The Citroën Visa was never a wildly popular choice in the UK or Ireland during its lifetime and with just over 40 Visas reportedly still registered in Britain, it’s now on the extinction list.
Rarer still (had it existed) would have been this, a putative Visa saloon – (possibly Photoshopped?). Citroën – (via Heuliez) – did explore a five-door ‘break’ or estate variant, which never went beyond a mock-up.
Creating a three volume body from a hatchback without appearing tacked-on is something of an art; one that proved beyond the capabilities of most rivals at the time, especially for a car as diminutive as the Visa. But this is a neatly proportioned conversion, looking as though it was designed from first principles. The Visa’s relatively long wheelbase helps, that and the fact the designer avoided a fashionably high boot line. The plunging tail treatment lends the little saloon an elegance perhaps lacking in its hatchback sibling.
Despite its troubled background, the Visa was an underrated car and probably deserved more sales success than it managed in these parts. This may have been in part because of its looks, which fell between several stools. Would a small saloon have served them better? Probably unlikely, but who knows? Either way, I rather like this.
[Author’s note: This article was amended, to reflect considerable uncertainty about the authenticity of the lead image of this article. Dec 30, 2015]