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Citroën Mehari for the terrain. The 4×4.

High slope
ER Classics Desktop 2022

In the spring of 1979, as the popular Citroën Mehari has been around for eleven years, the French have come up with a surprising addition to the modest equipment program. Citroën the Citroën Mehari 4×4 to be announced. The quat quat is available from October 1979, and will be built until 1984.

Many technical adjustments

The French car manufacturer adapts the Méhari in many areas and launches a car that is really suitable for off-road use from that moment on. The main changes are of course technical and impressive. The drivetrain is thus different. The engine is the well-known two-cylinder 602 cc engine. However, transmission and drivetrain are new in the Méhari 4×4, although the technology of the all-wheel drive 2CV Sahara was an inspiration during the development of the Méhari quat quat forms. The transmission offers the rider the choice of two- or four-wheel drive.


Technical adjustments

Citroën installs a low-range gearbox and a claw clutch from the drive shaft to the rear wheels. In addition, the French install a reinforced swingarm with a fully lockable differential. In specific cases, this means that the driving forces can be distributed as evenly as possible over the wheels. Because two rear-wheel drive wheels are now also placed under the lightweight all-terrain vehicle, a cardan shaft is mounted that forces the French to adjust and strengthen the platform. Furthermore, the 4×4 is of course equipped with a reduction gearbox, so that it is possible to drive with both high and low gearing. The technical adjustments enable the Citroën Mehari 4×4 able to reach a 60 degree lean angle.

Even more protection

Because Citroën When constructing the Méhari 4×4 for use in rougher conditions, other aspects are also taken into account. The suspension has extra protection at the pots. Also assembles Citroën stronger wheel hubs with splash guards. Furthermore, the four-wheel drive lightweight Frenchman has a ground clearance of 24 centimeters. That forces Citroën to the installation of a modified front bridge. Furthermore, the bottom is provided with protective parts, which should prevent damage due to the terrain conditions (moisture, stones, dirt). Things like drive shafts are also provided with extra protection. In addition, the Citroën Mehari 4×4 disc brakes all round.

Meter operating hours

The infotainment in the Méhari is more extensive than in the front-wheel drive Méhari variant. The 'quat quat' has a more serious set of instruments than its simpler sister. For example, there are various lights that remind the driver that he is driving a four-wheel drive car. A tachometer is present in the clock shop, which is housed in a still nihilistic dashboard. An operating hour meter for the number of hours that four driven wheels are driven is present. These and other things – such as a 12V socket – make it necessary that the electrical system in the Citroën is being adapted.

Tube bumpers with special purpose

As mentioned, the Méhari remains clearly recognizable from the outside, but there are differences with the original version. The gas tank will be relocated, so that the fuel filler neck will be on the right-hand side. The four-wheel drive Frenchman gets tubular bumpers, on which the vehicle can be lifted if the circumstances warrant it. Furthermore, the height-adjustable headlights are protected with a mesh construction. Optionally, it is possible to have the spare wheel recessed visibly in the bonnet. Jaune Atacama (yellow) is by far the most popular color, followed by Vert Montana (green). The beige and orange are hardly used in combination with the Citroën Mehari 4×4 ordered.

Good reputation, few buyers

De Citroën Mehari 4×4 proves in practice that it can hold its own. In 1979 it is, among other things, the car of the medical staff in the Paris-Dakar rally. In the same year, eight cars participate in the Rallye Oasis. Despite the good reputation: the demand for the four-wheel drive Citroën never really gets going. Until 1984, only 1213 Citroën Mehari 4×4 copies produced. Especially the high asking price in combination with the lightweight fun car image plays tricks on the 'quat quat'.

5 Comments

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  1. In the eighties I had family living near Toulhouse, there you saw legionnaires of the Foreign Legion regularly driving around in these soap boxes, it was a laugh, for me it had a high Mickey Mouse content.

  2. This Quat Quat certainly had a different engine, the 652cc from the then new Visa. Extremely unaffordable today, but not as extremely pricey as the 2CV Sahara.

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