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SPOTTED FOR SALE: Citroen ZX 2.0 16Valve with a 6 speed manual gearbox upgrade
The Citroen ZX 2.0 16Valve 3 door hatchback was somewhat of a cult favourite among those of us who lived, breathed and dreamt cars in the 1990s. In those days the 152/167hp 2.0 16valve was one of the few European cars that had quite a good reputation against the numerous Honda Civic, Proton Wira (with a lot of Lancer Mods), GC8 Impreza and other cars from te Japanese brigade. Even the 1.9 and later 2.0 8 valve 5 door hatchbacks were also considered as the Euro to drive fast in.
The 16V models were different from the 5 door family hatchbacks. They had less doors and more horsepower (152 or 167 over 123hp). Those days anything multivalve was hyped and was a big deal to everyone. Something like when you put the word 'Turbo' on something.
They also had nicer styling with that unique upward kink to the left and right of the B-pillar. It also had slightly larger disc shaped wheels of a larger diameter (15inches instead of 14inch wheels and tyres). But as with all ZXs of the era, the suspension was trick. The rear had passive rear steer where the bushes of the torsion beam at the rear would load up and flex to a certain angle when you take a corner. Of course, this also meant that when time passed by, the bushes could wear out and cause really wonky handling instead of solid handling. But it usually lasts a while and worked great with a lot of my friends praising the handling of the ZX in those days.
The 3 door 16V was s fast car in those days and is still quite fast to this day. 0-100kmh was despatched in around 9 seconds and it had a max speed of 230kmh. And since it was European, it could actually handle well close to its maximum speed too, unlike the Japanese cars who usually tended to be floaty once past 200kmh. It may not be as fast to 100kmh but the engine was tuned for torque in the mid range instead of all out acceleration.
These days I feel that this car is forgotten. It shouldn't actually. It was a unique car sold in Malaysia. Those days there were not many companies that brought in hot hatchbacks. We had to depend on the grey imported Civics, Imprezas and other cars to get our kicks. All unofficial stuff. This Citroen was an official dealership car. Peugeot at the time did not bring in their 306GTI. And the original GTI, the Volkswagen Golf GTI was never on sale officially here at that time. There was the Fiat Coupe, but that was pricier. So the Citroen ZX 16valve filled in a gap for those who wanted something slightly more sophisticated than the usual stuff.
So today one can buy this piece of hot hatch history actually. The price asked is quite reasonable since it looks decent enough and it has the original disc shaped alloy wheels. I'd prefer an original car since it is more of a collector's car these days. Even if it were painted black as this can be refurbished to the correct silver easily. The interior as far as the condition of the seats are pretty good. Too bad there are no pictures of the dashboard. Knowing that it's French, there could be some plastic bits missing. Much like when you're biting on a croissant, pieces flake off here and there.
One unique thing about this car is that it has a 6 speed manual transmission instead of the original 5 speeder. This must have come from the sister car, the Peugeot 306GTI which was sold with such a transmission unit. This close ratio box should actually bring the 0-100kmh dash to around 8 seconds actually or even lower. So this is one mod that actually works a whole lot better than a loud exhaust or other stuff.