2003 Citroën Xsara WRC
Early 00s Rally Icon.
People tend to remember the Xsara fondly - and rightly so. Both successful and - in my own opinion - beautiful, the Gallic coupe would launch an era of successful Citroën WRC competitors.
The Xsara was powered by the PSA Group’s ‘XU7JP4’ turbocharged inline four, and produced a regulation-mandated 310bhp and 420 lb-ft of torque. This power was sent to all four wheels via a paddle-operated Xtrac 6-speed sequential. With an aluminium block, Garrett TR30R turbocharger and 4 valves per cylinder, the Xsara was a phenomenally effective package, going toe to toe with Subaru, Peugeot and Hyundai’s finest.
Rally cars are only this shiny for about 30 seconds.
A unitary steel chassis bore the brunt of the championship’s punishing terrain, while McPherson strut suspension, lower wishbones, gas dampers and adjustable anti-roll bars soaked up the bumps. Colin McRae, Carlos Sainz and Sebastian Loeb drove the Xsara to within an inch of its life on the way to some seriously impressive results.
Quite possibly the greatest driver lineup of the century.
Finding victory in Monaco, Turkey, Germany, and Italy, the Total Citroën team performed admirably, rounding out the season with a well-earned 1st place in the Manufacturer’s Championship, 15 points clear of nearest rivals, Peugeot. Sadly, for Citroën fans, Loeb finished 2nd in the Driver’s Championship to Subaru’s Petter Solberg by a single point. Loeb fans wouldn’t have much to be sad about, though, if one considers the coming decade of dominance.
You know it means business when the driver and co-driver's blood types are printed on the car...
I'll be covering more and more offroad machinery on the page. Stay tuned!