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Hartside overdue

on Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:55 am
I'm well overdue another drive up to Hartside which is my 'blat' of choice. 45 miles each way. Apart from through the towns and villages..it's maximum attack.

60 mins was my old record in my 306 DT years ago.

I more recently bettered it to (i think) around the 54 minute mark in three vehicles - the Panda, the 9-5 Aero and the Puma.

All different vehicles with different stats.

I was surprised as i thought he Saab would be by far the quickest. But...i think they were equal for the following reasons:

The route is overall, quite twisty. With many inclines and descents. The road opens up nearer the summit/cafe.

The Saab had the power (230bhp) on the straights and hills....but wasn't superb around the bends. It went well...but couln't hide it's size and weight around the bends. Very enjoyable however.

The Panda was well down on power compared to the Saab with only 99bhp...but only 975kg...but the main thing about the Panda was that it was pretty 'hardcore'. You could carry silly speeds through the bends as it also had wide, grippy 'summer' tyres...and you could feel the improvement in grip as they warmed up. With the Panda being so hard and firm...it was very much a case of 'hold on for your life' as it bounced and crashed around the roads. There were a couple of LOL moments when i wondered what the hell was going on and one moment where i just shouted out loud 'F*******CK' as the car just absolutely clattered through a series of bumpy bends...it was hard and a bit mental....but it was very very effective!

The Puma though.....what a car to drive. I really wish i had a garage. Then i could have kept the Puma and worked on it and kept it up to a standard. Mine was in poor condition and the list of jobs needed was just too much to consider.

However - even in the conditon it was in - what a car. A bit more power (123bhp) but also weight (1043kg) than the Panda...so not a great deal quicker....but that whole chassis / gearchange / steering thing going on. Every bit as good as they raved about. Engine was also superb and super smooth to use with a lovely roar at the top end. The Pandas engine probably sounded better in general use, it had a real rorty grunt to it and sounded far better than a normal 1.4 needed to - but the 1.7 in the Puma was just so clever. If you took it easy, you could feel the VCT doing it's thing....and if you worked it hard, it rewarded by being so smooth and lively...with a lovely bark in the last 1,000 revs. The icing on the cake was the mpg which was also better than the Panda. Excellent.

Brakes however were very poor - mine needed replacing anyway but the standard brakes are definitely the worst part of the Puma experience - they just feel a bit wooden and 'ok', especially compared to the other feedback you get from the lovely steering and ridiculously good gearchange.

I'm waffling about the Puma but it's worth it!

That car got 54 mins, the same as the Saab and Panda....but the finesse was in a different level. You could feel the car telling you exactly what was happening. It didn't have the grip of the Panda or the grunt of the Saab....but you could absolutely lean on the car....it would gently begin to skid as it reached it's level of grip...but the car would be telling you all the time "i'm with you, i'm with you, you can try a bit harder here...steady on there,...a bit more there".

I've no doubt i could have improved my time a fair bit if i'd have had better brakes. They were the limiting factor. I couldn't trust the brakes...but i could absolutely trust everything else. A total joy and i miss it!

So, i need to do the Hartside run again!

Trouble is....i dont fancy doing it in the Picasso....because it's a Picasso and i would get little pleasure out of it. Nor really the 107...for although it's fun to scoot around in....it'll be out of it's depth on the faster open roads.

I need a decent car again! But there's no chance at the moment!

Teeps - you're localish. We should do the Hartside run sometime!
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Re: Hartside overdue

on Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:45 pm
Want to borrow the XFR?!

300kg heavier, extra 275BHP and 270Nm of torque.
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Re: Hartside overdue

on Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:46 pm
LKs mate might lend you a 911
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Re: Hartside overdue

on Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:39 am
Hugh! I would very very much like to borrow the XFR, thank you Smile I suspect my previous times would be obliterated!
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Re: Hartside overdue

on Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:34 am
Or the car....
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Re: Hartside overdue

on Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:31 am
Pauline! I would take extra care! But it would be rude not to....sample the power where applicable.
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Re: Hartside overdue

on Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:21 pm
Mind you I expect 300 bhp and 4WD would probably be quicker if it's very twisty.

Do you stick to NSL?


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Re: Hartside overdue

on Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:17 pm
What's an NSL? There's none o' that nonsense up here Laughing

Crixo, I had the 2.0 Egg and it was mental quick...I may have gone hooning down the local Autobahn and squeezed 119 out of it. Just the once mind you. After that, I only ever managed 113 out of it. But it was an excellent thing to drive! It had wide tyres and the suspension is set up for weight, so if it's just you, it shouldn't lean too much... Mind you, I can't recall, is it the egg one or the fridge one? Ahh, wait, is it the 1.6hdi? They made that same engine, but with different outputs. Wife's C4 has load of power and goes well. Mates one (that munched the valves when a hidden cam chain broke, only the farking Frogs would put a timing belt on the outside to drive one cam and a chain on the inside to drive another.......then not mention it Evil or Very Mad cuunts!!) was much slower by at least several seconds to 60. Wife's one is the SXi with the auto clutch, mate's one is manual.

I digress, but a remap should sort it out. You get it up here and my mate Dave will sort it out Wink
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Re: Hartside overdue

on Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:20 pm
Hi Andoo.

My current Picasso is the newer 'C3' one. I suppose fridge is a good term for it, yes!

I've driven a number of Xsara Picassos (owned one and driven many, many at work) and also a few C3 Pics.

The differences are as follows.

There's not much difference in physical size between them but the older Xsara is still definitely the more practical car. The boot is bigger as standard and then when you take the seats out...it's a different league to the C3 Pic.
The C3 Pic is big enough for us but there is a notable difference in 'chuck loads of stuff in' size.

HOWEVER! The C3 Pic is kinda...more roomy in the actal cabin.. The sides are quite striaght so the head-width bit of the cabin is much bigger. In the back of the Xsara Pic you are quite a bit closer to the tops of the windows which start to encroach.

So. The C3 Pic is like...bigger in the cabin (exept lower width).....but smaller in the boot. Both in terms of length, width and height. I'd happily have another Xsara to be honest if one came up cheap enough, they're just so handy. If that makes me a boring fart, who cares. They are the kind of car you can just take the seats out and literally chuck a load of stuff in...like...loads..and not care too much.

The C3 Pic being a bit smaller...but also much newer...i dont want to do that.

Xpics also have the floor cubbies and stuff. And a useable glovebox. The C3 Pic does not. but at least the C3 Pic has 3 cupholders. The XPic had zero. ZERO.

ALSO. I've now determined that the Xsara Picasso has better handling. Bear with me....

But the Xsara - you could feel it was related to the old ZX/306 etc....you could get up a nice 'flow' when you wanted to hustle. It had that kinda....french laid back gait thing going on....yet could have a good hustle. This was mainly DISMISSED / UNKNOWN by many though...as the Xsara Pic suffered from very long geared steering. The lack of any kind of quick response from the steering straight away made the car feel like a true 'dodder mobile'. However...if you could look through and 'work with' the steering....it was actually almost fun to hustle around, and yes, i do mean that! (a proper car enthusiast, see :p )

In contrast...the C3 Pic has much better steering (miles better also than than the C3 hatch) with some feel and somee response.

BUT - to counter that.....i dont think it has the 'flow' that the XPic had. It drives alright to be honest and doesnt give up at the sight of a corner...but it's lost that 'old fashioned' smooth/swingy matching feeling that old citroens/peugeots used to have.

To put in another way....the faster you went in the Xpic...the better it got...the more you felt it was able.

The C3 Pic - the faster you go....it doesn't get better. You can't really lose that tall, somewhat leany feeling.

Now, engines.

I'm going to disagree with Andoo about the 2.0 90PS diesel. It's just not fast. You could never describe it as fast or quick. Remember, i'm a person who usually can find the positives in any car...but the 2.0 does not have that kind of performance. It's a very laid back engine. It doesn't rocket away...you dont get a thump of torque...and it doesn't have anything higher up. It's very linear and unhurried in any kind of response. It just...goes ok. Slightly better with all the seats out, which does make a slight improvement to the performance, definitely.
The 2.0 however does remain a decently smooth and quiet engine (at least, inside - it felt like it was a long way from the driver, such was the decentness of the installation and NVH etc)

The XPic was also fitted with the 1.6 diesel from 2004 ish in two guises. 90PS (no DPF) and 110PS (DPF).

I've driven a few of these...and even the lower powered 1.6 just goes better than the 2.0 (although they have similar power and torque). It just does. Much more responsive at low revs...reasonably smooth (although probably no quieter) but DEFINITELY more mpg. Any one i've driven always displays a good 5-10 mpg more than the equivalent 2.0.

However...i still like the 2.0. It's a more simple older design, feels unstressed...and does generally have a more robust reputation. I'd still probably have a 2.0 diesel over the 110 1.6 in the Xpic due to DPF and DMF horror stories etc

I've also driven two 1.6 petrol XPics...one the old 8v 90ps one and the other the more modern 110ps 16v version.

Both i found to drive nicer than the diesels, to be honest. Lacking the torque of course...but both felt a bit lighter and a bit more...well...light on their feet. Better gearchanges too.

And i still love old 8v petrol engines....they just are so nice and lazy. I like that.

Right - The 1.6 in the C3 Pic. These always had the DPF and DMF from 2009ish launch.

I think it's quite a nice engine for a diesel. It's not super quiet or smooth (i think the 2.0 installation in the XPic was better in this regard). But it goes well enough. It's not at all fast...and the 110 would be perkier...but it's fine. Not great, not bad...just fairly good.

However, the car generally feels...better built and more refined than the Xpic. Just has that kinda...newer car....more refined feeling. Not a great 'box though. But i find most modern (and even not modern) frenchies (cit/pug) very rarely have good gearchanges in standard models.
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Re: Hartside overdue

on Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:50 pm
I agree about the Xara, it was a long legged beast. But when I say fast, I don't mean out of the blocks fast, although mine had been through a few owners with lead feet so was pretty "loose" in that it could be planted and a puff of black reek later she was away. But it could go and go and go and reach silly speeds and keep it at 100 all week long. Keep the foot down and she'd reach 113 but couldn't really hold on to it, much preferring 100 or 105 speeds.

Part of me misses it, but compared to the looks and stance of George, there's no comparison. George just has that "Ha! AND?" sort of feeling Laughing 18 this year and STILL looks the tit's... I think the colour and the lack of rust is a HUUUGE factor there. I saw one on the way home from Edinburgh and allowed it to pass Laughing Razz It was on coil springs, about 80 feet up in the air which in my opinion always makes them look ridiculous (remember the VolksWanker Golf advert where it was Barried up and had tears coming out of the headlamps??, I think of that when I see a bastardised P38. Ok on a pick up, not on an estate car... Just my humble). Anyway, a 38 always looks good clean as a whistle. Dirty, they look old and worn out. Clean, they look the part. Gleaming, they are ready for royalty.

Anyway, if it's a diesel you have, like I said, Dave will remap it and you'll never look back Wink Cool
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