The Citroen Pallas
The Citroen is without doubt one of the World’s most advanced automobiles, and is consequently very comfortable, fast and safe. But for years there has been criticism of its rather agricultural power unit, while some drivers found its hydraulic gear-change not to their liking, the ID model with Manual gear-change being preferred in consequence, especially in England.
Rumours circulated of a flat-six air-cooled engine, for which the engine compartment of the DS had obviously been planned. but although such an engine was built, it was not proceeded with.
Now any criticism of engine and gear-change is resolved by the new luxury Pallas version of this fine car—the slightly different DS21 in France.
This new Citroen has a 90 x 85.5-mm. (2,175 c.c.) 4-cylinder engine with 5-bearing crankshaft, developing a smooth 109 (S.A.E) b.h.p. at 5,000. r.p.m, and 128 ft. lb. torque at 3,000-3,500 r.p.m. It pulls gear ratios of 14.21, 8.49, 5.58 and 3.73 to 1, in conjunction with new special low-profile Michelin XA2 180 x 380 tyres. There is now syncromesh on all four gears.
Dimensionally the car is unchanged, and it retains the same, famous aerodynamic form, with cleaner undershielding. The bumpers now have rubber cappings. There are also four headlamps, the normal ones linked to the suspension to provide at all times a level beam no matter what angle the car’s nose assumes, while these are supplemented by rather ugly external Cibie iodine-quartz headlamps, claimed to be 3.5-times more powerful than ordinary headlamps. The proof of the pudding is tasting it and I shall be very interested in my first taste of driving behind self-levelling headlamps. Without having done so I find myself wondering whether this improvement is really necessary, particularly on a car with self-levelling suspension. Citroen pioneers these iodine-quartz lamps but I must say they make this splendidly aerodynamic car untidy about the nose, which seems a pity. Experts tell us that iodine-quartz lamps are no better in fog than ordinary lamps, and although, again, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and I have yet to try to eat my way through a fog blanket in a Pallas, the immediate impression is that these lamps look ludicrous, like the flower-baskets my local council hangs from its ugly concrete lamp posts!
The interior looks much the same as before, but the extra ordinarily comfortable Citroen seats have been re-shaped to give better support, there is an entirely new facia incorporating a tachometer, the gear-gate hiss been revised, and the pile carpets have underlays the equal of those in the best boardrooms. The single-spoke steering wheel with sweat-absorbing binding, the ingenious internal door locks, the leather upholstery, etc.. remain unchanged. as incapable of improvement. But very thorough heating and ventilation. and defrosting, claimed to be near to perfection, figure in the Pallas, there are warning lights not only for low brake fluid level but for brake-pad wear (the contacts being within the Ferodo pads), and four separate horns. The gear-change has been improved, and is quicker than before the finger lever behind the steering wheel still actuating the starter, while the clutch cannot engage unless a gear Is fully selected, to obviate wear on the syncromesh cones that would go undetected with the Citroen power selection.
Naturally the front-drive, the self-levelling, multi-level, hydropneumatic suspension, inboard disc brakes, automatic clutch and power steering are retained. The Citroen Pallas, the luxury model of the range, costs £1,977 3s. 9d. tax paid and the Pallas M with manually-operated clutch and 4-speed gearbox is available at she same price. This car, with its high-revving engine and self-levelling headlamps, puts Citroen once again ten years ahead of the majority. — W.B.
The V4 Ford Corsairs
The well-known Ford Corsair from Dagenham forsakes its 1.5-litre in-line engine in favour of new V4 power units in two sizes- 1.7-litre and 2-litre. The Corsair otherwise remains the same. although the kerb weight goes up by 8%, with the 2-litre engine, or by 7.3%, in the case of the smaller-engined model. To counteract this there Is a power increase of 5.2% in power weight ratio and 19.6% in torque/weight ratio when the new 2-litre V4 is compared to the 1.5-litre Corsair GT, or of 24%, and 12.5%. respectively, when the 1.7-litre V4 is related to the old 1.5-litre Corsair. The smaller V4 engine develops 81.5 (gross) b.h.p, at 4,750 r.p.m. and that of the 2-litre Corsair GT 93 (gross) b.h.p. at the same crankshaft speed. The top speed of the Corsair V4 GT is quoted by its makers as in the mid-90s. The gearboxes have revised, higher gear ratios, based on the recommendations of Clark, Whitmore and Elford, those of the GT car being 10.536, 7.125, 4.952 and 3.545 to 1. The braking system has been revived the Borg-Warner 35 automatic transmission is available if preferred, and Ford’s excellent Aeroflow closed-window ventilation system is naturally retained.
The new engines have piston-top combustion chambers, as pioneered in the Rover 2000. and a water-heated inlet manifold.
Ford claim that these very short-stroke 60′ V4 engines, respectively of 93.6 x 60.3 mm. and 93.6 x 72.4 mm., are compact, stiff. low-stressed and highly efficient. We are told that Alan Worters, Ford’s Chief Power Unit Engineer, started work on these V4 engines three years ago, but surely they owe something to the 90 x 66.8-mm. V4 and 84 x 60-mm. V6 engines in the Ford Taunus cars? The German Ford V4 engine was designed for front-wheel-drive and I went out to Cologne to drive such a car in 1962. Although the Ford publicity blurb relates these latest Dagenham Ford short-stroke power units to the 13-litre in-line Renault which won the 1906 French Grand Prix—what does the purchaser of a 1966 Corsair care?–and implies that it is sophisticated to use a two-bank engine as found in modern successful racing and sports/racing cars, it is probable that cost reduction was in mind when adopting them, for there must be a saving in iron when using a crankshaft only 15.2 in. long, while such a short crankshaft requires only three bearings instead of five. However, the rocking-couple balancing problem of the 60″ V4 remains and, as on the Ford Taunus engine, calls for the complication of a geardriven balance shaft, with an additional gear in the timing train and lubrication to provide tor, to supplement counterweights in fan pulley and flywheel, as well as on the crankshaft. It seems a pity that the space conserved by this compact engine formation wasn’t passed on to the passengers, or the transmission taken forward to drive the front, wheels, although I suppose that a car good enough for Jim Clark and Jean Shrimpton, vide Ford publicity literature, should be good enough for me! As Ford of Dagenham have introduced a 2-litre version of their V4 engine one assumes that they have no intention of adopting a V6 for their larger models, at all events for some time to come, although Taunus are using a 2-litre V6 in their 20m, a car of similar size to the Corsair.—W. B.
Rootes’ New 1.7-Litre Engine
Soon any 4-cylinder in-line engine with fewer than five main bearings will seem suspect to the majority of the World’s buyers of motor cars. For next year the Rootes Group is installing in those of its Cars which previously had the 1,592 c.c. power unit a new 1,725 c.c. engine with a five-bearing crankshaft. This has an alternator in place of a dynamo and will be presented in 69.5-b.h.p. c.i.-head version for the Hillman Super Minx, Hillman de luxe and Singer Gazelle, in 91 b.h.p, alloy-head form with compound twin-choke carburetter for the Humber Sceptre, Sunbeam Rapier and Singer Vogue, and as a special 100 b.h.p. twin-carburetter version with which the Sunbeam Alpine will try to combat internal competition from the V8 Sunbeam Tiger. The cars are outwardly as before, except for new front-end styling for the Sceptre and Gazelle.—W. B.