The simplest version is called GSA Spécial, where 'Special' is the same as in 'special price' - the cheapest and simplest. The interior trim is all plastic and the seat covering made from sun-sensitive nylon non-woven material. Other cutbacks include: no odometer, and the fact that the rear-view mirrors can not be adjusted from the inside of the car. However, the suspension and engine size is the same as in other versions. In Sweden, Spécial wasn't available during the first years, but appeared first in 1982, equipped with a 4-speed gearbox. Later models were upgraded to the 5-speed gearbox, whose greatest asset is that it keeps the engine quiter at higher speeds (driving a 4-speed GSA at 110 km/h results in an engine r.p.m. of 4500!).
1984 GSA Spécial ("Helena")
The next step up is called GSA Club. In Sweden all GSA Clubs were estates (station wagons), or as the French say, 'break', but this is not true in general. In Finland, for instance, all GSA estates are Spécials. The interior is slightly more luxurious than in the Spécial, with cloth seat coverings and (partly) door panels, and the same inner roof material as in the Pallas.
1983 GSA Cottage, an example of a GSA estate. Photo by Ismo Näkki.
The normally most luxurious version is called GSA Pallas and has cloth covering and panels (even the inner roof is made of some sort of felt-clad material instead of vinyl), odometer, digital clock and cooler wheels. (Well, actually, the wheels are the same, but with plastic hub caps that are pressed on.) The gearbox is usually 5-speed, although 1980 models had a 4-speed gearbox.
1980 GSA Pallas ("Emmy")
There are also a few more 'sporty' versions - GSA X1 and GSA X3, although how one can call a car with a 65 BHP engine 'sporty' is beyond me. In principle, the X1 and X3 are upgraded Pallas versions, equipped with things like light-alloy wheels, extra headlamps built into the front bumper, and different chairs with build-in head rests (unfortunately, in my opinion, not as comfortable as the standard GSA chairs with their big soft head cushion). The engine is the same as in other versions however, although a different gearbox permits a slightly higher top speed. The X1 is slightly simpler equipped than the X3, although I think the exact differences varied depending on model year and also the country of sale.
(Probably) a GSA X1, which can be seen by the black window trim in combination with the black panel under the boot door and the little rear spoiler. Photo: Jan Lindblom.
In 1985 the GSA had mostly been superceeded by the BX, and the only version sold in Sweden was the Spécial. Abroad however, it was still possible to buy the GSA for another year.