1984 Chevrolet Citation IV Concept
Drivability Conversion With Some Sacrifice
Citation IV was longer, lower and wider than Citation II. Specifically, it was 6.4 inches longer, 0.4 inch wider, 6.4 inches lower.
Despite the concept’s relatively enormous aerodynamic capability over the 1984 Citation II (which had a 0.432 Cd), it would be measured by many against the 0.14 Cd-achieving Aero 2002.
So, just how aerodynamic is Citation IV?
In full-blown, drivable guise (including outside mirrors, windshield wipers, etc.), the Citation IV achieves a 0.265 Cd.
That’s very respectable, although, nearly twice the drag than the Aero 2002 produced. However, Citation IV had a trick up its sleeve. It could be driven in a “modified” street trim which netted a 0.185 Cd. It made use of “inside peripheral mirrors,” hidden wipers, and a full, smooth underbody. Still drivable, but with some substantial modifications, it came very close to the record 0.14 Cd.
Despite losing some of its ability to slip through the air, it wasn’t all negative news. Citation IV not only had its own powertrain, but it also had a livable interior.
High Tech Habitation
The Citation IV has no exterior door handles or key openings. Entering requires use of the four-digit, heat-sensitive proximity buttons located high up on the pillar behind both doors.
Once access is granted, the doors open up wide enough to offer easy access to the rear seating. Soon-to-be occupants are greeted by an explosion of vibrant colors which was not uncommon for the early 1980s.
The bucket seats are made of “thin-mold urethane” which was required to maximize the interior space, however, oddly, the seats were not designed to recline.
The driver is faced with a digital read out. Incredibly simplistic by today’s standards but, in 1984, digital numbers and bar graphs were a glimps into the future, for many.
What was seemingly well ahead of its time was the heads-up display that showed the vehicle’s speed on the windshield in a manner similar to what fighter pilots were using. The “phantom-like digits” were described at the time by one popular automotive magazine as “conveying a velocity reading as if by magic.”
The rest of the interior was fairly standard issue with a Delco AM/FM radio and power equipment switchgear from GM’s parts bin. The Cavalier was harvested again, this time for some interior parts, such as the shift lever and steering wheel. The steering column-mounted switches were borrowed from the Camaro Berlinetta.
Although the rear quarters were said to be quite cramped on head room, the Citation IV’s shape paid off in reducing interior noise due to wind. Since most people at the time were accustomed to wind whistling around windows and doors, it’s no wonder those that drove it always remarked on its tomb-like quietness at highway speeds.
Before I end this post on the Citation IV, I’d like to share one more picture. Maybe what could be the most treasured by those that worked on the vehicle.
In this last picture, below, take careful notice of who is driving.
Yeah. It’s who you think it is. President Ronald Reagan.