Citroen GS Birotor
In the patchy history of the Wankel engine – one car has been curiously lost to memory. We reckon that the Citroen GS Birotor deserves to be remembered for more than an aberration.
Launched in 1973 it featured a 107 PS (79 kW) Wankel birotor engine produced in collaboration with the horribly named NU corporation. The smooth power delivery of a twin-rotor Wankel complemented the legendarily luxurious ride quality of the hydropneumatic suspension of the rump GS. The car came with all round discs as well as a super smooth three-speed semi-automatic transmission. There was a more luxurious interior and flared fenders to set the Birotor apart from its lesser siblings, too.
There were two words that could sum up the feel of the Birotor: silky and expensive. According to all sources, the birotor drank fuel like it was going out of fashion – and in 1973, at the time of the OPEC oil crisis – it certainly WAS going out of fashion.
As a result, the other variants of the GS sold much more units, and the Birotor disappeared as quickly as it arrived, with less than 900 cars ever sold.
Wincingly, Citroen tried to disown the car entirely, and reportedly de-badged the cars that were on sale, scrapped the ones that weren’t and attempted to erase its memory like a particularly wayward child.
Funny how things come around. They are now, of course, supremely collectible.
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