything but to drive

The 2001 facelift did little to improve matters aesthetically. Thing was though, that puddingy look bore little relationship to the range-topping VTS’s real talent. It’s pertinent to recall that Citroлn was running 280hp rally Xsaras as early as 1998.

In that fateful year of 2001 a French bloke called Sebastian Loeb came second in his world rally debut in the chair of a T4 Xsara. He went on to take a hat trick of WRC titles in the Xsara from ’04 to ’06, but here’s some impossibly nadgery onboard Xsara action from ’01 – essential viewing for anyone who thinks rally drivers and navigators don’t earn their money.

Admittedly it’s a biggish step from Loeb in a rally Xsara to Shed on the UK launch of the VTS, but there is a connection; both will put a smile on their driver’s face. ABS and EBD were both standard on the VTS, and Shed says there was a handy dash of passive rear-wheel steer built into the chassis as well. The ’01 facelift reputedly brought in some body stiffening, making this particular vintage of SOTW a wise choice.

GTI-6 engine but only five speeds here

The introduction of multiplex wiring remains a concern though. This was a great new advance as long as you didn’t use spider’s web-grade wiring. Unfortunately, Citroлn did, resulting in a fair few problems for unthinking owners who repeatedly and quite wantonly used the driver’s door for getting into the car.

Busted filaments caused havoc with the operation of windows and central locking.

The VTS’s special ingredient was of course its 169hp 2.0-litre engine. This engine is arguably some sort of high water mark for dirty, whizzy 205 GTi-style French motors. Spinning to a 7000rpm redline and developing peak power at 6500, the twin-cam made the 1,190kg Xsara Coupй good for a 137mph top speed and a 0-60mph time in the high sevens.

Citroen Xsara

A heavy-ish gearbox, dead-ish brakes and gravelly-ish steering make the VTS a lumpy-ish proposition in town. But get beyond the urban snarl and you’ll soon be wondering where this car has been all your life. Everything improves.

Although maximum torque isn’t reached until 5500rpm, those extra ccs give it useful midrange thrust and there’s strong traction too.

For Ј650, who cares if the seat’s worn?

We’ve praised Peugeot’s 306 GTi-6 here in the past, and rightly so, but the Xsara VTS is a brilliant and great value alternative, especially at this money.

MOT AND TAX TO THE END SEPT,I have used this car for the last 9 months in that time it has had New brake discs and pads front and rear, 4 new continental contact tyres, new battery, Engine service etc, It has a cone air filter the gives a great sound but the standard one is available, I was going to keep it as a toy but the wife says I need to start acting my age (50) so it has to go, It is not perfect it has a scruffy front bumper, the drivers seat is worn, but it drives very well and at this price it just covers the cost of the parts i have put on it. Ј650

Citroen Xsara
Citroen Xsara
Citroen Xsara
Citroen Xsara
Citroen Xsara
Citroen Xsara
Citroen Xsara
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