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Lightweights scatter but Talbot lives on

23rd October 1982
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Page 53, 23rd October 1982 — Lightweights scatter but Talbot lives on
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Bill Brock and Tim Blakemore bring them all together in seven pages devoted to new and established models up to 3.5 tonnes gvw

WERATORS wishing to see all he lightest commercial vehicles under 3.5 tonnes gvw) at the 4EC must visit a dozen stands in mils two and five and will find bat the importers have a strong mesence.

However, the name of one reiowned English car, Talbot, Ives on in the commercial world Nith a new 10-model range — made in Italy. Ford's market eader, the Transit, in its longNheelbase form, now has in:reased floor space. And Bedford has replaced its Chevanne Nith the Astra van — the first UK-built van to be offered with a diesel engine alternative.

VAG UK is importing a pick-up derivative of the Golf car and the Mercedes-Benz range has more power.

Stand 220 Mercedes-Benz

IT IS five years since MercedesBenz introduced the "Bremen" range of vans and chassis cab into the UK and in this time the vehicles have become one of the company's most striking successes.

This year all Mercedes-Benz vans and chassis cabs up to 3.5 tonnes gvw, along with the heavier Dusseldorf models havebeen given more power.

The diesel engines output has been increased from 48 kW (65bhp) to 53kW (71bhp) while the revised 230E series petrol units have an 11 per cent increase to 70kW (94bhp). Petrol versions are redesignated 210 and 310.

A high roof line and low platform height combine with a flat side to give these vans a load volume of 7.34cum (262cuft).

Stand 230 Daihatsu

The long wheelbase Daihatsu Fourtrak has a 2.69m (106in) wheelbase and a choice of 1,587cc petrol and 2,530cc diesel engines. It is available in hard top, pick-up or tipper form. The hard top shown will carry a payload of 880kg on its 1.78m (5ft 10in) platform length. Horizontally split doors provide rear access to its 3cum (106.8cuft) interior.

The short wheelbase Daihatsu Fourtrak has the same power option of the 49kW (65bhp) petrol unit, developing 109Nm (148Ibft) of torque, or diesel units rated at 46kW (62bhp) with torque of , 145Nm (107Ibft).

Both models can be driven in either two or four-wheel drive. Engagement of low ratio necessitates the use of four-wheel drive.

The bodies are of integral construction. Every vehicle carries an eight-year warranty against rust. Semi-elliptic springs and double-acting suspension give the axle articulation required for tough off-road running.

Improvements to the Daihatsu 55 Wide van (not the most imaginative of model names) this year include a longer wheelbase, 1.78m (5ft 10in), and a wider track of 1.19m (3ft 11in), and a change of engine location to improve ride and handling. The 547cc petrol engine drives through a mechanically operated single dry plate clutch to a four-speed all-synchromesh gear box and on to the rear axle.

With a gvw of 1,250kg, the 55 Wide van offers a payload capacity of 565kg, including the crew.

Stand 512 VAG UK

VAG UK has introduced a pickup derivative of the Golf car. Its wheelbase, at 2.63m (103in) is longer than the car's.

A body length of 1.82m (6ft) provides for a load area of 2.3 9sqm (2 5.7sqft) while nominal payload is given as 700kg.

The all-steel body is equipped with a removable hinged tail board to allow for longer loads.

A water cooled four-cylinder petrol engine, developing 51kW (70bhp) at 5,600rpm, drives through a four-speed gearbox to the front axle.

Two examples of the Golf van are shown — one with a 1.1-litre petrol engine and one with a 1.6litre diesel engine.

Stand 513 Datsun

Among the nine vehicles shown on the Datsun stand, there are five different versions of the new Cabstar. Available in standard form as a high-deck pick-up or as a chassis cab, it is powered by a two-litre ohc pe trol engine developing 6710,A4 (90bhp) and coupled to a fivespeed overdrive gearbox. The cab has been redesigned to improve visibility and ease of entry while the girder type chassis haE leaf spring suspension at the rear and torsion bar suspension at the front.

Pick-up versions have a payload of 1,885Kg, and the :hassis cab's payload is ?,125Kg.

Nissan's Urvan E23 is also itted with a two-litre engine and ive-speed gearbox.

This panel van offers a rayload of 1,305Kg. Modificaions have been made to the sus)ension to reduce roll and im)rove the ride characteristics. itandard features include a slidng door for the load compartnent on the near side, load reaining hooks and a safety grille )ehind the cab (though there is ;till a walk-through facility).

Smallest of the Datsun range s the Sunny van, which has a )ayload of 505Kg and a useful oad compartment with a low lat floor and high lift tail gate. It s powered by a 1,171cc petrol

Stand 515 Fiat

A high roof for the Fiat Daily 35.9 integral van gives an internal height of 1.8m (6ft 2in), vvhich is an increase of 355mm 114in) over the previous model, and a total capacity of 12cum (424cuft).

The roof is made from grp and has steel channel supports which line up with the body interior side pillars.

In other respects the new version is similar to the original integral body with standard nearside sliding load door. The 30.9 an (rated at three tonnes gvw) is designed to have a taxation weight of less than 1,525kg, thus avoiding annual plating and testing.

A platform length of 2.46m (Sit 1in) is complemented by an internal capacity of 7 cum (247cuft).

Stand 516 Toyota

Toyota's commercial vehicle exhibits include the Hi-Ace long and short wheelbase vans, and pick-ups such as the Hi-Lux 4x2 and 4x4 and the Land Cruiser.

Both Hi-Lux pick-ups have allsteel loadbed sides, tailgates, and box section steel cargo frames with flap up side chocks to keep the load in position. The 4x2 is powered by a 51kW (68bhp)! 1,587cc engine. The Toyota 12R engine is coupled to a four speed synchromesh gear box controlled by a columnmounted gear shift lever.

A 66kW (88bhp) two-litre power unit drives the 4x4 version which, with a transfer box and floor-mounted gear lever, gives the option of two-wheel drive and high or low ratio fourwheel drive.

The 4x4 has a nominal payload of one ton, and for the 4x2 it is slightly more.

The Hi-Ace, Toyota's light forward-control vehicle, is shown • in six different guises: two panel vans, 12 and 15-seater minibuses, a Luton body and a diesel-engined pick-up.

The Toyota's 1,587cc petrol engine is used in short wheelbase models but for long wheelbase versions the two-litre ohc unit, developing 66kW (88bhp) and 145Nm (1071b/ft) of torque, is specified, while a 2.2 litre 45kW (60bhp) single overhead camshaft diesel unit is used for the pick-up. All share a fourspeed synchromesh gearbox with column shift.

The vehicle has a leaf-sprung front axle and live rear axle arid braking is via a servo-assisted dual hydraulic system operating front disc and rear drum brakes.

Sliding doors give access to the front of the vehicle, while the top-hinged rear door is held open using hydro-pneumatic struts.

The Land Cruiser is Toyota's 4x4 five-seater diesel-powered estate car. Its box section frame of high tensile steel gives a kerb weight of 1,970Kg.

Two or four-wheel drive can be selected in high or low ratio by a pair of floor-mounted levers, while switching of the free wheeling front hubs is made on the wheel hubs.

Leaf spring suspension gives a better ride than might be expected from this type of vehicle. The power unit is a six-cylinder ohv 3,980cc diesel which develops 76kW (102bhp) at a lowly 3,50Orpm.

Power-assisted recirculating ball type steering includes a damper unit to reduce the kickback from the road wheels.

Stand 521 Renault

In the commercial vehicle hall, Renault is showing its full range of Trafic _and Master front or rear-wheel drive models, plus the smaller 9cwt 4F6 van. For the Trafic all-steel panel van there are five load volume options ranging from 4.7cum to 7.8cum (166cuft to 275cuft) while for the Master there are four, ranging from 8.17cum to 11.6cum (289cuft to 410cuft).

Both Trafic and Master can be specified in chassis cab form but only the Master is available as a platform cab. The Trafic offers payloads between 800 and 1,200kg and three engine options.

There are two petrol units of 1,397cc and 1,647cc swept volumes with outputs of 35kW (47.5bhp) and 47kW (63bhp) respectively, and a diesel 2,068cc unit.

Payload for the Master is quoted as 1,800kg and it is available with either a 60kW (80bhp) 1,995cc petrol engine or a 2,445cc diesel producing 51kW (68bhp).

These two models, in vz form, offer numerous perrnut tions of door opening. The R nault 4F6 9cort van is a fror wheel-drive model but unlike .1 many of the more recently intr.' duced cars and vans of this tyr it has its 1,1 0 8cc engin mounted longitudinally.

The power output of the petr unit is 25kW (34bhp) and it able to run on two-star fuel.

The gear lever is dasf mounted in the distinctive Ri nault style, while rack and pinio steering gives positive dire' tional control.

Stand 522 Talbot

Talbot enters the light con mercial vehicle market with th Talbot Express, a ten-modi range of vans, chassis cabs an passenger vehicles.

Developed and manufacture jointly by Peugeot and Fiat i Italy the 1000, 1300 and 150 ont-wheel-drive panel vans fer low floor heights and large 'pacifies. Load length behind e seats is 2.68m (8ft 8.5in) on 'art' wheelbase models and film (lift lin) on long wheelse models. Load volume nges from 6.5cum (229.5cuft) r the standard van body t0 l.2cum (360cuft) for the long heelbase hi-roof 1500 van.

Two petrol and one diesel enne, all manufactured by Peulot SA are availabe in the nge. The 1,796cc petrol unit welops 50.7kW (68bhp) at 300rpm and torque of 138Nm D2lbft) at 2,300rpm, while the 9 7 lcc unit gives 5 7kW 5.9bhp) at 5,000rprn and torle of (114Ibft) at 2,500rpm.

Low compression ratios, 7.5 to 3nd 8.0 to 1, permit the use of '0-star petrol.

The diesel option is a 2,500cc it developing 55.2kW (74bhp) 4,100rpm and torque of 11Ibft) at 2,000rpm. It has a .25 compression ratio. A foureed gearbox is fitted to the 00 model while a five-speed N with overdrive is supplied in e 1300 and 1500 models.

MacPherson struts are emcontinued overleaf ployed in the front suspension while dual rate semi-elliptical springs are fitted at the rear, together with a tubular beam axle.

Front disc brakes and rear drum brakes are servo-assisted.

Load anchorage points are provided in the rear compartment and a substantial load cage is fitted behind the driver.

Unlike their French counterparts, the Trafics and Masters sold in the UK have floor mounted gearlevers.

Stand 535 Freight Rover

Freight Rover's Sherpa range now extends from two to 2.8 tonnes gvw. 1.7 and two-litre petrol engine options are supplemented by a 1.8-litre diesel unit.

The range of body options exhibited includes Luton, Hi Capacity van, Minibus, Dropside and City versions. The panel van was restyled in June.

Vertical panel seams are not only less prone to trap rain water and rust but allow this model to be offered with a wide sliding door, a feature that was not possible with the previous model.

Visibility has been improved in a number of ways; exterior rear view mirrors are larger and are mounted on vibration-resistant knock-back fixings.

More vertical "8" posts allow a wider field of vision, and the larger windows of the new rear doors, which now open to 1800 with a. stop at 900, give a better rear view.

Holes and gaps in the scuttle are all sealed now and a sound damping headlining has been added. Wind-up windows replace those draughty sliding ones and Freight Rover claims that Sherpa now has the lowest interior noise levels of any light commercial van.

. County trim for the lwb LandRover Station Wagon gives an improved level of comfort for this seemingly ageless workhorse.

Extra capacity is a feature of the new High Capacity Pick-Up. Its all-aluminium cargo body has an increased volume of 25 per cent over the standard model.

A de-rated version of the V8 petrol engine can be specified

Stand 537 Ford

The smallest of all Ford commercial vehicles is the 1100L Fiesta van, which is fitted with an 1,1 0 Occ petrol engine mounted transversely.

In 1981 Ford introduced the front-wheel-drive Escort van. The Show model is a 55L with a payload capacity of 550kg.

There are four examples of the P100 pick-up truck to be seen on the stand. Mechanically all are similar, with the same four cylinder ohc 1.6-litre petrol engine driving through to the specially developed heavy duty rear axle. The transmission consists of a 215mm (8.5in) diameter clutch and a four-speed synchromesh gearbox.

Two of the pick-ups exhibited have the L standard of trim, while one of the basic P100 models also has optional cloth trim.

As a market leader the Transit range is under ever-increasing attack from its opposition. It was spruced up a little earlier this year but the Popular 80 introduced in 1981 remains in basic form and has continued to sell well. It is equipped with the standard 1.6-litre ohc petrol engine.

A reduction in size of the wheel arches on the long wheelbase Tranist 100 has increased the usable floor area. The Popular apart, gloss paint, door storage bin, rear door trim and full length cab mats are now standard on all Transit models.

The 100 Custom van now includes a side loading door and improved noise insulation. On the short wheelbase model a two-litre petrol engine rated at 58kW (78bhp) is the standard power unit.

With a gvw of 3.5 tonnes, the 190 is the heaviest of the Transit range. It can be equipped with a wide variety of bodywork, and is fitted with Ford's three-litre V6 petrol engine, which has a maximum power output of 75kW (100bhp).

Stand 539 Bedford

The Astra Van replaces Bedford's Cheyenne and will be offered alongside the HA. Bed ford's aim in continuing to of two models is to appeal to many van operators as possib the HA buyer is likely to looking for a basic specificati( but with plenty of usable lo volume, while the Astra shot appeal to the van opera1 looking for better driver comfi and a more modern stylish z pearance.

The Astra is the first UK-bt van in its class to be offered w the power unit alternative lei diesel engine. The choice is k tween a 1.6-litre ohc diesel gine or a 1.3-litre ohc petrol un Both engines are transvers mounted and drive the ft( wheels through a combin gearbox and differential and equal length drive shafts.

The Astra Van is built at Vat hall's Ellesmere Port plant anc based on the three-door estl car model.

Front and rear suspension unchanged from the car, bei McPherson struts at the fr( with heavy duty Tubb bearings, and compound cra (transverse torsion beam w trailing arms) at the rear. Co pared with the Cheyenne, t Astra's load volume is 12 r cent greater. Payload capacity slightly more for the diesel

ed version than for the petrol but in both cases is around Ikg (9.8cwt).

're-show speculation about jor changes for Bedford's CF and chassis cabs have Lved to lack substance but iford has refined its 1983 CF dels in a number of ways, I has announced that in the umn next year an electric CF i will go inta production at on.

ledford's engineers have conrtrated on reducing noise, ration and harshness in the diesel and petrol-powered CFs. New rear spring mountings and a new design of rear-axle-tospring-isolator help to reduce road noise transmitted through the rear suspension. Engine and drive line mountings have also received close attention and have been improved to reduce the transmission of mechanically generated vibration. A new engine torque reaction restraint on 2.3-litre petrol variants and a softer compliance rear engine mounting on diesel models reduce noise transmitted to the body from the power train cornponents.

More noise reduction and improved corrosion resistance into the bargain stems from coating the vehicle underside with bituminous uncierbody sealing compound.

Bedford claims a cab interior noise level reduction with the 1983 CFs of 6dB{A), which is equivalent to a 30 per cent reduction in loudness.

Further refinements on the 1983 CF range include a new Bostrom-designed driver's-seat, new multi-leaf variable rate springs at the rear for single rear wheel models and revised front damper settings and spring rates for improved ride quality. Factory finish paint is now standard on all models (except the CF230) with a delete code option to primer finish if required.

On petrol-engined models, electronic ignition is fitted as standard. one-tonne, 1.3 tonne and 1.5 tonne high roof and chassis cab.

The Fiat Ducat° is a new vehicle developed jointly with the French PSA group. Frontwheel-drive enables the design to provide a flat low floor maximising on volume for the given floor area.

A transversely mounted overhead valve petrol engine of 1,791cc powers the one-tonne panel van and a 1,971cc unit is fitted into the heavier models.

The load capacity measures 6.5cum (229.5cuft) on the standard wheelbase van and is increased to 9.8curn (346cuft) on long wheelbase, high roof models.

All are equipped with dual circuit brakes with servo-assisted front disc and self-adjusting rear drum brakes.

Production of rhd models began in September at the new Sangro Valley plant which was specifically built to assemble the product of this collaborative venture.

Despite the compact overall dimensions of the Fiat 900E Citivan — 3.73m (12ft 3iri) long, it provides a relatively good internal volume of 2.6 5cum (93.5cuft).

Improvements for this model year include new front seats, instrument panel and head restraints, larger rear-view mirrors and more substantial bumpers. The spare wheel has been moved from the load space and relocated beneath the floor.

The smaller Florin() completes the light commercial range from Fiat, which offer all its models with a 12-month unlimited mileage warranty, six-year anticorrosion warranty and free membership of the RAC.


People: Tim Blakemore
Locations: Dusseldorf

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