In a très bien demonstration of French stubbornness, Citroën decided to go rallying in the Eighties and did things completely the opposite way of its sister brand Peugeot which was winning everywhere with the mid-engined 205 T16.
Why make things simple when you can make them nice and French, right? So Citroën got to making its rally car and even though the Group B regulations went into place in 1982, the BX 4TC was only ready for the 1986 season. Just in time for the Henri Toivonen fatality in Corsica to spell the end of the era…
Citroën started on a back foot, resolute in doing a front-engined all-wheel drive instead of a mid-engined car like the Peugeot T16. And it’s not like Citroën was being pedantic in terms of engineering tradition or anything — the company’s BX chosen to go rallying had to have its entire front end redesigned to fit a non-Citroën engine anyway. In fact, the 2.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder was a Peugeot unit out of a Talbot or Simca-Chrysler from back when Detroit was still fiddling about in Europe.
The front-heavy car wasn’t competitive and came in too late to run just three rallies during the final Group B season in 1986, and it failed to finish two of them.
The BX 4TC collected a point with a sixth place in the Swedish rally and that was its only claim to almost-fame. As per the rules, Citroën built 200 road-going homologation cars, which are eccentrically cool and extremely rare since only around 40 are believed to remain.