A Citroën BX 4TC Evolution, a car roundly considered Group B’s most spectacular failure, defied expectations at the Artcurial auction on Nov. 4, 2021, selling for an astounding 417,200 € ($485,287 US). The Jean-Claude Andruet car from the collection Michel Hommell was estimated to sell for between 250,000 – 350,000 €. We wrote about it in the auction announcement on Oct. 16, 2021 but it bares repeating here.
When the four-wheel drive BX project got off the ground, Guy Verrier contacted Jean-Claude Andruet and he was happy to get involved with the project. At that time Guy Verrier was in charge of the competition department at Citroën, with a mission to develop a competitive Group B car. Not an easy task with the sales department at Citroën requiring the car to remain close to the standard model. This left the engineers little room to design the architecture of the engine, restricted to a longitudinal front-engined set-up for example. As the original BX had a transverse engine, this required the installation of cooling radiators at the back.
Built from the BX saloon with a body constructed by Heuliez, the 4TC had a 380 bhp 4-cylinder turbocharged engine and transmission using elements of the Peugeot 505 Turbo Production car. The gearbox came from the Citroën SM. Unfortunately, the Citroën team lacked the time and resources to perfect the car’s development, despite the goodwill of engineers, mechanics and the drivers Jean-Claude Andruet and Philippe Wambergue. At the start of the season Andruet declared, “When we know how to fully exploit the handling of this car, it will be formidable.”
The BX 4TC was short on opportunities and only took part in three rounds of the World Championship : the Monte Carlo Rally, Rally Sweden and the Acropolis Rally. Twenty Evolution examples were prepared by the Competition department to be used for racing, along with 200 cars known as the ” Series 200 “, produced for homologation. These were intended for sale but a large number remained unsold.
For Jean-Claude Andruet, this would be his last season in the World Rally Championship. Following his world title in 1972 in an Alpine A110, he tried his hand with Italian marques, competing in a Lancia Stratos, Fiat 131 Abarth, Ferrari 308 GTB, Lancia 037, in addition to several outings in a BMW. At Citroën, he teamed up with the talented Philippe Wambergue, who enjoyed several seasons with Citroën and Peugeot, and was French rallycross Champion in 1989 driving a Peugeot 205 Turbo 16.
Today, the BX 4TC Evolution, developed by Citroën as an outright competition car, remains a testimony to an era of great freedom in engineering that gave rise to a range of very different models : alongside the mid-engined Peugeot 205 T16, the normally aspirated V6 mid-engined Metro 6R4 and the front-engined Audi Quattro, the 4TC brought its hydropneumatic suspension that, on a well-developed base, could have been a huge hit.
The BX 4TC Evolution presented here was obtained directly in period by Michel Hommell and Olivier Quesnel. This is why it remains in an astonishing state of preservation, untouched since its last rally. Considering that it is one of just 6 or 7 examples still in existence, this offers one of the last opportunities for collectors to acquire this factory Group B model developed by Citroën.
Granted this was a very special and unique BX, but even with its racing provenance it wasn’t a rally winner. Citroën was so ashamed of its rally record that it bought back and destroyed as many examples of the road-legal homologation specials as it could. Thanks to its scarcity and the inherent desirability of anything and everything associated with Group B this BX 4TC has become one of the most expensive Citroëns ever sold at auction!
It remains to be seen if this will boost the prices of the few surviving regular BX models that come up for sale occasionally, but we suspect it will.
Looking at 25 regular BX that have sold in the market over past 6 years, the majority traded hands below 5,000 € and only one seems to have made it above 15,000 €.
Given how low regular production BX’s have been selling for, and the record value for this BX 4TC, we can’t help but think that any BX in relatively decent condition should be at least doubling in value effective immediately.