Maybe something that has to be cleared out about the Visa GTI. Citroën has built this version of the Visa purely for rally homologation reasons in the 1600 class. As such, there is a fundamental difference with the - more commercial - reason Peugeot had for the development of the 205 GTI 1600. By the way, the Visa GTI was quite succesful in rallies.
The Visa GTI is a fantastic car to drive and certainly a collectable, but indeed it does not make any compromise. It's a small car with a big engine, where everything has been pressed to the limit. They even had to take the front sub-chassis from the BX to be able to get the engine in, and they had to enlarge the front wings because otherwise the wheels would not be covered.
The reason that Citroën has decided to develop the Visa GTI is a consequence of the fact that market research learned that a Visa diesel would be appropriate. The modifications made to the body of a normal Visa for a diesel engine are similar to the modifications made for the GTI.
The built quality, however, is quite good for a car built for this purpose. In fact, many Visa GTI's were completely stripped and tuned to rally cars.
I'm the owner of 25 classic cars, of which a few small hot hatches from the 80's. A Renault 5 GT Turbo, a Volkswagen Polo G40, a Peugeot 205 Turbo 16, a Visa GTI 115 and a Ford Fiesta XR2i. It's interesting how the Citroën is always attacked for his built quality. The be honest, the built quality of these other cars is in no ways better than that of the Citroën. Moreover, the Citroën proves to have the most reliable engine, while the Polo has without any doubt the most unreliable one.
Please, if you don't understand the car, nor the reason why it was developed, stay of it and leave it for oldtimer enthousiasts. A Visa GTI is a car with a history, and since there aren't to much of them, they should be collected and treated with respect.
I think if you ever owned one of these cars then it probably left its mark on you, I remember mine as being one of the most fun and remarkable vehicles I have ever owned. Covered in dents, rusty, nightmare electrics, but still I loved it. Never quite felt like that about my later 205's, Pininfarina or not.
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