"Underneath her clothes/ There’s an endless story/ There’s the mill you chose/ There’s a driver’s territory/ And all the torque you deserve/ For being such a good buyer honey.
" OK, we know, this one really needs explaining, so here we go:
The oil-burning story under the hood really seems endless, as the 1,995 cc diesel engine likes to rev high. It’s like this unit never heard of internal inertia, as it can quickly climb over 5,000 rpm with no signs of stress. Peak torque comes in at 2,000 rpm, while the maximum power is produced at 3,750 rpm.
Figures aside, the power delivery is a pretty non-linear one. There’s a bit of lag at first and then you car ride a wave of power that comes much more suddenly than in many contemporary engines. However, it’s like having two engines in one. If you’re in a relaxed mood, you can cruise gently, as there’s no actual turbo boom, while when you want to put the pedal to the carpet things get extra crispy.
The six ratios of the manual gearbox are perfectly balanced, allowing the engine to pull the almost 1.6 tons of the car swiftly up to the fourth one (including it). Once you’re past this point you can use the fifth and sixth for achieving a pleasing level of efficiency. Contrary to what some might expect, the gear lever’s travel is precise and rather short, so you’ll enjoy the process.
For many cars, this is where the juicy part of the tech story ends but for this one, it’s where it all begins. The little 4Control badge on the B-pillar doesn’t mean that you’ve got 4WD, like many passers by guessed. Instead, it means that the rear axle also steers. Up to 37 mph (60 km/h) the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction of the front ones, up to an angle of 3.5 degrees giving the car a turn radius of 10.8 meters.
Real world translation: instead of having a turn radius of 12.05 meters you’ll turn just like a Clio. Over this speed, all four wheels participate in a perfectly synchronized ballet, following the same direction. This gives you the “My car is on rails feeling” (we actually put the car on rails - check out the image gallery), which can otherwise only be found in vehicles that cost at least twice as much.
We convinced the car to levitate a bit, so if you check out the image gallery bellow, you'll be able to see the electric assistance mechanism and the entire system that allows the rear wheels to steer.
And this is not all. The system and the ESP are good friends and they work together so well that we could say this is the only car we’ve driven that feels nicer to drive at the limit with the ESP on. There is one annoying fact connected to the nanny though, as it manages to automatically re-activate itself after each time you burn some rubber.Continue reading