Tag Archives: T4

Why Wear Anything Else – Citroën Xsara Coupé VTR 2.0i

In 1997 Citroën employed German super model Claudia Schiffer as the eye candy to attract potential customers to it’s new range of Xsara models, in the UK she used the strap line “why wear anything else ?” in the Xsara’s 1998 add campaign.

Citroën Xsara Coupé VTR 2.0i, Rally Day, Castle Combe,

The Xsara shares the same platform as the earlier Citroën ZX and Peugeot 306 models with the fully independent rear suspension tracing it’s origins back to the 1977 Peugeot 305.

Citroën Xsara Coupé VTR 2.0i, Rally Day, Castle Combe,

2000 saw the introduction of a face lifted Xsara with mildly altered body panels, a new steering wheel and a new wiring harness that came in for criticism when issues with unusable driver’s door window, central locking and interior lights became an issue due to the wiring being to thin.

Citroën Xsara Coupé VTR 2.0i, Rally Day, Castle Combe,

In 2003 the top spec 2 litre / 122 cui engine was down graded from 164 hp to only 135hp when the EU series engines replaced the more powerful XU series engines, perversely this was just around the time that Rally Driver Sebastian Loeb was coming of age with the visually similar but mechanically quite different Xsara T4 WRC on the World Rally Championship stage.

Citroën Xsara Coupé VTR 2.0i, Rally Day, Castle Combe,

Sebastian won 28 World Rally Championship events outright with the Xsara T4 WRC model including five consecutive ADAC Deutschland Rally’s, he narrowly missed the 2003 World Rally Drivers championship while Citroën claimed the 2003 World Rally Manufacturers Championship, from 2004 – 2006 Sebastian drove Xsara T4 WRC’s to his first three World Rally Drivers Championships.

Today’s featured 2003 Citroën Xsara Coupé VTR 2.0i, seen at last years Castle Combe Rally Day, has had some body panels replaced and paintwork added to make it look like a 2003 – 2005 era works Xsara T4 WRC, the ad offering the car for sale advised potential customers that the engine output had been raised to 220hp.

Thanks for joining me on this “Why Wear Anything Else” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be visiting Blackpool for some rally illuminations. Don’t forget to come back now !


Inspired By Dad – KAMAZ T4 Dakar Truck

In 1969 the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union decided that a new plant for manufacturing supersized vehicles was to be built in Naberezhnye Chelny which is now in the Republic of Tatarstan a federal subject of Russia.

The first trucks started rolling out of the KamAZ, Kamskiy Avtomobilny Zavod – Kama Automobile Plant, facility in 1976 and since then the company has built over 2,000,000 vehicles.

KAMAZ T4 Dakar Truck, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

It’s factories are now also found in; Afghanistan, Chile, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Venezuela and Vietnam.

KAMAZ has also built an enviable reputation on the Dakar Rally where it’s T4 competition vehicles have won the Truck class of the Dakar Rally 14 times.

KAMAZ T4 Dakar Truck, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Today’s featured 20,000lb / 9071 kgs KAMAZ T4 is powered by a 17.2 litre / 1049cui turbocharged diesel V8 that produces 730hp mounted behind the front axle that drives all four wheels through a sixteen speed gearbox.

Suspension is by leaf springs, 15 on each corner at the front and 10 leaves on each corner at the rear, which are supplemented by Reider Racing shock absorbers.

KAMAZ T4 Dakar Truck, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

The cargo area carries two fuel cells with a combined capacity of 230 gallons / 1000 litres with tools and spares supplemented by two 50″ Michelin XZL tyres mounted on 20″ wheels, the tyre pressures on the truck are monitored and adjustable from with in the cab.

The #507 seen here at the Goodwood Festival of Speed was driven to victory in the 2015 Dakar Rally by Ayrat Mardeev, Aydar Belyaev and Dmitriy Svistunov ahead of two more KAMAZ crew’s who finished 2nd and 3rd with a 4th KAMAZ place 5th.

KAMAZ T4 Dakar Truck, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Ayrat Mardeev who was competing on his 4th Dakar Rally is the son of Ilgizar Mardeev a former KAMAZ Rally Raid driver killed in a quad bike accident in 2014, Aydar Belyaev the navigator was the most senior member of the KAMAZ team while mechanic Dmitriy Svistunov was taking part in his first Dakar Rally.

Thanks for joining me on this “Inspired By Dad” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Mercedes Monday tomorrow. Don’t for get to come back now !


Formula One Ferraris – Goodwood Festival Of Speed

In the final look at Ferarri’s at this years Goodwood Festival of Speed today I’ll be looking at the Formula One cars which covered the 15 year period between 1975 and 1990.

Ferrari 641, Goodwood Festival Of Speed,

In reverse order, Ferrari managed to lure Alan Prost away from McLaren to join Nigel Mansell and drove the Enrique Scalabroni and Steve nichols designed 641 to five victories, to Nigels one, and second place in the World Drivers and Manufacturers Championship after an alleged rival settled the outcome of the drivers championship by deliberately punting Alain into a gravel trap in the first corner on the opening lap of the Japanese Grand Prix.

Ferrari 126 CK, Goodwood Festival Of Speed,

Gilles Villeneuve drove the Ferrari 126 CK chassis #052 seen above to two of the most memorable consecutive Grand Prix victories I have ever seen at the 1981 Monaco and Spanish Grand Prix.

Ferrari 312 T5, Goodwood Festival Of Speed,

A year earlier Gilles and team mate reigning champion Jody Scheckter struggled with the normally aspirated Ferrari 312 T5, Gilles drove chassis #048 seen above to a sixth place finish in the German Grand Prix which was one of just five points scoring finishes for the team in 1980…

Ferrari 312 T5, Rick Hall, Goodwood Festival Of Speed,

… while chassis #042, seen with Rick Hall at the wheel above, was raced twice by Jody and once by Gilles during 1980 and failed to finish on each occasion.

Renault RS10, Ferrari T4, Goodwood Festival Of Speed,

One of the highlights of the 1979 season was Gilles epic dice with René Arnoux for 2nd place in the closing stages of the French Grand Prix, Gilles drove the 312 T4 chassis #041 and René the Renault RS10 chassis #RS10/03 both of which are seen above.

Ferrari 312 T, Rob Hall, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Finally in forty years ago Niki Lauda finally delivered the World Drivers and Manufacturers championships, for the first time since 1964, ably backed up by Clay Regazzoni driving the Ferrari 312 T, chassis #024 seen above being driven by Rob Hallwas driven to victory by Clay Regazzoni in the 1975 Italian Grand Prix and on it’s final appearance at the 1976 US Grand Prix West.

Thanks for joining me on this “Formula One Ferraris” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the last of a series of Formula Junior open wheelers. Don’t forget to come back now !


T4 Turbine – Rover T4

To their credit while Rover must have realised the cost of producing a gas turbine powered motor car for the masses was prohibitive because of the cost of the exotic materials required and because of the high fuel consumption they continued experimenting with the technology until 1966.

Rover T4, Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon,

Today’s featured 1961 T4 prototype was their final attempt at making a gas turbine vehicle for production to replace the Rover P4 models that had been in production since 1949.

Rover T4, Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon,

For this application Rover engineers had their gas turbine producing 140hp enough to power the T4 from rest to 60 mph in 8 seconds, about the same as would be achieved 7 years later with the 155 hp aluminium Rover V8.

Rover T4, Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon,

Designers Spencer King and Gordon Bashford carried a number of ideas over from the Rover T3 I looked at last week including all wheel disc brakes and de Dion rear suspension.

Rover T4, Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon,

Even though the fuel consumption was improved from 13 mpg on the T3 to 20 mpg on the T4 the notion of a gas turbine powered car was eventually put to rest with the T4 and the nose was redesigned to accept a variety of petrol engines for the P6 series Rover 2000’s launched in 1963 and later Rover 3500’s launched in 1969.

Rover T4, Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon,

Rover’s experiments continued with their Gas Turbine powered BRM Le Mans project which achieved 7th and 10th place finishes in 1963 and 1965 respectively.

Thanks for joining me on this “T4 Turbine” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another rallying Triumph. Don’t forget to come back now !


Driving For Italy – Ferrari 312 T4 #040 & #038

The 1979 season was one of two halves in the first half the french Ligier team came out of nowhere with a fast car that took three wins from the first five races, Ferrari then muscled in with four race wins from five races and Renault scored what would turn out to be a one off win at the half way mark and the second half of the season was dominated by the Williams team who scored 5 wins in the last seven races with the Ferrari drivers Jody Scheckter and Gilles Villeneuve picking up the pieces and each scoring a win. Jody through his better consistency beat Gilles to the 1979 World Championship.

Ferrari T4, Race Retro

The car that Jody and Gilles used in 1979 was the Ferrari 312 T4 an improvised ground effect design by Mauro Forghieri that was compromised by the powerful 180 degree 3 litre / 183 cui V12 motor that got in the way of the under body aerodynamics that were an essential element for giving the car improved aerodynamic grip and cornering adhesion.

Ferrari T4, Race Retro

By their own admission early season runaway leaders Ligier had no idea why their car was working so well in Argentina and Brazil, and when a slight change was made to the material specifications of their ground effects design they had no idea why it continued to work so badly. Meantime Ferrari had just the right balance of mechanical power and reliability coupled with just enough aerodynamic grip to capitalize on Ligiers misfortune and first Gilles, in South Africa then Long Beach and then Jody, in Belgium then Monaco, took two wins a peace interrupted by third and final win for the Ligier driven by Patrick Depailler in Spain.

Ferrari T4, Race Retro

During the second half of the season Frank Williams team after many seasons operating out of a GPO telephone box on a shoe string budget finally juggled all the balls in the right order and came up trumps with a clean design that once it had become reliable was the class of the field for the second half of 1979 with five wins from seven races in Britain, Germany, Austria, Holland & Canada . Only Jody and Gilles spoiled the Williams party Scheckter securing the drivers championship with a win in Italy to become the first, and so far only South African Drivers World Champion. Jody, who once observed that when he was racing for Ferrari he was driving for Italy, took all three of his championship wins driving chassis #040 seen above at last years Race Retro.

Ferrari T4, Silverstone

Gilles Villeneuve came second in the 1979 championship his season being primarily remembered for one of the all time great dices in the history of Grand Prix when he pulled off an amazing second place finish racing wheel to wheel over several laps with third place Rene Arnoux in the French GP at Dijon.

Gilles chassis #038 seen above in the pits at Silverstone, where the Ferrari’s were uncharacteristically completely out classed, is known to have been driven to second place finishes by Scheckter in South Africa and Long Beach and a third second pace finish with Villeneuve at the wheel in the 1979 Italian GP.

It would be 21 long years before another Ferrari driver would win a World Championship though as we shall see in the coming weeks Ferrari did manage to win a couple of constructors championships in the 1980’s.

If your into organic food Jody Scheckter today runs an organic farm produce from which can be ordered from www.laverstokepark.co.uk

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Driving for Italy’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’