After the successful Visa Trophy in Group 5 in 1981, Citroën launched the Visa International Trophy in 1982 in cooperation with Total and Michelin. A program that will combine with the entry into the brand new Group B International Rally. Citroën then entrusts to Heuliez the construction of 200 copies that will serve as homologation to the model: the Visa Trophy was born …
In March 1981, just two and a half years after its launch, Visa became Visa II with significant cosmetic changes. To accompany this commercial launch, it is to Guy Verrier, former rally driver who has become head of the Citroën Compétitions department, that the chevron brand entrusts the project to run a Visa in the 8 events of the French Rally Championship Season 1981. For this purpose, Citroën will explore several tracks that will give birth to various prototypes. But having failed to achieve a viable solution within reasonable time, it is ultimately on a conventional configuration that engineers will wear. In the preamble, the teams will design the model that will be used for the ‘Visa Trophy’, a promotional formula resulting from the partnership with Total that will allow ten young talents to fight to reward the two best. At the end of the season, the two best drivers will be rewarded with a Citroën Competition factory steering wheel to drive the Group 5 Visa Trophy with the ambition of participating in the short-term World Rally Championship. The operation launched in 1981 in France is so successful that in 1982 the ‘Visa International Trophy’ replaces it. In parallel, the brand new FIA Group B is set up and Citroën must produce at least 200 copies of its Visa to receive the homologation
1982 is a pivotal year in the history of international rallies. Indeed, the birth of Group B will lead to the discontinuation of Groups 4 and 5. To attract new entrants, the technical regulation is not binding but it requires to produce at least 200 copies of the model entered to be approved. Guy Verrier therefore asks Heuliez to produce the 200 copies of the new competition visa. The production starts in 1981 in Cerizay and on 1 February 1982, the Visa Trophy is homologated in Group B.
The first peculiarity of the regulation that will benefit Citroën is to allow the use of some modern materials (kevlar, plastic windows …) to design lighter cars. A minimum weight scale is still imposed according to the cubic capacity. This lightening challenge will become a Citroën specialty, which will be one of the first to use, in large series, body panels in composite or plastic as did Alpine or Matra. Thus, in addition to its specific body kit (fender flares and sills), the Visa Trophy has front and rear bumpers, a bonnet, a hatchback and doors made of fiberglass and polyester resin. The windows, outside laminated windshield, are made of plastic ‘Margard’, so that the arrival Visa Trophy displays a weight of only 695 kg on the scale!
To make the whole more desirable and make sure to sell the 200 copies produced, we take care to offer this ‘rally car for the road’ a deco that catches the eye. As we have the patriotic fiber, a double red and blue side strip comes to contrast the white paint, the only color proposed, and to cover the logos VISA (in blue) and TROPHY (in red) affixed on the rear wing. Finally, we note the presence of Amil rims in star with 5 branches already seen on the Peugeot 104 ZS 2.
Inside, the trophy is minimalist but still delivered with the steering wheel and seats of the classic Visa. We can therefore consider using it every day, even if it is not its primary purpose! For the race, Citroën Compétitions adds a sport steering wheel, bucket seats, a roll bar and a fire extinguisher.
The Group 5 Visa took over the mechanical base of the Visa Super X, a four-cylinder type XZ of 1.219 cm3 which then went from 64 hp to 115 hp with an increased capacity to 1284 cm3 and 2 carburetors Weber type 45 DCOE. But for the Trophy Visa, Citroën must rely on a more conventional and less expensive engine for homologation. The French engine manufacturers therefore leave the block of the Visa Super X without changing the engine capacity and the head with the cylinder head of the 104 ZS2 and two carburetors Weber double body.
Despite its modest displacement, the small 1.2L has a power of 100 hp, a top speed of 180 km / h and a kilometer stopped in 30.8 seconds. Very rare version of the famous Visa, this is ‘Trophy Group B’, produced in only 200 copies by Citroen between 1982 and 1983, necessary for the FIA-Group B homologation. Highly original example with factory paint.