1 Jun 1998
By CHRIS HARRIS
After more than 860,000 sales of the first Xantia worldwide, Citroen wrought big changes to strength, refinement, safety and security for the Series II facelift.
A pointier, more aggressive nose, redesigned bumpers, clear lens tail-lights, new wheels and a revised dashboard were the giveaways.
The SX nomenclature returned while Exclusive and Exclusive Ergo replaced the VSX variants.
First off the boat was the Xantia Activa Turbo CT, which coupled the sporty manual-only 108kW turbo petrol powerplant with an active suspension system that used computer power to “firm up” the anti-roll bars during cornering via simple hydraulic rams to uncannily eliminate body roll. But despite good reviews few were sold, so it vanished during ’99.
Meanwhile, only the initial batch of the base SX automatic Xantias featured the old 89kW 2.0 engine. From July ’98 the 97kW 2.0 twin cam arrived, mated to a new driver-adaptive four-speed automatic. A similar-style transmission was also paired with a 140kW/267Nm 3.0-litre V6 engine from August ’98 to create the Xantia V6 and V6 Ergo flagship.
At the same time Citroen celebrated 75 years in Australia with the Anniversary Limited Edition, which added a sunroof, fog lights, steering wheel audio controls and cruise control. Dual airbags became standard in early ’99.
Keen pricing kept Xantia sales steady until the all-new C5 replaced it from July 2001.