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Chevrolet Citation

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Citation
Vehicle Model

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Wikipedia: Chevrolet Citation

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Multimedia
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1982 Specifications
Merchandise
A compact car produced by Chevrolet from 1980-1985.

Magazine & newsletter covers include: GTR Newsletter, December 2015 (Monogram scale model in tan pearl)

A white Chevrolet Citation appears on the cover for The Gospel Mariners ablum "Sing the New."

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Chevrolet Citation page on 29 June 2017, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Chevrolet Citation is a compact car marketed by Chevrolet for model years 1980–1985 in two-door coupe, three-door hatchback, and five-door hatchback bodystyles. Introduced in April 1979 for model year 1980, the Citation superseded the Chevrolet Nova.

The Citation was significantly downsized compared to the Nova it was replacing. As a variant of the GM X platform, the Citation was adapted for front-wheel drive and was manufactured with badge engineered variants including the Buick Skylark, Oldsmobile Omega, and Pontiac Phoenix.

After its discontinuation in 1985, the Citation was replaced by the Chevrolet Beretta coupe and Chevrolet Corsica sedan/hatchback, introduced in 1987. 1,642,587 Citations were manufactured during its production run.

To better compete in the compact segment following the 1973 fuel crisis, General Motors commenced work in April 1974 on replacing its X-body compact lines, following slow sales of full-size domestically-produced vehicles in favor of smaller import cars. Sales of the latter spiked following the Arab oil embargo of 1973 and its resulting gasoline shortages. While the Chevrolet Monza proved relatively successful, it was outdated and inefficient compared to front-wheel drive compacts such as the Honda Accord and the Volkswagen Rabbit; based on its success, the layout of the latter would be copied nearly outright by Chrysler upon the introduction of the Dodge Omni/Plymouth Horizon for the 1978 model year.

While GM had been producing front-wheel drive cars for nearly a decade, the Cadillac Eldorado and Oldsmobile Toronado were neither fuel-efficient nor compact. In the mid-summer of 1976, the company produced its first prototypes of the cars intended to replace the X-Body; the Chevrolet Nova replacement was intended to be called the "Condor". Intended for a 1978 model release (alongside the downsizing of the mid-size car line), the X-body was delayed until the 1980 model year due to parts supply issues; GM parts suppliers were trying to adjust to the large-scale production of a front-wheel drive car. During the delay, the Chevrolet Condor name was changed to Chevrolet Citation.

In its introduction of its first front-wheel drive car, the 1980 Citation transformed the exterior footprint of the compact car in nearly the same manner as Chevrolet had downsized its full-size sedans in 1977. In comparison to the 1979 Chevrolet Nova, the 1980 Chevrolet Citation was 800 pounds lighter and 20 inches shorter (the Citation is only an inch longer than a Chevrolet Vega). Sharing its 105-inch wheelbase with the mid-size Chevrolet Celebrity, the interior packaging of the Citation allowed for comparable interior dimensions of the outgoing Nova.

Selling over 810,000 vehicles in its first year, the Citation was one of the most successful product launches in General Motors history; it was the best-selling car in the United States in 1980. During its production, the sales saw a massive decline, for two reasons. Alongside a reputation of poor build quality, poor mechanical reliability, and numerous manufacturer recalls, the Citation had competition from the similarly packaged 1981 Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant (the Chrysler K-Cars), which offered a more conventional sedan bodystyle. The introduction of the front-wheel drive Chevrolet Cavalier and Chevrolet Celebrity led to internal competition within the Chevrolet division.

The X-body cars (of which the Citation was one model) were the target of an unsuccessful lawsuit by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which cited a tendency for the vehicles to lose control under heavy braking, and power steering problems.


Multimedia

NHTSA NCAP Enforcement Indicant Testing: 1980 Chevrolet Citation Hatchback
Duration: 6:39
Download video of NHTSA NCAP Enforcement Indicant Testing: 1980 Chevrolet Citation Hatchback - 474MB


Documents

DateDocument Name & DetailsDocuments
6 June 1979New Car Assessment and Standards Enforcement Indicant Testing
FMVSS Nos. 212, 219 and 301-75
1980 Chevrolet Citation 5-Door Hatchback
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 4.0MB - 108 pages
7 June 1979New Car Assessment and Standards Enforcement Indicant Testing
FMVSS Nos. 212, 219 and 301-75
1980 Chevrolet Citation 5-Door Hatchback
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 3.8MB - 103 pages
12 June 1979New Car Assessment and Standards Enforcement Indicant Testing
FMVSS Nos. 212, 219 and 301-75
1980 Chevrolet Citation 5-Door Hatchback
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 4.1MB - 113 pages
April 1982Weight and Consumer Prices of Components of the 1980 General Motors Chevrolet Citation and the 1981 Chrysler Plymouth Reliant
Volume: II
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 14.3MB - 285 pages


1982 Specifications

ModelX11
0-60 mph*9.9 seconds
80-0 mph*279 feet
Cornering Capability*0.826g
Interior Noise @ 70mph*74 dBA
Fuel Economy*19.5 mpg
*=Test conducted by Road & Track, October 1982 issue

Merchandise

Type & Item #NameDetails
Model Kit - Monogram 2278Citation Turbo X1:24 scale


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