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Magazine Article: 505 TD


Real cars have hydraulics
Source: Wheels July '82
Page 1 of 4

It's Australias fastest diesel or slowest turbo, depending on which side of the $20,000 cheque you're on. Either way the enigmatic new Peugeot 505 Turbodiesel is liable to be greatly misunderstood: 5000km later, we think we have the answer . .

SAMUAL R. PAYNE would love the new Peugeot 505 Turbodiesel. From the sound of his letter (Readers Write, this issue ), he's hooked on diesel-powered cars. And who wouldn't be, after chopping in a 9.9km/l (28 mpg) petrol Golf for a 17 km/l (48 MPG) diesel Golf? After three years and 62,00km of economy like that, Samuel has nearly recouped the $1200 extra the Golf D cost him. Since he does his own servicing total savings have probably put his car's balance sheet well into the black.

“The Federal Government should promote diesel-powered cars and give manufacturers an incentive to build more”, his letter concludes. Leyland Australia, importers/assemblers of Peugeot cars, would do well to cultivate Samuel R. Payne . . .

The rest of us, the vast majority of motorists in Australia, don't know about diesels. You don't have to do your own servicing like Samuel -- and most owners do not -- but you must know how to drive a diesel, -- quietly, long distance -- and how to own a diesel. Samual's had his Golf three years and will probably keep it another three at least. In the first three years he paid for the car; all the savings now are money in his pocket.

These are just a couple of the truisms of living with a diesel, and they're more than usually important with the Peugeot Turbodiesel for rarely has a car come our way that is so likely to be utterly misunderstood.

For most people, just four figures from our Specs Chart-- $20,000 l60km/h, 21 second for the 400m and 11.47km/1 (32mpg) for our fuel loop -- Will be enough to dismiss the car out of hand, It's a combination that doesn't add up: for the price of a Ford Fairlane you get a laser's top speed a Daihatsu Handivans 400m time and the fuel economy of an Audi 5+ 5 a similarly-sized sedan to the Peugeot but with a third more power.

If that doesn't put you off, talk to a diesel denigrator, and for every Samuel R. Payne there's a dozen who'll willingly do the dirty on the diesel. By telling you, perhaps, how they sold their oil-burner aftermost a year or two and had to bear the brunt of the diesel mark-up in depreciation . Or how they wanted to do their own servicing but were incapable of it. Or how they had to spend so much time at the garage having their car serviced and oil- changed. Or how they had to queue up with the truckies at the inevitably filthy service station fuel pump. Why, they will scream, should we put up with all this when already diesel engine is rougher, noiser dirtier and potentially more expensive to maintain than a petrol unit?

The fact that diesel engines, until now, have had disgusting kW/litre figures only rubs salt into an already gaping wound.
The turbocharger is the weapon to change at least part of this gloomy picture: to give unresponsive weak-kneed diesel engines a semblence of a petrol units response and power without sacrificing the oil-burners thrift with fuel.

The turbo is now an integral part of diesel engine technology and is in no small part responsible for a strengthening of the diesels boom in europe and America.
Today every big car maker in the world either has or soon will have diesel engines available for its cars, and an increasing proportion of these -- from VW Golf to Rover to Mercedes -- make use of a blower to enhance performance. Ye gods, these days there's even a diesel Alfa.
Strangely, the Alfa makes the most sense, particularly in Italy where, like Holland, diesel fuel is half the price of petrol. In Australia, as in Britain, diesel costs the same, if not slightly more than petrol, and the incentive in driving a ear With a 'D' on the boot is that you don't have to fill up so often - -- fuel consumption -- and with it a welcome independence from petrol strikes - is reduced.

Generally the reduction is a healthy one.

Sometimes it's a big saving, but equally sometimes a diesel offers no fuel saving at all, it depends on how the car is used.
You may think that this doesn't bode too well for the 505TD, the first turbo diesel-powered car to reach Australia.
And for many buyers this car, which by now is being assembled at Leyland's Enfield plant alongside the petrol 505, will make no sense: It is certainly not a car for every man; For others, however, the combination of the maker's respected long standing (and mightily impresive) attributes of the 505 and a diesel engine blown to give petrol engine- type performance will represent the best news they-ve heard all year.

And the 505 is indeed a sweet way to take the bitter diesel pill. The car is one of Europe's nicest middleweight sedans, with great comfort, room and style. The Pininfarina-drawn body, sitting on a terrifically long wheelbase and using many carryover parts from the 504 and 604, has a simple elegance to it that lets the car stand head and shoulders above most of it, three-box contemporaries, and certainly any from Japan. Traditional Peugeot virtues feature in the 505 Aplenty: the soft, long travel all-independent suspension, the fabulous cabin room (there's probably as much usable interior legroom as in a Falcon), the armchair comfort (beautifully covered full-foam seats), the good visibility, dash layout and controls, and a roadability that is in the best European traditions. We said all that in our comparison between the petrol 505 and the Commodore, Audi 5+ 5, Renault 20 and Volvo 244 (wheelchair '82), when we also pointed out the five-speed manual Pug was hardly a road-burner with a 400m time of 19.8 second' s, poor even allowing that the test car had covered less than 1000km. With a greater distance under its tyres that car may have gone closer to the 18 .9 time we recorded for a previous 505.
The fact remains, however, that with the



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Real cars have hydraulics
Source: Wheels July '82
Page 2 of 4

old push rod-operated overhead valve two-litre four, the 505 is nowhere near the top rank - up with the Audi for example - in its performance/economy balance. It is fair to say that here the Turbodiesel doesn't have a lot to beat.
The Turbodiesel's engine is an alloy- head 2.3-litre four-cylinder which gives 59kW at 4150 rpm (650rpm short of the red line) and 180Nm at 2000rpm - almost 30Nm up on the petrol motor to help compensate for the Turbo's 10kW power disadvantage. The fuel is squirted directly into the clambers by a Bosch Injection system and the engine runs a diesel's traditionally high compression ratio, in this case 21 to one.

As with the petrol version, a five-speed manual a three-speed auto is offered, both with long-legged tops, and the brakes are servoed discs back and front.

Unlike the petrol 505, however, the Turbo's steering is power-assisted and the car wears Michelin TRX tyres on alloy wheels (against Michelin XZXs). The only other differences between the two are the badges and the dashboard: the Turbo misses out on the combined tachometer/economy gauge.

Equipment is the same for both models: air-conditioning, stereo, electric front windows, central locking.

At Leyland's Enfield plant just two 505 models are assembled, the petrol and the Turbo-deisel. The normally aspirated diesel, which was always imported fully built up and cost (only $1000 less than the Turbo), has been cut from the range. That range today starts at $17,500 for a manual petrol model, with the auto at $18,100, The Turbodiesels cost $19,950 for the manual ($2450 up on the petrol) and $20,400 for the auto ($2300 up).

We did 5112km in the test car, an early, French-built one with automatic transmission, through New South Wales,Victoria and Queensland. Sometimes, the car was driven punishingly hard, but mostly it was cruised at around 130k/h; either way, it wasn't driven for economy.

The 508.58 litres of diesel, at an average price of 37.1 cents/litre, needed for that distance gave an overall consumption of 10.01 km/l (28.19 mpg) and that is fine economy, comparing most favourably with the overall figure we returned from the petrol 505. In all fairness, however, that wouldn't be hard: 7.9 km/l (22.5 mpg) is no great shakes for a l70km/h sedan (as the 180km/h Audi 5+ 5, with 9.6km/l or 27.1 mpg overall shows only too clearly).

As it stands, the automatic Turbo is 2.2km/l or 5.7mpg ahead of the petrol car, and that's a margin likely to be duplicated in most driving conditions by most owners. there is scope for a bigger improvements however, just as there is scope for worse. Prolonged, steady-steed cruising at high rpm isn't to any diesel engine's liking, and if you try to maintain anything past about 130km/h this Peugeot will make you pay, The Worst figure we saw on our trip was 8.6km/1 (24.2mpg)

which was recorded on a particularly fast section. It is worth pointing out that there are some petrol-engined sedans which will cruise at 130km/h-plus more economically, though perhaps not when fitted with an Automatic gearbox.

To get the best economy out of the Turbodiesel you need to keep engine rpm down - easy, even in the auto, thanks to the tall gearing - and make full use of the engines strong bottom end; remember peak torque: is developed adjust 2000rpm.
In top gear, that two grand will put 75km/h on the speedo, discounting torque converter slippage, and even at 100km/h revs are still well below 3000 where the engine should remain if the best economy is to be obtained.


Real cars have hydraulics
For the best performance, however, the engine needs to be working a little harder: the turbo needs the revs to come fully on song. Without benefit of a tacho, it's difficult to be accurate about the engine's most productive band, but in feel it's past 3000rpm for, in top gear, the Peugeot is more alive and responsive to the throttle at 130km/h than it is at 100. At 100km/h with second gear run out and the kickdown switch with nowhere to kick down to, the engine is in an off-turbo trough that feels as wide as the Grand Canyon and it takes more than 17 seconds put the speeds needle on 130km/h.

That's on the flat. On a slight incline it can be a struggle to hold 100 km/h and a steeper hill will see speed fall to the point where the kickdown will call up second, the upper reaches of which, with full turbo boost, are generally enough to maintain speed - until just under 100km/h when again the car falls into the hole that is third gear. On some hills, charged at say, 110-120km/h, we saw 30-40km/h disappear off the speeds with the throttle jammed to the firewall, while the same hill approached at 140-150km/h, turbo on, would cause less of a problem.

It's worth pointing out that a brief drive we had in the manually-geared Turbodiesel showed that car to have much better flexibility around the crucial-for- overtaking 100km/h mark, a point which would weigh heavily with us. The auto's ratios, at they stand, ate a poor enough match for the engine's characteristics to make overtaking manoeuvred potentially gut-wrenching. True, drama is lessened by using the manual hold - the lever is marked 1-2-3 rather than drive and low: and moves freely between each slot, as if in recognition of the fact that drivers must use it extensively - but performance is still less than ideal: three ratios cannot hope to spread this engine's torque as can five Significantly better fuel figures for the manual back this up.

The manual's quintet of ratios make it easier to stay clear of the rev range extremes, areas where the auto spends too much time and, relatively, uses too much fuel.

The car's overtaking ability is the biggest worry since the 505TD is a car that will spend much of its time cruising on difficult country roads. In other respects, however -- on a flat road with no traffic, for example - the Turbodiesel goes and changes gear smoothly and efficiently, and below 80km/h the pert- throttle kickdown is eager, which is a great help in city traffic. Straight-line performance is impressive for a diesel, though at around 19 seconds 0-100km/h it will shatter some commonly-held beliefs about turbos. Flat out in top the car will get to 150km/h on the speeds fairly readily, and with a bit of help will put 160 on the clock (a true 150). A lot of help might well conjure up a true 160km/h, impressive considering the car's mediocre aerodynamics and the extra weight: the TD is 90kg up on the petrol 505, itself no lightweight. noise - and the at speeds like this economy consequences - is the biggest drawback. The engine really only sounds noisy at idle, when its bronchial clatter is unmistakably diesel, and at speeds past 130km/h when it sounds rough. In between these extremes - and that means 99 percent of driving time - the oil-burning Pug is impressively quiet from within.

At 60km/h the car is as subdued as they come, and even at 100 or 110 it's wind noise - rather too much in the test car - that beats any engine noise, and at these speeds someone who didn't know woudln't be able to pick the car as a diesel. It is, indeed, at these speeds that the car excels. Sitting in that delicious cabin on wonderful seats (marred only by their lack of infinite backrest adjustment -



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Real cars have hydraulics
(continued from page 37)
this Peugeot feels like a million bucks. It's like riding on a cottonwool cloud; squishy soft, and quiet. There are cars around which ride more flatly at the expense of the low-speed jiggles but not, perhaps, at the expense of a roly-poly attitude that some sensitive souls may well find induces motion sickness.
Certainly the body rolls at lot? rendering the dashboard-top tray useless and causing passengers to hold on tight.
It's also the body roll that effectively limits cornering speeds. Sharp S-bends taken fast cause an uncomfortably extreme body lurching and, anyway, you can never be as accurate with a car that rolls this much as with one whose body stays flat; oversteer though available with extreme lift-off provocation of the throttle, is a no-no with this car and there won't be an owner who'll mind that.

Understeer, too, is slight thanks to the tyres tenacious grip - they're Michelins fine TRXs, remember - and owners will find this Peugeot has neutral handling with plenty of body roll but always first class stability, both in corners and on straights.

As befits the Turbodiesel's more conservative image, the steering, assisted for the first time on a 505 sold in Australia, is more ponderous in bends than the manual set-up of the petrol 505, though the assistance is well weighted and nicely takes off the edge of heaviness.

In our comparison January, we concluded that the Peugeot 505 would appeal to a 10-years-older version of the man who bought an Audi 5+ 5, a firmer more sporting car. That said, We can only surmise that the 505 TurboDiesel would appeal to a buyer 20 years older, someone looking to buy their last car and keep it for 10 years or more: time enough, according to our figures, to run up the 209,000km| it will take to recoup in fuel savings the diesels $2300 extra over the petrol car.

Someone, perhaps, looking for an alternative to the slower and vastly more expensive Mercedes diesels. In that regards the Peugeot 505 Turbodiesel is probably a snip at the price. But if you don't know about diesels, talk to someone like Samuel R. Payne first . . .



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1000+ Posts
G'day Shane,

so how did you manage the 109k ? upload panel allows lousy 100k :)

Mod bonus ?



Real cars have hydraulics
The aussiefrogs server seems to be automatically compressing the jpegs to 109kb regardless of my upload size :)

Shane L.


1000+ Posts
G'day Shane,

yep, tried one today, 109k, reduced to 100 point something.

Tried one just after the resurrection, and it gave me the finger - this way is much better :)