Originally produced to be the "Condor," the Chevrolet Citation and its brothers in the X-body vehicle line such as Buick Skylark, Oldsmobile Omega and Pontiac Phoenix were the first compact front wheel drive vehicles offered by General Motors. It ran in the market from 1980 through 1985 model years. In response to consumer demands for smaller cars, General Motors switched from V8 engines to smaller, more cost-effective V6 and 4-cylinder engines. GM cars with X-body concept come 800 lb (363 kg) lighter than similar vehicles before.
Planning for this vehicle line began in April 1974 and the first models were made in mid-summer of 1976. Finally, the Citation was released into production in April 1979. It was initially offered in a front-wheel drive chassis. At the start of 1979 model year, General Motors noticed that the Citation was geared up to race in the Sports Car Club of America SSB division. Hence, GM further prepared its X-11 version, a Citation model that was sometimes called the muscle car of its era. This Chevy race car is equipped with High Output 2.8 L V6 engine, the LH7, producing 140 horsepower and 145 ft lb of torque and a special Z19 suspension. The Citation became Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year for 1980 model year.
The X11 experienced success in racing ground, making the executives very glad that they come to a decision of producing the car in smaller size, as what the rules required. The racing X11 gained new decals, aluminum wheels and is outfitted with Camaro cowl induction hood to have room for cold air intake. Its engine became the basis in creating several drivetrains like L44, LB6, LB8 and even in the 3.4L DOHC engines.
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