The Chevrolet Citation was the replacement for the Nova and Monza in 1980. By the numbers, the car was about 800 lbs. lighter and had much better fuel economy, but it did have some teething problems with the rear drum brakes. For 1981, Chevrolet decided to make a performance model called the X-11.
The X-11 package included a high-output 2.8L V6 crowned with a feedback carburetor. Engineers installed a high-flow exhaust and other modifications like the cowl induction hood.
135 hp is nothing to brag about today. But, compared to a stock Camaro 305 with a four-barrel carburetor cranking out 155 to 170 hp, the Citation was a rocket because of its lightweight design. The Citation’s engine was mounted to a standard four-speed manual transmission.
GM offered several performance parts like improved springs and stiffer engine cradle bushings and clutch. The Citation X-11 even won two showroom stock championships.
By 1984, the X-11 was a solid performer that had the edge on vehicles like the Omni GLI and VW Rabbit. Despite its solid performance, the Citation’s poor sales forced GM to end the run of the Citation even before the Beretta was ready. Future classic? You bet!