Talbot Samba replacement

PSA again dipped into the corporate parts-bin when devising the Samba replacement. The most suitable idea was a car based around the 1986 Citroen AX…

Citroen AX-based replacement

During 1983/84, PSA investigated the possibility of producing a replacement for the Samba, which was based upon the upcoming Citroen AX. The plans did not develop much beyond this stage, thanks to the huge success of the Peugeot 205, which convinced PSA management that there would be no need for a third PSA supermini line.

Thanks to Julian Marsh for the “Talbot AX” pictures.


  1. At the time it couldn’t be justified, though now Peugeot-Citroen sell multiple small hatchbacks (107,207,C1,C3,DS3) it may have been workable with Talbot-Citroen-Peugeot on different spec / price points.

    As an aside, the AX lived on (in more or less it’s original form) as the Proton Tiara.

  2. While the AX-based Samba-replacement and Arizona (Peugeot 309) could not be justified as Talbots sold alongside existing Peugeot and Citroen models in Europe, it is still a pity Chrysler was never involved with PSA after Chrysler Europe was bought by the latter so both models ended up being sold as Chryslers / Dodges outside of Europe.

  3. Would’ve been forward thinking, given the modern motoring industry practice of platform sharing eg. the 107/C1/Aygo were the same car.
    Also, the modern practice of motoring groups to have a budget-middle market-premium range, Talbot-Citroen-Peugeot could’ve been rejigged to match this and counter the Korean cars that were starting to enter the market.

  4. Is it known whether the AX-based Samba replacement was to still carry over the Samba name had it reached production or instead was to be sold under a different model name in the same way the Horizon replacement was to become the Arizona?

  5. Looking back at pre-PSA Chrysler Europe’s previous attempts at producing a Supermini via the Simca 936 and European Horizon-derived C2-short (indirectly related to the 1100/Alpine), it would have been fascinating to see a C2-Short equivalent derived from the North American Horizon (aka Chrysler L platform that would form the basis of the larger Chrysler K platform) had the latter been used in place of the real-life European Horizon.

    As for the AX-based Samba replacement, have to wonder whether it would have still carried over the Simca Poissy engines (as was the case with the 205/309 until the late-80s to early-90s).

  6. The Samba was a competent enough car and being Peugeot based meant it avoided the rattling engines used in other Talbots. I often wonder if it could have lived on as a budget car until the Citroen AX arrived as it was only 4 years old when it was axed.

  7. Thanks to LIGNES/auto #04 found out recently the AX-based replacement was preceded by a planned M24-based 3/5-door proposal, however financial problems at former Chrysler Europe after the PSA takeover and inability to wait for the 205 to reach production meant PSA quickly devised the Samba from the 104.

    There was also another styling proposal for the AX-based Talbot proposal that can be best described as a plainer more utilitarian looking composite of the 106 (with some mk3 Fiesta) at the front and Saxo (with some pre-facelift mk4 Starlet) at the rear despite predating both by about 10 and 15 years.

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