News that Colin McRae, the world’s most successful rally driver, has signed to drive for Citroen in next year’s World Rally Championship, will encourage many motor sport fans to head straight for the Citroen stand at this year’s British International Motor Show to view the awesome Xsara WRC that he will be driving.
Fresh from its recent victory at the Deutschland Rally, which has come as the Citroen Sport team continues to gain experience prior to its first full entry in the 2003 Championship, the 300bhp Xsara WRC will be on public display in the UK for the very first time at the Birmingham NEC.
Citroen Sport has gained valuable testing and race hours during each event in 2002, providing the team with lessons in different set-ups such as asphalt in Monte Carlo, snow in Sweden, tarmac in Spain, loose in Greece, loose, loose and more loose in the wilderness of the Safari rally, snow again in Finland and, finally, asphalt in Germany.
Now the team, which includes rising star Sebastien Loeb, will continue testing throughout the winter in readiness for the beginning of the 2003 Championship, when it aims to improve on the impressive four podium positions it gained in just seven events this year.
A spectacular sight for rally-goers, the Xsara WRC is equipped with a 1,998 cm3 turbocharged engine, which develops 300bhp at 5,500 rpm and is based on the Xsara 1.8i 16V powerplant, as well as four-wheel drive and a six-speed, semi-automatic gearbox.Published 4 October 2002