with the mechanical injection setup on the Peugeot one is paying a
relatively lower increase to get a proportionately higher power boost.
is now, for the first time with a D-model Citroen, an (almost)
unbroken, smooth supply of power from near idle speed onwards. The
parenthesised ‘almost’ appears because there is a slight snag around
the 2000 rpm mark.
This apart, the torque is spread
with gratifying generosity and as far as the factory is concerned is
the main area of improvement. Certainly one is encouraged to lug around
in the higher gears more than before, safe in the knowledge that the
engine will pull away cleanly and smartly.
feature, in the continued absence of a decent gearchange, is doubly
welcome.) But there is also now considerable inducement to hammer the
Citroen in a way that hardly seems to match its character, though it
responds surprisingly ably. The fuel injection has greatly improved
breathing at high revs and although the peak of the power curve has
moved down, the rapid way it climbs up to the realms of 4000rpm and
beyond encourages much brisker cross-country B-road travel than before.
response is perfect, even from cold. The abilities of the Bosch
injection are such that for the morning commencement one simply turns
the key and drives off. Rich mixture adjustment, additional squirts for
clean throttle response, and all the rest of it, are remotely taken
Petrol consumption is always supposed by its
protagonists to be better with fuel injection-and frequently it is. The
more accurate control of ingoing fuel, better mixing and generally more
efficient use of the precious liquid are prime factors. Plus, in the
case of the Citroen, the fact that lifting off cuts off the supply
altogether until revs drop to 1l00rpm, when it starts again to prevent
The trouble is that one is encouraged to
drive so much harder than before that the overall figure can easily
drop well below the norm for a carburettor equipped DS. We got an
average of 25mpg of 4-star and pushed it down to 20mpg when making
generous use of the performance.
Top speed, thanks more
to the superior aerodynamics of the DS body shape than to the new-found
power increase, is an excellent ll4mph.
you will perhaps not be astonished to learn, is the best we have yet
recorded with any Citroen. It comes in a long, not over-impressive
rush, rather as though the car had automatic transmission instead of a
four-speed manual. Violent starts produce momentary wheelspin to the
accompaniment of a loud knocking.
The result of fuel
injection on the Peugeot 504 is not to bring about such a tremendous
improvement, but this to some extent is because the 504 has a better
engine to begin with.
As on the Citroen, an automatic
cold start device enrichens the mixture - and if you think that on a
modern fuel injection system this is only as it should be then remember
that the Joseph Lucas arrangement on the Triumph 2.5PI still has a
manual ‘choke’ control. Again as on the Citroen, there is an
instantaneous response to the first try of the starter and the engine
immediately settles down to its normal relaxed tickover. Only once in
our experience did the magic fail, when there was no answer to the
first twist of the key and a loud bang from in front as it spat back in
reply to the second. The third attempt was successful.
is a certain roughness about the larger Peugeot engine that
Kugelfischerisation does nothing to alleviate. It’s a matter of low
frequency vibration rather than noise, so is felt rather than heard,
and it seems to get no better even if one runs past the peak of the
power curve up to a full 6000 rpm, as is possible in the lower gears.
the injection does make the already respectable performance of the 504
into something altogether exceptional for a fairly large four/five
seater saloon of 1.8litres. Here, at £473 more than, say, an Austin
1800S (and that extra cost includes import duty, purchase tax thereon,
and the importer’s cut) we have something that will manage an honest
105mph, get near 110 with the mildest assistance from wind or gradient
and out-accelerate most of its rivals in the 1600-2000 category. It
would have shown up even better on the appended table had not a failing
gearbox made the driver subconsciously wary of third-to-fourth shifts
that all too easily ended up in an ear-assaulting attempt to engage
reverse at 80mph.
This shortcoming notwithstanding, we
enjoyed driving the 504 hard and fast, so came up with a
correspondingly low fuel consumption figure of 24 mpg. This is still
notably economical for the size of car, nature of performance potential
and for the circumstances. It is, presumably, a function of the
inherent fuel miserliness of injection, plus a better aerodynamic shape
than the 504’s appearance suggests. At all events, gentler driving
gives nearer to 28 mpg (of 4 star) and that is a very good figure