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Tested 18.9.91

We had enjoyed the flyweight Citroen AX GT’s perky performance, and although the heavier and more grown-up GTi was no quicker, it handled a treat.

Fuel injection and a higher compression ratio helped raise power by 15bhp over the carbfed GT model, and torque rose by 5lb ft, but a newly sturdier construction meant the GTi was 15% heavier, at 820kg, and actually lost out on both in-gear pace and fuel economy. Where the GT was free-spinning, the GTi was coarse, preferring to dwell between 3500rpm and 5500rpm. Thankfully, gear ratios had been chosen accordingly, and driveline shunt was reduced, too.

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With reworked front wishbones and stiffer springs and dampers, the AX GTi handled much like its Peugeot 205 GTi cousin, yielding throttle adjustability and lift-off oversteer. The urban ride was now lumpier, but damping was exemplary on B-roads. Brakes were strong and fade-free

The new cabin (from the ZX) was a massive upgrade, albeit only to class standards, and the same went for upholstery quality and cabin refinement. The interior still took four adults in decent comfort for short hops.

For: Improved cabin and build, fun handling, fine brakes, price

Against: Indifferent economy, reduced flexibility, still noisy

What happened next…

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