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MR_BOL'S EUROSHITE SCANS - New Jan 2018 - Renault 4 built by Alfa Romeo


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#151 OFFLINE   r.welfare

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 11:01 PM

Still very readable though, your translation efforts are well appreciated!

I'd love to know why the Italians had a legal requirement for white indicator lenses (but orange bulbs presumably) until 1976.
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#152 OFFLINE   garethj

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 06:09 AM

Because it looks cool, and that's the law.  Like smoking while riding a Vespa in the sunshine.


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The Porsche 928 is terrifying, yet oddly alluring. It's like spending the night with that Jo Frost Supernanny woman


#153 OFFLINE   richardthestag

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 07:22 PM

top job M. Bol


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#154 OFFLINE   worldofceri

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 07:57 PM

Been reading back through this lot. I see the text has gone to shit with loads of &&&&&&'s and whatnot everywhere. :mad: :mad: :mad:

 

Worth getting onto Dave Before 7.  I seem to remember he said there's a fix for this when it first started happening a couple of updates ago.


135264.png 326114.png 343001.png 648116.png<p>* 1972 VW Beetle 1200 * 2000 VW Golf 1.6 * 1988 Saab 900 turbo * 1999 Omega 2.5 V6 *

#155 ONLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 02:06 PM

Alright gang, as previously mentioned I am trying to learn some Spanish. In the interests of broadening your shite horizons while practising the lingo, here is a translation of a period (1984) back-to-back test from the Spanish version of ‘What Car’ comparing the Argenta TD with the Peugeot 505 GTD.

 

I found it at an interesting archive of Spanish car mags here:

 

http://www.pruebas.pieldetoro.net/web/pruebas/ver.php?ID=2540

 

Sadly they are not scans so we can’t see the original pictures, so I have robbed the library pics used on the web version of the article.

 

These Spanish car mags seem to be frankly shit TBH. All the articles I have read so far seem to be really superficial and half-arsed and this one is no exception. In the 1980s Autocar were still measuring brake retardation, boot dimensions, and all sorts of stats (even recording weather conditions during the test!!) to give a proper serious objective evaluation of a car when they did a road test, but these seem like they were phoned in from a bar by someone who didn’t even open the bonnet. Still, even seeing how shit they are is interesting in itself I find and you do get cars coming up that we never read about in the UK. Also its interesting to see what a big deal is made of the fact that the Peugeot is Spanish-built (never knew that). Check it:

 

Fiat Argenta TD vs. Peugeot 505 GTD Turbodiesel

 

ArgentaVS505-1.jpg

 

The Fiat Argenta TD, an imported car, and the Peugeot 505 GTD Turbo, a car built in our country, both have an attraction of maximum interest to potential buyers: They are the cheapest Turbodiesels on the Spanish market. Although both slightly exceed the 2m Peseta threshold, theyre almost 300,000Ptas cheaper than their nearest competitor.

 

The two cars are quick, manage to achieve a decent fuel economy and have similar image to their top-of-the-range cousins; both struggle nevertheless in terms of noise and smoke; something that few diesel engines escape. When a 505 or Argenta TD sit beside you at a traffic light, you’ll notice its presence with the slightly inelegant ‘castanet’ signature tune; equally inelegant are the black fumes coming from the exhaust pipe during cold starts or strong acceleration.

 

The most remarkable aspect of these two cars is, without any doubt, the ease of driving. At the wheel of the 505 or the Argenta theres a very agreeable feeling; that of driving a car with a petrol engine, certainly in terms of acceleration and top speed and, above all, their usability is comparable to any quick family saloon. Overtaking can be done in the blink of an eye and without the need to finely calibrate your manoeuvre down to the last millimetre.

 

The balance between the two cars comes undone on two points; roadholding and economy. The 505 handles better than the Argenta, while the Italian, with its slightly higher output, drinks slightly less fuel than its rival. Drivers who expect to cover a a lot of kms each year in a car of this size need to consider these two models.

 

IN terms of both fuel economy and price, Argenta and 505 are models to consider when making that careful choice.

Fiat Argenta: Miracle of Make-up

 

ArgentaVS505-2.jpg

 

The fashion in engines has a name: Turbodiesel, and no-one can escape its influence. The Fiat Argenta, summit model in the Italian manufacturer’s range before the imminent ‘Type 4’ model appears, was one of the last exceptions, until summer 1983, but, from then on, the classic SOFiM engine, well-known to Spanish drivers as the powerplant of the SEAT 131 Diesel (that one with the hump in the bonnet), started to get the help of this almost magical accessory which, without sacrificing fuel economy, boost power outputs considerably.

The Argenta is an evolution of another car that’s already a classic in our country; The Fiat/SEAT 132. The changes to mechanicals and bodywork are minor but effective and have led not only to a more spacious interior and better aerodynamics, but also the roadholding is considerably improved relative to the classic ‘undersecretary’s car’.

The Fiat’s 4-cyl Turbodiesel is powerful and flexible. You can accelerate the Argenta towards a maximum of 160 km/h and also slow down to walking pace with no clattering noises. This virtue means theres no need to work the gearlever making the drivers life much more relaxed.

The Transmission has a personality well adapted to the the engine and the only criticism is the stiffness of the shift. The shift itself is quite well defined and the throw between ratios is very short.

 

505GTD: More than a turbodiesel

 

ArgentaVS505-3.jpg

 

Peugeot’s designers are not ones for a striking appearance, and the 505 is a good demonstrator of this taste for discretion. The sober lines of the bodywork, drawn by the Italian stylists of Pininfarina, are wrapped around, in the case of the 505GTD turbo, a first-class mechanical set-up with two remarkable elements: the engine and the suspension.

The Turbodiesel engine used in this model is like the heart of a middle-distance runner – not only does it have a remarkable toughness that allows it to cover huge distances without problem; but also makes a show of its extra push, enough to accelerate for a few moments with the energy of a sprinter. The high smoke emissions and the long time-delay on the heater plugs when cold-starting, are the most notable inconveniences of this potent and agile unit.

The suspension, for its part is capable to meet two seemingly opposing objectives; on one side, passenger comfort; on the other side, good roadholding on the straights and the curves, whatever the state of the road surface.

The gearbox of the 505 GTD surprises, in a very good way, with its soft but precise action, which is a real pleasure for the driver to use. The character of the gearbox gels very well with that of the engine, which achieves an excellent output with a low fuel consumption.

 

COMODIDAD

 

The Spanish-built car, the 505, offers a better driving position than its Italian rival. The fiat gives the impression of being built for larger people, and if the driver is shorter than about 1.7m its easy to feel a little lost behind the wheel. The position of the controls is irreproachable in the 505 despite its lack of height-adjustable steering wheel

The front seat of the Peugeot is simply better than that of the Fiat. The form of the interior is more harmonious and enveloping in the Spanish-built car than in the import. The seat of the 505 has extra cushioning for lumbar support which makes life much easier on drivers’ shoulders. In both cars there are no complaints about the hardness of the seat cushions.

 

ArgentaVS505-4.jpg

The instrument packs of the two cars are very clear and can both be easily read at a glance. The 505 instruments include a rev counter, something missing in the Argenta. However the ARgenta does feature a’control centre’ which checks 9 different elements of the car’s mechanics. Advantage to Fiat on this one.

Exterior visibility is very good, certainly to the front and sides. On the other hand, rearward visibility is not so good in either car, due to the large headrests on the rear bench seat.

The Argenta has the slighty more spacious interior. The difference on the tape measure is small but you can feel it, especially in the rear where passengers find more space in the Italian car than the one built in Vigo. Concerning the boot, the 505’s is more capacious, due to the Fiat’s boot losing space because of the vertical fuel tank.

The Peugeot leaves the Fiat behind when it comes to the air-conditioning. The two rivals can both deliver a good blast of cool air in summer, but in winter the 505’s heater is far more efficient. The interior finish in both cars is good.

 

AL VOLANTE: SEÑORIALES Y CON GARRA (No Idea what this means)

 

Peugeot’s engineers have been more successful in managing the tricky compromise between passenger comfort and handling/roadholding. The 505 shows off with its suspension set-up that’s better adapted to the poor roads that are found across much of our country.

 

If you’re driving the cars on surfaced roads and without ‘sporting pretensions’ its impossible to favour one model over the other; its only when it comes to comparing body roll in the corners, more severe on the Argenta than the 505, that the 505’s advantage becomes clear, certainly in the eyes of its occupants.

 

ArgentaVS505-5.jpg

 

ON the curvier road sections, where the road surface is poor and/or the driver wants to crack on, the difference is marked; The Vigo-built model is well ahead of the import. The Argenta is let down by its combination of a live rear axle and quite low profile tyres – a less than idela recipe not only for the person sat at the wheel, who has ro reign in his enthusiasm, but also for his passengers who, despite good work done by the springs and dampers, notice more noise and vibration than they should.

 

The security given by both cars on dry tarmac is high if you remember we’re talking about two family cars that, while swift, have no sporting pretensions. This changes in wet weather; in such circumstances, the 505 and the Argenta have a tendency to understeer – a direct consequence of their heavy powerplants. When this happens, theres only one answer – to lift your foot and remember to take things easier.

 

ArgentaVS505-6.jpg

 

If overall the driving experience favours the Peugeot, on the braking aspect the Fiat has the advantage. The Argenta, with its all-round discs, can stop in a shorter distance than the 505, and its easier to modulate the braking effect. The Italian car nevertheless gets a negative for the amount of nose-dive under heavy braking.

 

The steering of both cars shows a great fluidity of accion and need only 3 turns lock-to-lock. Here it’s a straight draw between both cars.

 

The Fiat is faster than the Peugeot; the top speed of the Argenta betters the 505 by 5-10 km/h. Nevertheless, both cars are closely matched in terms of acceleration and overtaking.

 

The higher top speed of the Argenta comes down to its better-chosen 5th gear ratio which is well adapted to motorway use and also aids fuel economy in all circumstances.

 

The Italian car drinks less fuel that the car built in our country, and the difference is greater the faster you go. Round town, the two cars consume about the same. At 90km/h, the Argenta will save 0.5l (per 100km) over the 505, and at 120km/h it’s more like a litre.

 

ArgentaVS505-7.jpg

 

 

CONCLUSIÓN: SETENTA MIL DE DIFERENCIA

Verdict: 70,000pta of difference

 

The car built in our country, the 505, is almost 70,000pts cheaper than its rival the Argenta, but that alone is not a basis on which to decide.

 

The Fiat is the more ‘homogenous’ car which offere excellent fuel economy and best-in-class performance, complemented with a well-developed powertrain with outstanding brakes. The stiff gearchange, high body roll and jumpy response of the rear axle on rough terrain are the less impressive points.

 

ArgentaVS505-8.jpg

 

With its spacious interior the Argenta will appeal to those drivers who need 5 seats, as well as people who know the 132 model already and those who like to distinguish themselves with an imported car.

 

The Peugeot is, generally speaking more comfortable than its Italian rival, and both passengers and driver will notice that. It handles well whatever the road and has a large boot, although it loses out slightly in interior space to the Argenta. A last factor to consider is that the Peugeot is supported by 3 times as many dealers as the Fiat.

 

ArgentaVS505-9.jpg


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#156 OFFLINE   bub2006

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 02:43 PM

Well done on the translation mr boll. Unlike google transate i can understand your interpretation!
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#157 OFFLINE   carlo

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 08:35 PM

Fantastic!  Shame Peugeot couldn't invest as much in Ryton as they obviously did at the Vigo plant.  Perhaps the Spanish worked harder.

 

Autocar & Motor were both good in the 70s and 80s weren't they.  You've got as much chance of finding out a final gear ratio in the current Autocar as you have of winning the lottery.  But you'd sure become an expert about infotainment and cup holders.


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#158 ONLINE   Pillock

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 09:13 PM

I've invented a drinking game based on Spanish car magazines. Every time they point out that a car is Spanish-built, take a shot.

 

  • a car built in our country
  • The Spanish-built car,
  • the Spanish-built car 
  • the one built in Vigo
  • The Vigo-built model
  • The car built in our country

 

*falls over*


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#159 ONLINE   mk2_craig

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 11:07 PM

I started browsing through these top class translations during my mid afternoon dump at work, and spent so long reading about all these nuclear reactor-grade Euroshite buckets that i eventually could no longer feel my legs. Now I can't stop thinking about hunting down an automatic Tagora turbodiesel.
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#160 ONLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 11:46 PM

Fantastic!!!! Thats just the reaction I was hoping for. Fill your boots now before Photobucket buggers it all up!!!!


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#161 OFFLINE   Spottedlaurel

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 06:58 AM

Very good translation skills. Did they really use the phrase "crack on" though?.....

 

I'm surprised by how well they rate the Argenta. Leaving aside AS tastes, surely the 505 is the sensible choice from this pair?


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#162 ONLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 07:44 AM

You would think so wouldnt you. Mind you the Fiat/SEAT 132 was like a 'national car' for them at that time so perhaps dissing one of its derivatives was not the done thing.


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#163 ONLINE   Pillock

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 07:58 AM

Yeah, but apparently the 505 was built in Spain...
Maybe that's why it's such a half arsed review. You've got a derivative of a car they're very fond of versus a car that's screwed together in the country. You can't diss either of them so just vaguely assemble some words and fail to make any sort of meaningful decision.

#164 ONLINE   Ian_Fearn

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 08:50 PM

https://www.milanunc...o-240370599.htm

 

Ideal for Spanish holiday home.

Attached Images

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#165 ONLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 09:36 PM

PHWWWWWWWOOOOOOOAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRR
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PIGEONZ NEST

CHECK OUT MY AWARD-WINNING SHITE-FIXING BLOG HERE

"THE 2.3 POWERTRAIN IS A SILENT IS AS A FISH, AND IT PULLS LIKE A GREAT"
"The engine has airbrushed skulls on it"

"Car shows are full of mentals talking tosh"

"I had no doubt it would pass, but unbelievably, to mine and the MoT tester's amazement, it passed"


#166 OFFLINE   John F

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 09:41 PM

Mr_Bo11ox, on 19 Dec 2017 - 2:06 PM, said:

 

AL VOLANTE: SEÑORIALES Y CON GARRA (No Idea what this means)

 

 

 

"Driving behaviour: stately and punchy" :-)


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#167 ONLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 07:03 PM

Here’s another dull & waffly Spanish back-to-back – this one’s for for Mr. 6-cylinder and the many other C15 lickers on here. I don’t think these Seat Trans vans ever made it over here, but when the Seat Panda became the Marbella, the Trans became the Terra and I think a few of those did make it to the UK. The only thing I really remember is they had a 1.3 non-turbo VW diesel engine from the breadvan-era Polo that must have been fairly grim, and Alan Glees, proprietor of Gosforth Metals scrapyard reckoned that every one that came into his yard was due to engine failure and that they were ‘complete shite man’.

 

http://www.pruebas.p...ver.php?ID=2430

 

Citroen C15 vs. Seat Trans

 

CitroenC15-SeatTrans-1.jpg

 

Screen%20Shot%202017-12-21%20at%2018.59.

 

                      

Small-sized vans, derived directly from passenger cars, have seen a growth in demand in the increasingly complex car market. With the arrival of the SEAT Trans, this segment experienced a resurgence with a new rival for the Renault vans and Citroen’s Dyane and 2CV. From the Vigo firm (PSA), who have had a very successful model strategy of late, the C15 was launched, a direct derivative of the Visa model. The version which we are now comparing with the Seat is the petrol-engined model, which with its diesel-powered sister has revolutionised the market for small light vans.

 

The market for small car-derived vans has undergone serious changes in the last few years. These vehicles are already years ahead of the 2CV vans or Seat 600-powered Siatas. In Citroen’s case the 2CV was upgraded to the Dyane, which has been a great sales success in recent years. Over at Renault, the F4 van remains in production with small tweaks and upgrades each year.

 

CitroenC15-SeatTrans-2.jpg

 

But, the true revolution came when SEAT realized it was ignoring a very important segment in the light van market, and thus, using the Panda 40 model as a base, brought to life the Trans, obliging Citroen to respond with the C15 in petrol and diesel forms, following a drop in sales of its Dyane van.

 

The two vans we’re testing are the most comparable – we have used the petrol C15 van, whose power output, fuel consumption and other stats are very similar to those of the Trans, which today only exists in petrol flavour. As far as the diesel version  of the C15 goes, it has a notably higher power output with better fuel economy and of course the fuel is significantly cheaper.

 

A key factor in selling this type of vehicle is the sale price, and on this front the Seat has the advantage. Its ex-works price is 65,000Ptas less than the C15 – 570,000Ptas vs 635,000 for the Citroen. After taxes and registration costs you’re looking at 615,266 for the Seat and 683,280 for the Citroen.

 

Aesthetics: Slightly graceless

 

IN both cases functionalty comes first, and so both companies have taken a small, light, economical  car, chopped it in half and replaced the rear half with the biggest square box possible, so as to give the maximum useful cargo volume. As such, the results are very similar in both cases, and certainly both vans are equally ugly.

 

CitroenC15-SeatTrans-3.jpg

 

When it comes to accessing the ‘box’ – this word seems a little derogatory, and perhaps its better to refer to it as the load space – the Visa’s one-piece door is more functional, though it has the problem that the locking mechanism is a bit flimsy and you have to slam it a few times before you are convinced its closed properly . The twin doors of the Seat are more complex in that you open the second door from inside with a nylon cord. But, when you close it, its more reliable than the Citroen.

 

An important detail on the Panda is the presence of the cargo rack above the passenger compartment. It actually does not seem terribly useful for carrying stuff but contributes a lot to the general aesthetic of the vehicle, hiding the step in heights of the passenger and cargo compartments.

 

The glazed area is much bigger in the Seat, with the additional benefit that the side windows are made in two parts and can slide to open. This, along with the folding rear bench seat and the possibility of accessing the loadspace & rear bench via the folding seats means that this van can be used as a passenger car, something not possible with the Citroen, whose glazed area is less than half that of the Seat. The installation of a rear set appears problematic, mainly due to the presence of the loadspace partition. The C15 has a larger glazed area on the rear doors than the Seat which has the logical inconvenience of a division between its twin rear doors.

 

Interiors: Very austere

 

The austerity which predominates in these two models is logical, taking into account the usage they will likely get, that is to say that these vans are ideal for shopkeepers, distributors and sellers of fruit, fish etc and in such vehicles it would be odd to install a posh carpet which would be wrecked after the first day on duty. The Trans incorporates practical rubber matting across the drivers and passengers floor, like the Visa, but it also has its load area trimmed in the same way, which helps stop the cargo moving about more than it should.

 

CitroenC15-SeatTrans-4.jpg

 

Talking of the load space, the Citroen’s is larger, with a total usable volume of 2.672 m3 against the 2.45 of the Trans. The Seat is taller at 1.34m vs 1.22 in the C15. When it comes to loading, the two are very practical, in fact they could not be more straightforward to load up. The C15 has a tubular steel rear bumper while the Trans has a conventional pressing, both of which are sturdy and can be leaned against when lifting heavy goods. You have to give credit to Citroen for the steel dividing bulkhead separating the passengers from the cargo area, which is a good safety measure for preventing annoying and dangerous incidents which can even lead to loss of control of the vehicle. In the Trans the bulkhead is an interesting optional extra.

 

CitroenC15-SeatTrans-5.jpg

 

The occupant space is more generous in the C-15, both in height and length, while the Trans is limited by the parcel shelf system of the Panda which encroaches on the knees a little. The size of the doors allows easy access to the interior in both cases.

 

The rear bench of the Seat is very useful in normal use, in that you can carry cargo or passengers, but if you are using the vehicle exclusively as a van it can be more of a hindrance than a help.

 

Illumination of the loadspace is better in the Seat because as well as the large windows there are two separate cargo bay lights, where as the van built in Vigo has one central shared light for both the passenger space and the load space.

 

Engine: Small and light

 

The power plants of these two vans are the same as mounted in their passenger car equivalents. In the case of the C15, the motor is the Visa 11E unit of 1124cm3. The Seat Trans uses the 903cc unit which has served well in the Panda 40. The larger capacity of the Citroen engine is noticed when you check the specifications, developing 48hp against 42 of the Trans. The C15’s performance beats the Seat whether loaded or empty. IN both cases, the engines max power is delivered above 5000rpm, with the C15 topping out at 5750 and the Trans at 5400.

 

CitroenC15-SeatTrans-6.jpg

 

Concerning the fuelling, the Visa derivative is better equipped with its twin-choke carburetor, delivering a better fuel supply than the Trans, giving a better output than the Trans, but also increased fuel consumption. The Seat has a very small single-choke unit, less ‘grand’ than the Citroen, but delivering better fuel economy at 90kph whether loaded or empty. As you’d expect, this economy translates into a disadvantage in speed and acceleration as the engine is less ‘served’ in terms of fuel.

 

The C-15 wins on engine flexibility. With a torque of 8.1m.kg reached at just 2500rpm, this new model accounts itself well, not just in front of the Trans but in front of all its competitors in the segment. The Seat achieves a value slightly lower at a speed 500rpm higher, and thus the results you can feel when overtaking give the advantage to the Citroen. Although this is impacted slightly by the taller gearing and and less well-chosen ratios than its competitor. With 4-speed transmissions in both cases, the Trans has a slightly shorter diff ratio and ratios better suited to the power delivery of the engine and its intended use. The C-15 here is too closely related to its passenger car cousin and its transmission could do with further customization to the role of a van. The Trans also uses the geartrain from is passenger car version, but the ratios in this case are more suitable for a light van.

 

CitroenC15-SeatTrans-7.jpg

 

Final comment is thus that the C15’s engine, being bigger, logically has the better output, but is also slightly thirstier, although realistically, both are actually very economical vans in normal day-to-day use.

 

At the wheel: Just like a car

 

As soon as we sit in these two vehicles, already we have a very clear opinion on them both. Here the advantage is clear for the C-15, its seats are slightly over-soft but much better than the hard items in the Trans, which seemed very uncomfortable, with a quality of fabric that seemed to make the problem worse.

 

On the instrument packs, the Citroen is more comprehensive, and the Trans suffers from the steering wheel obscuring the dash somewhat. For lights and indicators the two have quite different controls but its simply a matter of taste as to which you prefer. Some prefer different stalks for lights and indicators, others prefer the single stalk set-up of the Visa.

 

CitroenC15-SeatTrans-8.jpg

 

An important aspect with these ‘semi-industrial’ vehicles is rearward visibility, and in this area both are quite similar. The trans has slightly larger mirrors which helps, but on the other hand the split rear door is a disadvantage, and you can see very little with the interior rear-view mirror. IN the C15 it’s the opposite. You get an excellent view with the interior mirror, but the door mirrors are a bit small. You also have to factor in that these vans are often carrying bulky goods that render the interior mirror redundant anyway.

 

Steering-wheel wise, the Trans has the more confortable one, if smaller, and the C15 has the classic one-spoke Citroen wheel. The feel is slightly softer in the Vigo-built van. The citroen has inertia reel belts while the Seat has ordinary belts which are fiddly and slow to adjust.

 

Roadholding: Influenced by load level

 

When evaluating the handling, we have to make an important qualifier; it varies greatly between driving empty and loaded. Logically and given the likely use fo these vehicles, the ‘loaded’ driving characteristic is the more important. Starting from there and loading both vans fully, we notice the ease of driving the C15, whose suspension is more suited to these tasks than the Trans. The Citroen handles the weight perfectly and of course it stiffens, particularly at the back, and doesn’t experience any wobbles or significant inclination, unlike its rival. The Trans, when carrying the full payload, has to be driven delicately and the laod makes it wobble excessively in long curves and lean in the shorter ones, meaning the driver must take much more care, and stay alert to these unpleasant traits.

 

CitroenC15-SeatTrans-9.jpg

 

Driving unloaded, theres no problem with either van. Behaviour in these circumstances is very similar to to the car version, although the cargo ‘box’ raises the centre of gravity slightly. What you do notice is more susceptibility to side winds, loaded or not, which is a consequence of the light weight and large area of the sides of the box. You have to take extra care in strong winds and when passing or travelling behind HGV’s as the turbulence can give you a surprise.

 

The brakes of the C15 are significantly better than those of its rival. Here the Trans finds itself coming unstuck with a pedal more spongy and vague than the Citroen, and which achieves a poor braking effect, aggravated further when travelling loaded. The C15 has no problems whatsoever in this respect, braking predictably in all cases, giving a better feeling of safety.

 

CitroenC15-SeatTrans-91.jpg

 

The steering in each is similar. The two have light steering and present no problems when maneouvring. The Citroen has the better turning circle, as we have come to expect from vehicles of this marque, although it does have half a turn more lock-to-lock than the Seat. The two are very comfortable to use with good response. The steering is slightly better in the Seat, though the feel of the actual wheel itself is slightly worse.

 

 

As we mentioned earlier, the van from Vigo is livelier than the Seat, this is influenced by elements of the more powerful engine such as the carburation, which aids the aforementioned. Empty or full, the Trans never outperformed its rival in any of the tests we did. Having said that the power/weight ratio of the two are very similar at about 17kg/hp.

 

CitroenC15-SeatTrans-92.jpg

 

Empty, the C15 reaches a top speed about 3kmh higher than the Trans, and when loaded the difference increases, with the Citroen achieving 125km/h and the Seat more like 120. The Trans van we tested had very few km on the clock which my have influenced its performance on the day in a negative way. Anyway, when we carried out the test, the engine freed up noticeably and, although it had significantly less kms on than the Citroen, even under the same conditions the Seat would not have been able to achieve the same figures as the C15. IN acceleration and especially in the 0-60, the Citroen is greatly superior to its rival and its superiority over its rival grows when they are loaded. IN the 1km standing start they are quite well matched, whereas in overtaking tests, which we only performed ‘empty’, the Citroen is much more joyful. Aerodynamics favours the C15 more, since its design is more wedge-shaped and the the cargo ‘box’ is more rounded and offers less air resistance. This also influences the Citroen’s performance, though not so much its economy.

 

Fuel Consumption: A similar situation

 

The influence of the difference in carburation between these two vans is only really appreciated, when you are driving at about 90kph. With this speed maintained, and whether loaded or empty, the Trans is revealed as the more economical van, despite the C15’s aerodynamic advantage explained elsewhere. At 120kmh the Seat is back in 2nd place but that’s because maintaining 120 in this vehicle means driving it foot-to-the-floor, which of course hits the economy as the fuel flow is at the maximum it can be. So the economy is better at 120 in the C15, but round town theyre generally fairly indistinguishable, the C15 faring slighty better empty, and the Trans matching the C15 when loaded. Over the course of our test a similar trend emerged; The C15 tends to do better empty with the Trans catching up while loaded. The Citroen has the better range, mainly due to its 48 litre tank against the Trans’s 35.

 

CitroenC15-SeatTrans-94.jpg

 

Conclusion: Close Rivals

 

These two vans are going to be very close rivals in a segment whose sales volume is climbing in our country. The presence of these two modern vans, now competing against the old but eternally refreshed Renault is notorious. Privces are very similar for the two, within 10% or so of each others sale price.

 

But in the really important numbers about fuel economy and load capacity, the twop are much closer. Thus, the coming months should be busy for Seat and Citroen and they have a lot to do in terms of publicity campaigns and sales offers to tempt buyers. The ‘cake’ that the manufacturers have to divvy up is sufficiently large that it merits some serious efforts to get on top. The C15 has to recover a lot of ground lost in the later years of the Dyane’s career.

 

CitroenC15-SeatTrans-93.jpg


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#168 ONLINE   Vin

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 07:56 PM

Spongy pedal...that sounds about right... :-D :-D

 

Nice one Mr B. When it came to the cosmetics of turning it into the 'Terra' it looks like they just changed the front lights/grill/bonnet and covered all the corrugation with plastic shite, just like they did with the Marbella...


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#169 OFFLINE   Mrs6C

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 08:09 PM

 the Citroen is much more joyful.

 

http://www.pruebas.pieldetoro.net/web/fo...

Yep! :-)


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#170 ONLINE   Ian_Fearn

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 08:38 PM

Available in Cazorla, nice part of Andaulcia for a holiday

 

Ideal for Benidorm based Fish n Chip venture.

 

https://desguacesque...trans-ano-1984/

 

 

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#171 ONLINE   Ian_Fearn

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 09:39 PM

Another in Valencia this time, common as muck.

 

Ideal for Uber start-up

 

https://www.milanunc...s-252504379.htm

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#172 ONLINE   mk2_craig

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 10:18 PM

Those things look like a right pile of junk, I know the Panda was meant to be "utilitarian" and all that but you can tell the stylists were on strike when that was signed off. I want one!!

GR9 translation by the way, splendid work. Are these Spanish articles all equally ambivalent about which is actually the better vehicle?

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#173 ONLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 10:34 PM

They certainly seem to be utterly non-committal!

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#174 ONLINE   bramz7

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 10:43 PM

Ffs I want an Argenta TD now.

Also the C15 is still everywhere in Spain. Wonder what the mag thought of the Renault Express? They probably clocked it was made in Spain...
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#175 ONLINE   Cleon-Fonte

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 11:47 PM

But, the true revolution came when SEAT realized it was ignoring a very important segment in the light van market, and thus, using the Panda 40 model as a base, brought to life the Trans, obliging Citroen to respond with the C15 in petrol and diesel forms, following a drop in sales of its Dyane van.

 

At this point they may* be guilty of grossly over-estimating the SEAT's significance.


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#176 ONLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 12:40 AM

I've just found a flippin MEGA group test of shit old diesels including the merc-powered Seat 132 diesel, Chrysler 180 with an old 'Barreiros' Spanish-market diesel lump (with and without aftermarket turbo conversion), plus Seat 131 in Perkins 4108 flavour!!!!!! Will have a crack at that one tomorrow.


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#177 ONLINE   Vin

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 12:55 AM

A Seat 131 you say...?? What's that?? A Perkins 4108...WOW-SERS. When a Fascist dictatorship does diesel. IT DOES IT RIGHT.


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#178 ONLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 12:06 PM

I'm still working on this diesel megatest translation, in the meantime I stumbled across this GREAT road test by the Argentinian version of '1990's top gear' where they test the Rover 620 diesel. Part of their evaluation involves caning it down a load of mud tracks and handbraking it into a good angle to photograph it, so actually these boys were ahead of Clarkson and co in terms of 'stunt inclusion'. Theyre very complementary about it and really find nothing to criticise on it at all, every aspect they comment on is 'muy bueno'. Enjoy!

 


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#179 ONLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 10:58 PM

Yo shidders!!! I’ve been doing this for ages, took much longer than I thought. It’s an 8-car mega diesel shitefest. I would say that its pretty much as lousy as all the other Spanish tests an the conclusions are equally lame, I reckon if I had done this as homework I would have that feeling as I handed it in that I would definitely end up getting a bollocking in the end.

 

One thing that’s interesting about this though is that theres 3 Seat 131’s here with 3 different diesel engines. Was Seat building all of these all at once? Whats the point of that? Who decided that marketing strategy? Or were they flogging shells and letting other companies fit whatever engine they liked? One thing is for sure these are all hardcore SHITE. I have looked for better pictures of these things on Google and theres not a lot out there – proper rare shizzle!!! And lets face it s there a shiter out there who would kick a Chrysler 180 with a 1960's diesel engine & aftermarket turbo slapped on, out of bed?

 

http://www.pruebas.pieldetoro.net/web/pruebas/ver.php?ID=2225

 

LosDiesel-0-Portada.jpg

 

IN this comparative test, we find ourselves with 3 x Seat 131’s and two Talbots –so we’ve got a few identical bodyshells – but mechanically, and specifically on the engine front, we’ve got 8 different options. 8 different engines representing the range of available diesel technologies, from the most ‘classic’ to the latest technology, with assorted different layouts and alimentations. The test has been carried out in great detail by our collaborator Angel Marco.

 

Diesel models Tested:

·       Seat 131 VM Turbodiesel

·       Talbot 180 Diesel

·       Seat 132-2200 Diesel

·       Seat 131 Diesel Super 2500

·       Seat Ritmo Diesel

·       Talbot 180 Diesel Turbo

·       Peugeot 505 SRD

·       Seat 131 Diesel Perkins

 

SEAT 131 VM Turbo

 

LosDiesel-4-Seat131VM.jpg

 

14bmiya.jpg

 

The powerplant of this version of the 131, sold by the VM Motori concern, is the most recent of all the players in this game, being presented to the international market at the end of last year (I’m guessing this is about 1981) as the diesel power for the Alfa Romeo Alfetta Diesel. Built by the Italian company VM, experts in the design of marine and industrial Diesel engines, this unit is considered one of the ‘fourth generation’ of Diesel motors, as much for its modular construction as for its turbocharger, uniting these two most advanced technologies in a passenger car diesel engine. Similarly to the Sofim engine, its based on a known basic engine block, brought right up to date but in this case the building block also includes unusual independent cylinder heads for each cylinder.

            The VM engine in the 131 is a 4-cyl in line design of 1995cc, resulting from it 88mm bore and 82mm stroke, continuing the fashion for ‘oversquare’ engines; Compression ratio is 22:1 and theres a German KKK 24-G model turbocharger, taking the power output to 84cv at 4600rpm and torque to 16.6kg.m at 2500rpm.

            The distinctive character of the VM engine lies in its block; cast iron, integral, closed deck with the crankshaft inserted longitudinally from the front; the dividing walls between cylinders extend down into the crankcase to better distribute mechanical forces. To negate problems of relative deformations of the blovk & head, the VM engine has a separate aluminium head casting for each cylinder, with 2 overhead valves in each head; The camshaft is down in the block to reduce height so theres a classic pushrod & rocker valvetrain and the camshaft is driven not by a belt or chain but by gears. The injection is indirect with a Ricardo Comet design of pre-chamber housing the heater plugs and the pump is a rotary type.

            The turbocharger can recover up to 70% of the energy of the exhaust gas and starts boosting from 1500rpm. At such speeds it boosts air flow by 20%, rising to 85% between 2600 and 4300 rpm; a technological refinement of this engine is the boost pressure sensor in the inlet manifold whose readings are used to regulate the fuel flow.

            The efficiency of the VM engine is the highest of all those tested, with a specific output of 42.1hp/litre; the other key statistic is the number of kg carried by each horsepower (power/weight ratio). The VM-powered 131 weighs 1134kg, giving an excellent figure of 13.5kg/hp, a value comparable to most mid-size petrol vehicles.

 

TALBOT 180 Diesel

 

LosDiesel-6-Talbot180D.jpg

 

{Bo11ox note: check out the fantastic sound of these old buses)

 

The Barreiros Group engine installed in the bodyshell of the Talbot 180 Diesel is not only one of the most genuine representatives of the ‘second generation’ of diesel engine, but also the result of a long career of developments and modifications, including the most notable change to its cubic capacity in response to an absurd fiscal law which appeared a few years ago, but which has since thankfully been shelved. Anyway that law introduced a harsh sliding scale of taxation for engines rated over 13 fiscal horsepower; the Bareiros engine, with its 2007cc, fell squarely into the target area of this law and thus, the manufacturer was obliged to introduce a change to the stroke, going from 95mm to 90.8. This reduced the capacity to 1919cc but the new law was subsequently binned so today the Barreiros engine has rightly been restored to its original dimensions; 82mm bore, 95mm stroke, giving this engine the classic proportions of the diesel engine with the longer stroke that was the fashion in the epoch when this unit was originally designed.

            With its 2007 cc and its 4 in-line cylinders, this Barreiros powerplant installed longitudinally has a compression ratio of 21:1 and develops 65hp max at the slow speed of 4000rpm, with a peak torque of 12.8mkg at 2500rpm.

            The architecture of the Barreiros unit, repeated in the Talbot Diesel Turmesa with the crucial addition of a turbocharger, could not be more classical; Iron block and head, block-mounted camshaft (chain driven), and in truth the noise and vibration characteristics are far from what is expected of a modern diesel-powered car. The injection is indirect, with heater plugs in the pre-chamber; the cooling system is equipped with an electric fan.

            The 2007cc Barreiros diesel in this installation achieves 32.4hp/litre which is in family for an older, heavier semi-industrial diesel engine. The weight of the 180 diesel is 1225 kilos and thus the power/weight ratio is about 18.84kg per horsepower, a figure among the most ‘vintage’ of the engines tested today.

 

Seat 132 2200 Diesel Turmesa

 

LosDiesel-5-Seat132TD.jpg

 

When starting the review of this car, its necessary to run through the origin of all the key parts, because if the bodywork is that of the well-known SEAT 132, the motor comes from Mercedes-Benz, and the turbocharger, is a Japanese IHI unit marketed by Turmesa. Keeping strictly to the mechanical side, which is identical to the standard Seat 132 2200 diesel, with the exception of the turbocharger, its kind of a second/third generation diesel engine, to which the addition of the turbocharger has taken it to the next level.

 

The Mercedes-Benz engine of this Seat, built by the German company, is an in-line 4 cylinder longitudinally mounted, with an iron block and one-piece aluminium alloy head; its capacity is 2197cc and it arrives squarely in the middle of the medium diesel sector, and technologically distant from the modern light diesel engine in that it is a long-stroke ‘slogger’ with a bore of 87mm and stroke of 92.4mm. The Compression ratio is 21:1, and in normally aspirated form the peak power is 60hp at 4200rpm with a peak torque of 12.8m.kg at 2200rpm. Adding the IHI turbo takes this up to 75hp at 4200 rpm and 16m.kg at 2400rpm.

 

As mentioned, the Mercedes diesel engine has a few key points of antiquity and a few more modern features; the first thing to mention is the low speed range in which it operates, common to the older heavier diesel engines, and also the cam drive system; its chain-driven. Having said that it benefits from a modern overhead cam layout as seen in the latest generation of petrol engines.

 

The turbo conversion, designed and marketed by Spanish company Turmesa, requires no structural changes to the engine, changing only, (though in a big way) the inlet manifold, which is swapped for a unit more robust and more suitable for a pressurized operation, as the turbo boosts the intake pressure by 0.5-0.7kg/cm2 above atmospheric (7-10 PSI, sounds like quite a lot to me!)

 

The diesel is injected into a pre-chamber of Ricardo Comet design, as per all the other diesels on test today, although they are all different ages of engine.These chamber also house the heater plugs; the pump is of the rotary type and the cooling system incorporates an electric fan.

 

The Turmesa installation requires no other modifications and the weight gain is barely 10kg; the Mercedes engine that undergoes this ‘vitamin supplement’ reaches a specific output of 34hp/litre and the power/weight ratio remains in the case of the 132 (which weighs 1225kg empty) at around 16.33kg/hp.

 

SEAT 131 Diesel Super 2500

 

LosDiesel-3.jpg

 

The Diesel engine of this car could be classified as a sort of ‘third generation’ diesel, in the sense that it is a development of an engine originally designed as a petrol unit and later adapted to operate under the diesel cycle. Additionally it is one of those ‘modular’ engines, which can be customized to a wide range of vehicle weights and power demands via the addition or subtraction of numbers of the core cylinder design, giving, in this instance, a carefully tailored engine characteristic. The 2500 SOFIM Diesel, as installed in teh SEAT 131 Diesel Super fits right into both of these classifications.

 

The Engine of the SEAT 131 Diesel Super, from the company SOFIM (Sociedad Franco-Italiano de Motores/French-Italian Engine Company), is the result of a collaboration between the engineers of Fiat, Alfa-Romeo and Renault-Saviem, initially presented to the world at the end of 1978. It employs modular construction with an individual cylinder size of 611cc and over-square dimensions; 93mm bore and 90mm stroke, repeated 4 times.

 

The combined result of 4 of these cylinders is an engine of 2445cc; installed longitudinally in the front of the car it features a 3-layer engine cast iron block with aluminium alloy head and over-head cam layout; also it has a double-skinned layer covering the camshaft and valve gear, the upper layer of which is made from sound-absorbing material and additionally protects the injectors from dirt ingress.

 

The SOFIM Diesel, also manufactured in a 5- and 6-cylinder variants, delivers in its 4-cylinder version as per the SEAT 131, 72hp at 4200rpm, and 15m.kg torque at 2400rpm. The compression ratio is 22:1.

 

Like all the other engines tested, the SOFIM Diesel, employs an indirect injection system with Ricardo Comet pre-chambers and electric heater plugs. The injection runs from a high-pressure rotative pump and the cooling system features a thermostatically controlled electric fan.

 

The specific output of the SOFIM diesel is 29.5hp/litre, an impressive value for a diesel of this type and size, though a little short of the modern ‘light diesel’ such as that found in the SEAT Ritmo diesel, tested elsewhere in the group. The installation in the 131 takes its weight to 1299kg giving a power-to-weight ratio of 16.6kg/hp.

 

SEAT Ritmo Diesel

 

LosDiesel-8-SeatRitmoD.jpg

 

The most interesting thing about the Diesel engine in the Ritmo is, without any doubt, the history its design; Concieved originally as a petrol engine designed to operate under the otto cycle – this engine is solidly the DOHC unit of the SEAT 132-1800 and of the older 124 Sport models, now converted into a compression-ignition unit at the hand of the engineer Lampredi, one of the most renowned engine specialists of recent decades and competition chief at Ferrari during much of the 1950’s.

 

The Ritmo Diesel’s mechanicals are, essentially, a modification of those of the petrol version. From there comes all the engine block, including the crankshaft; The block receives a new aluminium-alloy head however, with integral overhead (single) camshaft, driven by a toothed rubber belt.

 

The engine is installed transversally and drives the front wheels, making it the only one in our test without a solid rear axle. It’s a 4-cylinder in-line engine of oversquare dimensions; 83mm bore x 79.2mm stroke. The capacity is thus 1714cc and the compression ratio is quite low at 20:1. The unit develops 55hp at 4500rpm and 10 m.kg at 3000rpm.

 

Is a series of remarkable novelties within this truly light modern diesel, so called not only for its weight but also its elevated operating regime. Among these innovations is a particular design of Ricardo Comet pre-chamber, whose volume is precisely calibrated for the capacity of the engine, which aids cold-starting. Also noticeable is the distinct profile of the piston crowns, improving turbulence and therefore the overall combustion (there’s no picture or description of this form BTW).

 

To aid the overall noise level, always a delicate point on diesel engines, the engine has a rubber toothed belt for the camshaft drive and the cam cover has a noise-absorbing layer.

            The injection is of course indirect with a rotary pump. The cooling system has also undergone much work, with a larger radiator than the petrol versions  plus an electric fan controlled by 2 thermostatic switches; the first of these operates when the coolant exceeds 89 degrees and the second kicks in under continued high engine loads in hot conditions.

            The specific output of this engine of the ‘third generation’ type is 32.8hp/l and when installed in the Ritmo gives a power/weight ratio of the order of 18.1kg/CV.

 

Talbot 180 Turbo Diesel

 

LosDiesel-9-Talbot180TD.jpg

 

Any reference to the Barreiros C-34 engine, installed from the beginning in the Talbot 180 Diesel, inevitably comes round to its remarkable age; Designed back in the day for a range of contemporary industrial vehicles and particularly taxis, this engine soldiers on today, having achieved a reasonable efficiency and output, and certainly longevity. The addition of the turbo now injects new life into the unit, though its interesting that this is a technique completely unknown at the time the engine was originally designed.

            The Talbot Diesel engine of Barreiros origin is a 4-cylinder in-line job, longitudinally installed as per 7 of the 8 cars tested; its capacity in this case is 1918cc with classical dimensions of 82mm bore and 90.8 stroke, showing its age with the long-stroke proportions. With its 21:1 compression ratio it achieves 60hp at 4000rpm and 10.8m.kg @ 2100rpm in normally aspirated form, however with the IHI turbo added, these numbers jump significantly to 83hp and 13.0m.kg. If the turbo is added to the 2007cc Barreiros engine these numbers increase by approx. 3%.

            The great age of this engine is evident throughout, from its block-mounted camshaft and pushrod/rocker valvetrain (the camshaft is chain-driven) to its slow operating speeds of up to 4000rpm. The total adds up to a ‘second generation’ diesel engine, from the start of the renewed interest in diesel propulsion, where more modern manufacturing techniques are employed along with extensive use of a turbocharger.

            In the case of the Talbot Diesel Turmesa, the firm adds a Turbo to the Barreiros engine with few complications, and with no modifications to the basic engine. Thanks to the recovered energy of the exhaust gases by the IHI unit, the inlet air is pressurized to 0.5-0.7bar. The rest of the basic engine set-up, in terms of injection and cooling, is in line with the classical design of the time.

            Despite all this, the use of the IHI turbo, puts the Talbot Diesel Turbo in a good position numerically, achieving 41.3hp/litre specific output, the highest in our test; The weight penalty of the turbo is minimal (less than 5kg) giving a vehicle weight of 1235kg. This adds up to a power/weight ratio of 14.9kg/hp – a very respectable figure.

 

Peugeot 505 SRD

 

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The indenor diesel engine equipping this saloon is, despite its recent apparition on the Spanish market, on old-timer within the Peugeot range, where it is used in the 504 Family, Estate & pick-up, the 604, J9 van and the 505 GRD & SRD; this powerplant is installed in many of the latest Peugeot producs and, despite a few old-fashioned details, slots well into the ‘third generation’ category, above all for its vivacious operating regime, as despite its capacity, well above its two-litre competitors, it will spin readily to over 4000rpm, giving a healthy output.

            The INdenor diesel of the 505 is a 4-cylinder in-line unit, of 2304cc and oversquare 94mm bore/83mm stroke dimensions. The block is of cast-iron with an aluminium alloy head and the compression ratio is 22:1. With the fan disengaged this Peugeot engine can achieve 70hp DIN and a max torque of 13.4m.kg.

            But if the engine is in some ways quite advanced, in others its quite oldskool; such as the chain-driven block-mounted camshaft and the electrically clutched/declutched fan, a system rarely used these days for its complexity and its energy consumption when operating – it takes the net output of the engine down to 64hp and 13.1m.kg.

            The indirect injection employs a Ricardo Comet prechamber with integral heater plugs and rotary pump. We calculate a specific output of 30.4hp/l which is very typical among the cars tested. The 505 SRD tips the scales at 1285kg with oil, fuel and water, giving a power-to-weight ratio of 18.4 to 20.1kg/cv depending on the fan operation.

 

SEAT 131 DIESEL PERKINS

 

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The Perkins unit equipping this Seat 131 Diesel is built by Motor Iberica under license from a British frim, and its an engine with more classical technology as can be seen in the test, in some ways similar to the Barreiros engine of the Talbot. The period in which it was designed is way back when on the calendar, although its unveiling to the Spanish public as the 131 Diesel only took place in September 1978. This engine falls neatly into the ‘second generation’ category of engines that are essentially old-generation technology and far from the strong points of a modern light diesel. Effectively this Perkins engine is not in reality a light passenger car diesel engine; despite its relatively small capacity of 1760cc, it doesn’t operate at very high speeds – its redlined at 4000rpm and takes a long time to reach those speeds, behaving more like the engine of an older medium-to-heavy industrial vehicle.

            The Perkins engine develops 49hp at 4000rpm with a peak torque of 10.6m.kg at 2200rpm.

            The passage of time is apparent when looking at this engine on various fronts; most of the engine is of cast-iron construction (although the cylinder head is of light alloy)(Bo11ox note – I’m not sure this is correct, I don’t think Perkins used alloy heads on any of their own engine designs) alongside gear-driven low-mounted camshaft obliging use of pushrods and rockers for operating the overhead valves. IN line with the other engines in this test the engine is of indirect injection design, with heater plugs in the prechamber and a rotary injection pump. Another sign of the Perkins’ age is the number of piston rings, with 5 per piston; more modern engines trend towards reducing the number of these friction-causing items to 4 or even 3 as industrial casting and machining processes improve, reducing their need.

            The absence of any sound-deadening measures over the valvegear and the use of gears to drive the camshaft confirms this engine as one from an older generation of power units than the SOFIM or VM Units for example.

            The perkins engine has a specific output of 27.8hp/l and installed in the 131, with a total weight of 1020kg, gves a power/weight ratio of 20.8kg/hp.

 

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BODYWORK: A question of comfort

 

Now we get into the chapter than usually opens our tests. In this comparative diesel test we’re going to deal with it in a particular way. Its logical as we have models from 3 distinct categories, with the Ritmo alone, then the 131 models, then the Talbots, 132’s and the Peugeot all occupying an upper echelon in the market. As well we must remember that the Ritmo is a small car with a hatchback whereas all the other are the classic 3-box layout with separate boot.

But lets get started with comfort. Although we’re crossing 3 categories of car, theres little point trying to rationalize their interior space against their external dimensions, so we’ll keep it simply by generally commenting on the overall comfort of each one of the cars.

 

In this aspect, our testers were unanimous in their appreciations and the 505 SRD is the ‘two litre’ of most recent design. Its been created also by a marque that through its own philosophy and its market approach has given it an impressive level of comfort. Its suspension is without doubt the one that absorbs best the irregularities in the road, and in combination with the seats gives a compromise best suited to tackling very long distances. We have to also comment on its excellent heating and ventilation, power steering and a gearchange that demands only minimal effort from the driver. One detail shared with the Seat 132 are the front electric windows. In our big diesel test we must also pay attention to two key features which are the noise levels and the insulation of the passengers from diesel fuel smells. As far as noise goes, we all know that no diesel sat idling with the windows open is a particularly peaceful place to be. But we also know that when travelling these noise levels can reduce significantly. In the opinion of all our testers, it can be said of the 505 that when travelling you wouldn’t know it was a diesel, except of course from the fuel economy.

            Of the Talbot, you can say that in general comfort it is not far behind the Peugeot. Its suspension is slightly softer than the 132, making it comfortable on long distances. Its certainly quite noisy when idling in traffic but at speed the noise level is alright. Interestingly at comparable speeds the turbo version of the Talbot is significantly quieter than the atmo version, although the Turmesa of our test did smell somewhat of diesel in its interior.

            Certainly, the noise of the Mercedes engine in the 132 is much more discreet (except at high speeds achievable with the Turbo version) but inside there is a strong smell of diesel. The Seat has as a downside very heavy steering (despite the passage of time its steering remains unassisted) and a rear suspension of somewhat brusque response. In its favour we must mention the electric windows, the height-adjustable wheel (as per the 131 supermirafiori) and the front seats, although their corners are quite hard.

            For a mediocre comfort relating to the seat-suspension combination, the 131 models are relegated somewhat. The suspension of these cars offers a good compromise for stability, but on the other hand, they all suffer with an almost permanently oscillating bodyshell, even on the motorway network. Once installed in a 131, any differences you might detect in terms of comfort are all consequences of the engine choice.          

            Anyway, in terms of vibration & noise level, the best balance is without doubt the VM Turbo – despite the almost total absence of sound deadening material in the engine bay of the test car, the engine emits a quite acceptable purr. With the SOFIM we got a surprise, because although its remarkably quiet – amongst the best on the open road – at idle the vibrations fed into the seat are marked and quite annoying. Continuing with comfort, the Ritmo places itself ahead of the 131 Perkins, because although its suspension is firmer and the driving position less well thought-out, and the seats harder, the far superior NVH levels more than compensate. ON that front we can say that, on the road, we found the Ritmo to be noisier from the bodywork (two of the windows did not shut properly) than from the engine, which is one of the most discreet on the market. On the vibration front the Ritmo suffers at idle from some level of vibration in the floorpan. It has one other key advantage over the 131 Perkins which is that it is significantly faster meaning that, on the same route, you spend more time being exposed to higher vibration levels in the 131 Perkins, particularly noticeable in urban driving. Lets end by saying that the 5-speed boxes of all the 131 models are quite noisy, particularly when hot and idling.

LosDiesel-2b.jpg

 

When judging the habitability of the cars, you have to appreciate something which is that, relative to its exterior dimension, the Ritmo is by far the most capacious, but we’re not analyzing that. Suffice to say that in absolute terms the 505 is the most spacious. The interior space available to passengers is very generous, both in length and width. It’s the widest car on test for both front and rear passengers.

 

Next down the list is the 132 in which, as usual with Fiat designs, is very spacious inside – propotionally more so than in the 505. Lets not forget that the 505 has a length of 4.58m against the 132’s 4.39. That’s almost 20cm difference, which the 505’s passengers are going to notice. The 132 offers a good level of legroom for rear passengers too.

 

With tape measure in hand, third place goes to the Ritmo. And we mention the tape measure because it’s a surprise to many, but the tape measure doesn’t lie. Relative to the 131, which is the next in line, the Ritmo is only 2 cm down in width at the front and 4cm in the rear. We feel that rear passenger legroom is a more valuable commodity than width, and the Ritmo wins here by 7-9cm, and offers greater headroom available to both front and rear passengers. Additionally the Ritmo benefits from lack of obstacles, such as the hidden seatbelt reels, smaller tunnel and generally better access that is offered by its 5-door design.

 

We finish the habitability chapter with the Talbot, and this veteran design is narrower than the 131 with less headroom as well as trickier access to the rear seats. We must point out that this is in part down to unusually thick, almost exaggerated rear door structures, which suggests some components are over-dimensioned, which possibly aids the installation of a diesel engine. It’s a fact that these engines need a bodyshell that can withstand the weight and vibration of a diesel engine, otherwise, over time, they simply fall apart. Certainly in this field the Talbot does have a very good reputation.

 

On the luggage space front, of course the Ritmo offers a hatch and folding seat, taking boot capacity from 370l to 1250l. Of course, without dropping the seat, the bootspace is smaller than the other motors, but it’s the only one that does offer this modularity and flexibility.

 

Here the Peugeot is in second place, because it cant compare with the flexibility of the Ritmo. The luggace space in the 505 is bigger, with a total length of 117cm and a maximum width of 141cm, having said that the height of the luggage space is not great, so choose your suitcases carefully.

 

The 132 is next with more length and height than the Talbot, though a little less width, and the 131 is in last place with a length limited to 77cm, which is really its main handicap. Its max height is the same as the Talbot at 45cm, and there’s a 4cm disadvantage in width between the wheel tubs. Despite all this the 131 has a remarkably wide bootspace, with a maximum width of 157cm which is better even than the Peugeot.

 

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Mechanicals: Personalised by the engine

 

Undoubtedly, the mechanicals of these cars, just as for their road behavior, performance or fuel economy, are defined in each case by their respective engines. Even so, there are interesting findings in models like the 131 Sofim, the Ritmo and the Talbot, affecting other elements as much as the fuel consumption.

 

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In the engine section, the VM turbo is unarguably the top of the class. Not just because it’s the most potent or gives the best performance, but it also offers a power/economy compromise that the others can’t match. If you study the fuel gauge, you’ll see at a cruise speed of 120kmh, particularly on our motorways, that this is the most economical car, except perhaps for the Perkins for which we must make an exception as it is not really suited to continued high-speed driving and is quickly left behind by the other cars in the test. In all other driving types, the VM seems to sit in the middle of the pack.

            To our taste, and despite a fairly low specific output (only the Perkins is lower) the Sofim 2500 engine deserves second place, as it also achieves a good power/economy compromise, which we think could improve as our test car had only 1200km on the clock during economy tests, while the performance tests took place about 1000km later on. Certainly the engine ‘softened up’ in character over the course of the test, but perhaps not enough to give the absolute best possible economy figures.

            In a solid third place, the Ritmo. An unusually flexible engine, excellent fuel consumption and lively response are its strong points. Excluding the 132 Turmesa and the 2 131’s mentioned above, its output and it general feel of liveliness are superior to the others. Of the 132 Turmesa we can say that the performance is excellent – it has the second highest top speed behind the 132 VM. But it doesn’t have the flexibility/progressivity of the Ritmo nor its economy (unsurprising considering their relative weights). Nevertheless the 132 Turmesa is a very convincing car for those who like to travel quickly.

 

For the next position, there’s the Peugeot & Talbot, which breathe very similarly, surprising as this seems to many. The Peugeot achieves a slightly higher top speed and is the better high-speed cruiser. In acceleration tests however, the Talbot has more possibilities which give it the edge in overtaking.

 

On fuel economy, driven quickly the Talbot will use 2.2l/100km less, whereas on the A-roads the two are closely matched. Over a mixed cycle the Peugeot will achieve about a 1.1l/100km advantage. The specific output of the Talbot is slightly higher at 32.3hp/ltr vs 30.0 in the Peugeot. Concerning noise levels, we’ve already factored that into our comfort evaluation.

 

The seventh place that we’ve given to the Talbot Turmesa in this section, merits an explanation. Its based on the performance and economy values we’ve measured during our test. Such values have clearly been disappointing, and we think they are down to a lack of fine-tuning of the test car. For context, we can compare with values achieved when testing exactly the same model a year ago. In that test, the car reached a top speed of 150km/h. The 1000m standing start test was covered in 39secs, and the mean fuel consumption over the whole test was of the order of 7.0l/100km, and around 8.6 in 120-130kph motorway use. Its worth mentioning also that the test car counted 70,000km and that it has the 1918cc engine, whereas normally the Talbot Diesel is supplied with the 2007cc unit.

 

The 131 Perkins, although it offers genuinely competitive consumption figures, also suffers with real-world performance that is truly punishing for the driver. It’s a fact that its consumption and asking price are low and what you get for your money is valid for town use. ON the open road however, its lack of response is almost total.

 

Of gearchanges, theres not a lot to say. The 505 is a user-friendly car and makes a big deal of its slick gearchange, so slick its top of the class on that alone. A surprise in the 131 Sofim too, it offers an ideal gearchange, much better than we have previously known in a 131, although its still a noisy gearbox. The ratios seem very well chosen too. The ‘atmo’ Talbot is next with equally well-chosen ratios and a nice change action, though some way worse than the 505. The Talbot turbo comes next – it has the same nice change but the ratios, which work so well in the NA version could make better use of the increased power output – it could certainly benefit from a higher 4th gear or even a 5th gear.

            The 132 has an acceptable change, but again the ratios are not optimized for the car’s output. Its 5 very close ratios are good for spritely driving but on dual carriageways it could really do with a taller 5th gear, like that in the 131 VM, as you have to pay close attention to the rev counter as its all too easy to find yourself well into the red zone. The gearboxes of the 131 Perkins and VM, although they have good gear ratios, are not very co-operative. The very close 1-4 ratios in the 131 VM could be better spaced – you notice it when changing up into the tall 5th. The Ritmo has perfectly chosen ratios, but the change itself is imprecise and no-one in our test team liked it.

 

In the brakes department, the Ritmo is very dignified – we did not detect any brake fade despite the engine’s greater weight. The 505 brakes well despite being the biggest and heaviest in our test. The Sofim and Perkins are next while the 131 VM of our test seemed a little behind the curve, due we think to rather worn brake pads, as in principle the brakes are identical to those in the other 131’s on test. All at the bottom are the 132 (absolutely zero pedal modulation) and the talbots, which are could really do with being a bit more powerful under determined braking, but in normal use are OK.

 

When it comes to steering, the 505’s assisted system is the best for smoothness, response and precision. Next is the 131 Sofim, which was a big surprise for us. Theres a big difference from previous 131’s. Its very smooth and with no loss of precision. Also very precise, although a little heavy in town, is the Ritmo’s rack & pinion system. Next come the Talbots. Their steering is very precise and the turning circle very small, which gives it an agility unexpected for its size.The only downside is its quite heavy at slow speeds, though fine out on the open road. The 131 Perkins & VM share a precise system but it is heavy and even annoying compared to the Sofim. Bringing up the rear is the 132. Although the wheel is height-adjustable like the 131’s, its heaviness at both low and high speeds is such that we’d rather forget it. In terms of precision its acceptable.

 

Road behaviour: No embarrassment

 

Certainly, it’s a fact that most of these cars, in terms of road behaviour, are not embarrassed against other petrol-engined models. That’s because they are all based on existing well-proven base models and the diesel engines fitted all give a more than acceptable output in the main.

            When analysing the road behaviour, we mustn’t just look at the engine aspect, but the whole car, taking into account the stability, brakes, steering, engine response etc. That said, we can get started, although each reader will have already read our views on each of the individual aspects and might have drawn his own conclusions already.

 

As a whole then, we thing the best-behaved car is the Ritmo. Of its stability you cannot level any complaint whatsoever. Its also got enough oomph and flexibility that quickly makes it seem like the better car when you need to overtake and/or the road gets twisty. Its brakes and steering, as well as its excellent front suspension geometry, are state of the art, and allow you to cover ground genuinely quickly. Its thoroughly driveable. The 505, on the other hand, just can’t escape the fact that it is is a very heavy car. In terms of stability, brakes and steering, its faultless. In these aspects, both the 505 and the Ritmo are leagues ahead of all the others.

 

The 131 VM and Sofim are closely matched, as structurally the two are identical. IN stability these two are clearly a level below the Ritmo and Peugeot , but thanks to their gutsy engines they get away with it overall. Viewed in terms of performance both have got more zip than the Ritmo and 505, which translates to an ease of overtaking and high-speed cruising previously out of scope for diesel-engined passenger cars. Both operate at a level a notch up from the 131 VM. Having said that we though that the 131 Sofim was slightly down on performance relative to expectations. We think that, set up right, this car should be able to reach the 150km/h advertised by the factory.

 

For the rest, whether its an age thing, or a flagrant absence of power (131 Perkins), these cars are a level below, although the 132 Turbo is a quick car, it has to be said. In straight lines, on motorways and dual carriageways it’s a proper mile eater - sadly on the bends its size, brakes and steering all feel like a handicap beside the 505 and Ritmo.

 

Of the Talbot, we maintain its been the surprise of the group for its pace, showing itself capable of maintaining high speeds for long periods and with minimal fuss at reaching its top speed. Its pleasant to drive provided you don’t ask too much of its brakes and suspension on twisting roads.

 

In last plce is the 131 Perkins, whose lack of performance on the open road makes it borderline dangerous for overtaking. Everything else about it is identical to the other 131’s.

 

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CONCLUSION

 

Certainly between these 8 diesels, the conclusions that the comparative test draws, are clear. The 131 VM is undoubtedly the quickest, with excellent economy figures, as well as a competitive price agains the Peugeot and the Turmesa variants of the 132 and Talbot.

 

Of the Ritmo we can say, withour fear of being wrong, that it’s the most economic transport, especially if you take into account the asking price, which is 150,000ptas cheaper than the next cars in the test (The 131 Perkins & Sofim). Surprisingly, the Sofim costs only 3000pts more than the Perkins, yet the difference in ability between the two is colossal. For this reason the Sofim can consider itself the most successful in terms of price/performance/fuel economy. As for the Perkins, its best use continues to be the commercial role of Taxi. Its simplicity of design also is an asset, as is its economy, but on the open road its terribly slow.

Of the 505 we can say that its unarguably the most spacious, with some excellent virtues including its brakes, steering gearchange and a very long-lived reliable engine.

 

Coming to the Talbot, we can say that it’s the most thoroughly tested and well-proven car, and even if it doesn’t have quite the ‘shine’ in terms of performance or economy as some of the others it does have an excellent reputation, which has without doubt led to the successful installation of the Barreiros engine into the car.

 

Of the Turmesa version of the Talbot, we have to lok back to our previous test of the car, in which we achieved excellent values of economy and performance, and the 132 turbo (also by Turmesa) is a true mile-eater of surprising performance, suffering only from the lack of a decent 5th gear.

 

 


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#180 ONLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 11:07 PM

PS I reckon thats the biggest post in AS history


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