Throwback Thursday: The crazy French Citroen 2CV Sahara

ByWes WhitworthJune 4, 2020
Throwback Thursday: The crazy French Citroen 2CV Sahara

Now we don’t mean to offend the French here but for Unsealed 4X4‘s Throwback Thursday we have the Citroen 2CV Sahara, which was a four-wheel drive that took things entirely to the next level. Don’t get us wrong… there are some amazing things to come out of France, and this happens to be one of them.

The Citroen CV2 Sahara was built between 1960 and 1966, with a total run of just 694 vehicles. It featured a four-wheel drive system not seen in the world before and it was powered by the 425cc, 12 horsepower Citroen engine… but where it gets interesting is that there were two of them. Yep, you read that right… two of them.

Citroen 2cv 4x4 Sahara 1962 Web2

Instead of going down the standard route used by automakers the world-over in 4x4s, with an engine in the front, a gearbox sending power to a transfer case, then on to the front and rear diffs, Citroen did it a little differently. See, they wanted an exceptionally rugged vehicle that could tackle the vast, remote African plains, with a few built-in redundancies. So, instead of having just the one engine, putting power out via a transfer case, these little jiggers had an engine in the front powering the front wheels and an engine in the rear powering the rear wheels.

Top speed on the 2CV Sahara was just 35mph (56km/h). That’s with just the front engine running. If you were in a rush to traverse the dirt road home, you could crank up the rear-engine, engaging the four-wheel drive system, and could boot it up to a rather solid 60mph (nearly 100km/h). That’s out of two 425cc donks.

Citroen 2cv 4x4 Sahara 1962 Web3

If you’re a concerned with the off-road ability of the little Citroen 2CV Sahara, you need not be. This lightweaght machine is impressive off-road, and just like a Suzuki Sierra it weighs in at close to 1000kg; 1040kg, to be exact… and that includes both engines.

Anyway, enough of us telling you all about it… have a gander at the video below.