1981 Chevrolet Citation

1981 Chevrolet Citation X-11
The 1981 Citation X-11 package created a
surprisingly capable performer.

The 1981 Chevrolet Citation, Chevy's version of the GM X-car, saw few changes after a phenomenally successful start in 1980. The most notable was the addition of GM's Computer Command Control (CCC) emission system, something that all the corporation's cars got that year.

There was, however, one 1981 Chevrolet Citation deletion: The two-door club coupe didn't sell particularly well, so Chevy dropped that body style. Remaining were the three-door and five-door hatchbacks.

Back for 1981 was the sporty X-11, but this year it gained some bite to back up the bark. Whereas it was initially little more than an appearance package, this year it added a high output (H.O.) version of the 2.8-liter V-6 with 135 horsepower (25 more than the base 2.8), along with a lower axle ratio for even better off-the-line acceleration.

Underneath, the X-11 boasted a stiffer suspension that aided handling with little sacrifice in ride comfort.

As with most Chevrolets, 1981's tougher emissions regulations prompted a slight drop in engine outputs -- the H.O. V-6 notwithstanding. The base "Iron Duke" 2.5-liter (151 cubic inches) four lost six horsepower to 84, while the 2.8-liter (173 cubic inches) V-6 went from 115 to 110.

1981 Chevrolet Citation X-11
Chevys's Citation X-11 packed additional
giddy-up and improved handling for 1981.

1981 Chevrolet Citation Facts

Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Citation
2,404-2,487
$6,270-$6,529
413,379

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