Chevrolet Corvette is a world-famous car. I present to the readers a detailed review of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 model and its drive test. The only thing that will not be mentioned is the price of the car, as the cost varies, depending on many factors. Open the official website of this dealer (or visit the car showroom) – read for yourself the Corvette model and prices.
Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Chevrolet Corvette was born a long time ago, in the last century (or rather – this event was in the mid 50’s). Despite the sad fact that the reputation of the Chevrolet brand had a black spot (“thanks” to Korean comrades), the Corvette car still manages to hold a fairly high position.
Extreme attention to the Chevrolet Corvette will help to notice the differences in the emblems, only in the Corvette of the car, there are two flags, flying peacefully in the wind (the first – the colors in a cage, the second – barely noticeable golden cross “Chevrolet”).
Undoubtedly, the high-speed elegant models of Chevrolet Corvette Z06 cause at least positive emotions, there will be few people who will not like the car. Although they are very far away from Formula 1 models in many respects, this insignificant nuance does not underestimate the existing advantages of the car.
Elegant models of Chevrolet Corvette Z06 undoubtedly delight the eye with their beauty and grace, showing a unique masterpiece.
Chevrolet Corvette Z06
It is an interesting fact – recently, cars give reason to admire not only their appearance, but also internal functionality. When decorating the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 salon, the manufacturers put comfort on the 1st place, spitting on rationality. While riding on the Corvette, a unique opportunity to train the vestibular apparatus is provided. Lovers of quiet, measured ride, will appreciate the new car.
Looking at the Chevrolet Corvette salon, what will we see? Chic leather armchairs, neat steering wheel finishing, KP corvette of the car is carefully wrapped in pleasant velvet – it is difficult to imagine such exquisite things in a formidable car? More likely yes, than not…So if you doubted whether to buy a car, my answer is undoubtedly!
Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Chevrolet Corvette armchairs are made in the form of a bucket, perfectly fixes the driver’s body, in any turn, even the steepest, the body will not move from one place to another.
If the driver is medium height, he will easily fit into the front seat of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, but even if placed in any other model of the car, there will be no discomfort. However, as practice shows, people whose height is higher than average did not feel uncomfortable getting into the driver’s seat.
The only thing where difficulties are likely to be encountered in the car is luggage placement due to the lack of rear row (Chevrolet Corvette salon is designed for 2 seats). Various crates – in a minimum amount, a small trunk can hold only 423 litres
Well, of course you’re not going to drive a new Corvette to the country house for vegetables? Then there is no problem – there is plenty of room for the phone, various documentation
You like the roar of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 engine? When the engine is running, the car is corrupted and a strong, animal roar breaks out. Not surprisingly, because the hood hides not a typical toy, but a natural American V8 with a volume of 6.2 liters.
I am especially glad that the new car works perfectly in pair with both the eight-band automatic box and seven-stage “mechanics”. Well, answer the question honestly – don’t you express your desire to curb the herd of horsepower, which is present in Chevrolet Corvette Z06?
A pleasant surprise for most people was the unexpected discovery – a mechanized gearbox Chevrolet Corvette, somehow miraculously equipped with the latest Active Rev Matching system. They also added an automatic gasping function to pick up the right engine speed at the time of gear shifting.
Staying on Moscow Raceway track, I had to resort to the control lever very seldom, apparently for this reason there was no external interference in the process of KP machine corvette operation.
Chevrolet Corvette Z06
During the ride, this model ripped forward like a mad dog broke off the chain, and it is the implementation of the slowest turns with the use of third gear. The same third stage provided an excellent opportunity to squeeze more than 200 kilometers per hour. There was no tension, the tachometer hand did not crawl over the red zone
I would like to tell you about one nuance – sometimes it was caused by the fact that the car was manufactured and released in the United States, it was expressed by the lack of turning, and the rear drive – by the threat of failure at the slightest attempt to return to the trajectory.
Summing up the Chevrolet Corvette odes of praise described above, I would like to add a single detail – the presence of a telemetry board system. It differs from a typical recorder recording video – at once fixes all possible parameters of Chevrolet Corvette’s movement – driving speed, steering angle, time for which the new Chevrolet Corvette passed the circle. The information collected by this method is automatically stored on a memory card (SD) in real time, which allows you to view this video countless times later.
The owner is Ilya Zibarev, 45, a Muscovite, who works in the banking sector.
The car is a Mercedes 190E, W201, 1986 model, “American” in California configuration. With the mileage of 314 miles, which corresponds to 505 kilometers.
Here’s what Ilya told the editorial board.
– I am not a collector in the classical sense, I assemble cars a little haphazardly. The collection, if you call it that, is going to be for the soul, according to the principle “something was connected with these machines” and with the emphasis on “new old”. I have, for example, VAZ-2108 with the run of 600 km, Moskvich-2141 with the run of 50 km. These and other cars were marked in my life, in my childhood, youth, my parents, etc. When I got the information about this Mercedes, I decided that I must certainly get it!
The car was originally built for the U.S. market in 1986 and actually got there. A retired buyer brought a new car from the salon, put it in the garage, but, unfortunately, he never had a chance to drive it … As a result, the car turned into a classic “time capsule” and saw the light only about a year and a half ago, when the owner’s widow rented it to a local dealer who sells used cars. The dealer instantly appreciated the uniqueness of the car and resold it many times more expensive than he bought from the owner, a German car showroom specializing in old- and jangtaimers.
The car crossed the ocean for the second time and was exhibited in Germany for 90,000 euros. The car has caused a stir in the circles of German collectors – it may seem surprising, but even in the homeland of this mass and megapopular car, which was produced for more than ten years, there are virtually no copies with such mileage and in such a state (without restoration)! That very mass production made its own black business – the cars were perceived as “working horses” and were often used “in the tail and maneuver” – nobody thought to keep them in a collectible state…
However, “wanting” does not mean “buying”! German collectors, inclined to leisurely and strenuous, began to patiently wait for the price reduction. It gradually fell and reached 50,000 euros, after which some movement of potential buyers has already begun. Just at that moment I learned about the car from my local friends. I immediately sent a technical expert and a lawyer to inspect the car and, having received their conclusions, I quickly paid the declared price and took the car to Moscow! After that, as I was told by my German friends, there was a shock in the German oldtimer party that turned into a tragedy – everyone thought that sooner or later a car would be bought by one of the local venerable collectors, and no one expected that the national wealth would leave the country!
Mercedes arrived in Moscow by a covered car carrier, where he was registered and received the numbers in the usual general order. The car for the soul was not cheap – only 5 million rubles, of which one million were customs costs.
A characteristic feature of this particular specimen is the specific “recessed” headlights, which were made for import into the U.S. These are the so called “headlamps”, which are widespread over the ocean: if in a usual headlamp there is a reflector in the body, covered with glass, and inside there is a removable lamp, in the “headlamp” the reflector, glass and the lamp (a thread of incandescent in a flask) is a single and undisassembled whole. The advantages of the headlamp are its complete tightness in all conditions and absence of misting, while the disadvantages are the replacement of the entire headlamp when the lamp burns out, the need to adjust the direction of the beam after replacement, and difficulties with the installation of headlamp cleaners.
Original light-alloy discs are shoes in rubber R15 186/65 Continental Super Contact. This model of tires is not produced for many years, but in the trunk lies a new, never wearing a stock on a full-size rim.
The beige interior blends perfectly with the warmth of the body. And what a smell there – mmm … Surprisingly, but for 32 years the aroma of the new car has not only not weathered out – it feels as if it has even intensified! Let’s call it “the effect of cognac aging”, though in fact it is only the evaporation of different volatile substances – xylols, toluene, benzene, aldehydes and other chemicals, creating such a cute nose of a true motorist blend.
The textures of finishing materials are luxurious in the context of time and safety, although they are not really expensive – the model is still relatively cheap. However, they want to be touched and touched, receiving unprecedented tactile pleasure – almost like in the famous scene in “Escape from Vegas”, where the stuck heroes furiously stroked palms of their hands trimmed with fur in a nightclub, trying to keep the lost connection with reality.
The driver’s seat offers a view of Stuttgart’s impeccable classics of control and dashboard design, many elements of which have been migrating from one model to another for decades, including many years after the 190th production was discontinued.
However, some things familiar to experienced Mercedes-Benz riders are able to strain a person who has never driven a star before. For example, the button switch of modes of the heater with not too obvious pictograms of distribution of streams of air, special algorithm of inclusion of the conditioner, etc.
A special oldskulny chic – a separate button to control the extension and retraction of the telescopic antenna of the radio! And the further down the time scale, the more impressive such things seem to be, before ordinary. Seeing the control button of the electric antenna, my daughter stated: “This car from the past is much more like a car from the future than our modern car…”. With the mouths of a baby, which is called…
And symbolic, but important attributes of this “new old” car – a huge number of different papers, everywhere laid out and hung on the rope loops in the cabin and trunk. Service book, warranty, first service reminders, mini-instruction for cruise control, checks, dealer network cards, original virgin medicine cabinet, etc. There is even a native, not yet printed leather case for the ignition keys!
Under the hood of the car lives a 2.3-liter 4-cylinder longitudinally located 132 hp engine M102.985. The M102 engine family began with carburetor modifications, but the letter E in the index of the car model (190E) indicates the presence of injection (Einspritzmotor). In general, the family of these engines had versions with a volume of 1.8, 2.0, 2.3 and 2.5 liters
Under the transparent lid of the futures block hides a “nightmare of a gigulist” – rod fuses. Typical for their years, but later universally recognized as not reliable enough for high currents.
An additional electric pump for antifreeze allows it to be pumped through the heater radiator and after the engine has been switched off, providing the opportunity to use the residual heat of the engine without wasting gasoline.
On the move.
The first thing we encountered in the test drive of this “time capsule” was a fully discharged battery after a month of inactivity under the cover. “The car is 32 years old, during which its engine was started at best several dozen times…” – I pensively thought about it during the process of throwing a cheap launch booster on the battery terminals of the crocodiles. But the old German did not disgrace himself – started literally from half a turn, just instantly!
While the engine is warming up, I get settled behind the wheel. Landing is rather high – with a solid growth of the driver the gap between the top and the ceiling is vanishingly small, and the steering wheel still wants to raise slightly higher. However, it is not difficult to sit down comfortably – especially as the seats have fully preserved their shape and elasticity. And at the expense of a high landing excellent visibility and sense of dimensions of the car is provided.
I also switch on the “drive” with a soft shock (which was the norm in 87th, and on modern boxes it is possible to consider a sign of approaching problems). The engine, without the slightest delay, responding to the pedal with a classic cable drive, easily gains momentum, making a pleasant bass rumble, which is extremely delicate and dosed through the excellent noise insulation.
Maneuverability and maneuverability is exemplary – adjusted for the era, of course! The steering gearbox provides excellent feedback, the machine listens clearly to the steering wheel and unfolds literally on the spot. The car does not provoke an active drive, although, of course, there is some potential for this even in the most ordinary civil version (and there were also “charged” small circulation, and purely sports professional). This “time machine” makes you want to drive in a fancy, leisurely way.
Moreover, the suspension has completely preserved all its characteristics, although it is not clear how it can be at the age of 32, even in the absence of mileage! The front and rear suspension settings polished by Stuttgart engineers (the last one is a complex five-lever) carry the car almost like on air cylinders! “Lying policemen” pass as if they are not present, and thus softness on roughness does not generate valleys in turns – the car confidently enters turns and stably moves in strips as to modern “solarisam” and “logs” even did not dream.
However, all this is, of course, trifling. The main thing for this copy is the ability to convey the spirit of the time, and it does it exemplary. The era is gone, but the car keeps it and carefully carries it to the next generations…
It is not uncommon to say that the Mercedes 190 was developed as the main competitor of the third series from BMW, but this is true only in part. In 1973, the Arab League refused to supply oil to the leading Western powers, which supported Israel in its conflict with Syria and Egypt – fuel prices rose everywhere, there was a shortage of it. Despite the fact that the acute phase of the oil confrontation lasted only a year (!), its impact was felt all over the world for more than a decade – in particular, in the automotive industry the crisis caused a sharp development of the segment of compact and efficient cars, which, in fact, became a very positive trend. As part of this trend and was developed “baby-benz” Mercedes 190, which instantly reached the top of the sales ratings of the D-segment in Europe and became popular in America.
Mercedes 190 of the W201 family has been on the conveyor for 12 years – from 1982 to 1993. When launching a new model of transition to a promising, but not associated with the typical Stuttgart high-tech class front drive, fortunately, did not happen (although there were plans!). But in comparison with the W123 family that prevailed before the W201, the new line of vehicles became much shorter in bodywork, lighter in weight, and significantly reduced the drag coefficient, which affects fuel consumption.
Of course, the main series of gasoline engines M102 became lighter, more powerful and more economical than its predecessor M115. In terms of commercial operation of the 190s, the famous Mercedes-Benz OM601/602 millionaire diesel engines have traditionally been excellent, and the model was also famous for its sports successes in the DTM series body racing.
On the roads of Russia you can often see the new white Solaris. This is due to the fact that a white modification of the Hyundai Solaris car, which at first glance seems quite unremarkable, was recently released. But an experienced person will immediately see similarities with the Genesis sedan and Elantra’s representative car.
The difference is only in size. At the moment for Hundai Solaris a modification of white color is available, as well as 7 more shades for the body, but in the near future it will be possible to see the car in two more variants.
The sedan of the model under consideration was well bought for 6 years of production, and last year it took the first place in the sales ranking with the result of 90380 cars. Koreans still decided to upgrade the car and launched production at a factory near St. Petersburg, thus presenting the second generation of Hyundai Solaris. Changes on the outside compared to the previous series are difficult to notice with the naked eye, as the difference in size is very small: the width and length of the car differ from the old version only by 30 mm.
As for the price, it is possible to get Hyundai Solaris white for 600 thousand rubles in the most simple complete set, but it is necessary to add 100 thousand more, and the car will be more and more similar to expensive foreign car in terms of comfort. The average price of a car in a more optimal configuration is about 750-800 thousand rubles. If the buyer wants maximum comfort, he will have to spend about 900 thousand rubles. It can be concluded from this that the car is not so budgetary. It is possible to explain the price increase by the fact that already in the basic configuration there are many useful tools.
This includes 2 airbags, the ERA-GLONASS navigation system and an option to monitor tyre pressure. The functions received for an additional fee are impressive, but if you don’t want to overpay, the initial version is quite capable to arrange a rude motorist. Pay attention to the interior of the car by Hyundai Solaris white, whose photo shows that the car as a whole looks beautiful. Here there is heating of the steering wheel all over the diameter, it is quite a convenient function in the cold season. In the extended versions, the steering wheel is covered with leather, but in the basic version it is necessary to be satisfied with small size. Automatic window lifts are available only at the driver’s door, the rest are manual. The side mirrors are quite narrow.
Compared to the previous generation, there is more space in the cabin in width and length, but behind the taller people will be prevented from enjoying the ride by the low roof. A driver with a large body in this car will feel comfortable. His legs will be almost in a straight position. The multimedia system, capable of interacting with Apple and Android smartphones, is available only in the maximum configuration, and in the base and average remains to use an ordinary radio, which works after the ignition and is able to maintain the volume of music when turned off.
Emergency system ERA-GLONASS is equipped with all models of the car in question, but for additional opportunities to pay another 20 thousand rubles. So, the central armrest becomes available in an average complete set, and access without a key and heating of seats behind it is possible to receive only in the most advanced equipment of Elegance.
Old Solaris was difficult to keep at high speeds due to problems with steering and rear suspension. There were also other minor drawbacks such as low smooth running and poor noise insulation in the interior. In the new model, manufacturers tried to eliminate these shortcomings, but they were not completely corrected.
With the Haval F7x in static mode, we met at the Shanghai Motor Show in the spring of this year, now it’s the turn of the test, but we start with a tour of the factory, which is also not the first time we inspect. Spacious at first sight shops are designed “on growth”: the life here has arisen, gets warm, but does not bubble yet. The Chinese, having swung at the “full cycle”, decided to start immediately the forging of body parts, however, for the time being – according to the limited nomenclature. The billets for forging in the form of already cut steel sheet are imported from China, but, according to the employees, active negotiations on metal supplies from Severstal plants are underway.
The work at the forging section so far looks like this: all operations are performed automatically, but after the parts come off the line, they fall into the hands of employees who, according to a certain algorithm, check them for defects. At this time, the line is re-equipped for the release of another name. The same is true for welding: first, small elements are welded manually or by robot into sub-assemblies and transferred to final welding, where only robots are used. The bodies are then fed into the paint shop, where there are no people at all. But the assembly is again very manual: a single robot is only used for glass splicing operations.
Design, interiors, appliances
Now get close to the car. The front end of the Haval F7x is practically the same as the F7 model. Moreover, from some perspectives, the cars are so similar that it is easy to confuse them. The differences are best seen in the profile and behind. Interestingly, the fashionable shape of the F7x body excludes the possibility of installing a panoramic roof, so that as an option, buyers will be offered only a hatch.
The F7x interior is almost the same as the F7 with minor differences. Firstly, the car has a 7-inch digital dashboard with three modes of displaying information – “Technological”, “Fashionable” and “Dynamic”, and secondly – the promised rotor-controller (in simplicity – “washer”), which simplifies the management of the content of the 9-inch touchscreen display media system. And both of these options are combined into a single “intelligent” package. It’s nice to know that you can order this package in addition to all three possible options that we’ll be talking about later. And a couple of stylish solutions “for sports”: the soft bottom part of the front panel was replaced by plastic “for carbon”, and bright yellow stripes appeared on the leather upholstery of the seats.
The steering wheel is comfortable, adjustable in both tilt and departure angles. It is a pity that the range of these adjustments is too small. However, I had enough of it and possibilities to move the driver’s seat. However, it was enough at the limit: in order to achieve a comfortable fit, I had to push the chair back to the stop, although my height is not so great – only 182 cm. And what do citizens like “uncle, get a sparrow” do?
And the seats themselves did not excite: the pillow is short, the profile is not the most convenient, there is no adjustment of the lumbar support … But there are three USB slots, and one of them – near the salon mirror, designed primarily to connect a video recorder. There is plenty of legroom in the second row – the Chinese are proud of their large wheelbase. When I tried to take the position “by myself”, my knees were separated from the front seat backrests by at least 5-7 centimeters.
If you don’t take into account the changed body, F7x copies F7 in the rest. The platform is the original i-Home, the second name is Mobile Wisdom Platform. On its basis in the future it is planned to produce three model lines of Haval at once. Accordingly, the car has exactly the same wheelbase (equal to 2725 mm) and almost the same dimensions: the differences provide mainly bumpers of other shapes. Under the hood is the same 2.0-liter turbo engine, with which a non-alternative 7-speed automatic machine with two clutches is connected. The rear wheels are connected with a BorgWarner multi-disc clutch. The suspension has no differences: the front has McPherson columns, the rear has an independent double lever.
Transmission options extend the mode selection system. For front-drive modifications of F7x the following modes are provided: “Eco”, “Sports”, “Snow” and “Normal”, and for all-wheel drive such modes are six: “Dirt” and “Sand” are added to the mentioned modes), and in this case the system received the proud name of Terrain Response, as seen in Land Rover.
My acquaintance with the F7x began on the maneuvering platform: the organizers decided to demonstrate the capabilities of the system of circular video surveillance and arranged a training session on “blind driving”, when all the windows are closed, and the view is possible only through cameras. Well, the picture on the screen is quite qualitative: the computer unites the video stream from different cameras into a single image without delays. Yes, of course, the system needs to get used to, and I had to stop and reverse a couple of times, but, nevertheless, during the maneuvers only “on the devices” no cone was damaged.
But I guess it’s time to get right to the driving experience. And I want to start with visibility… Actually, I couldn’t find any problems with it, except for the review back: like many cars with a “coupe-shaped” body, there is only a narrow embrasure in the rear-view mirror, and if someone is sitting on the rear sofa, you can’t even look in the mirror, but the faces of the passengers in it are still not visible. Taking into account this moment, the side mirrors could be bigger.
As for the dynamics and behavior of the car on the asphalt, all I have to do is to “join the opinion of the previous speaker”, specifically – Andrey Ezhov, who tested the closely related Haval F7. Indeed, the power of a 2-liter engine with 190 hp and 340 Nm of thrust in all life situations is more than enough, including energetic overtaking at “highway speeds”. Seven-stage robot behaved surprisingly adequately: did not twitch, did not “kick” and shifted gears with the smoothness of pedigree hydromechanics, and if you do not like some delay in switching down when you press the gas pedal abruptly, then at your service mode “Sport”.
The steering and suspension settings have caused a “feeling of deep satisfaction”: the crossover keeps the trajectory without any complaints – at least steering is not required in straight or long quick turns. The suspension also behaves well when driving on asphalt – in any case, it was possible to “stuff” the pits of the local road at a speed of 90-100 km/h. The suspension worked out all the irregularities with the sounds of deaf blows, but all these shocks did not reach the driver’s spine. There were no unpleasant shocks and vibrations on the steering wheel either.
The car also feels good at really high speeds, at least when I overclocked the F7x up to 160-170 km/h on a deserted straight line, the stock under the pedal was still there, and the speed was almost not felt. By the way, I had no problems with braking. However, in the program of the test there was no speed track where it would be possible to check extreme modes of deceleration: I shall remind, on the first test in China our editor-in-chief burnt down brakes at two cars, absolutely not wishing that.
Left a lot more questions on the off-road section of the test. Organizers have laid it around the famous Kondukovsky quarries, still known as Ushakovsky quarries or Romantsevsky mountains. Once coal was mined here by open-cast mining, but today the abandoned mines have turned into picturesque lakes with bizarre relief surrounding them. I believe that in dry weather the passage of this route would not cause any problems. But the rains have turned the ground into a sticky mixture that instantly clogs the tread on Cooper winter tyres. The path led up and down in the lowlands, turning into a real mud ambush with deep tracks.
Under such conditions, the route was on the verge of the upper limit of F7x off-road capability. The situation and peculiarities of manual gear shifting of the 7DCT gearbox were aggravated. Before driving into the mud, I changed the gearbox into manual mode and chose the “Mud” mode. I touched, but after a minute the car suddenly ceases to obey the steering wheel. It turns out that the box switched to Drive mode and has already turned on the fourth stage! It is necessary to press the petal again and switch the gearbox to manual mode. Only to do it is rather inconvenient: petals are too short, you have to reach for them. Apparently, Chinese ergonomists thought that only concert pianists will sit behind the wheel of F7x… In short, several kilometers of soaked primer turned into a continuous struggle with the track, and with the shrew of the box, and with the car, trying to get out of control. And 190 mm of ground clearance, I report to you, is not God knows what.
In a situation of diagonal hanging the body showed excellent rigidity: all five doors opened and closed without any problems. In general, we overcame the track, although a couple of ambush places won only with the second or third attempt, but some colleagues needed the help of a tow truck.
Nevertheless, our arrival allows to assert that in principle Haval F7x is quite capable to deliver the pleasant company to a place of picnic or fishing if the driver will be more or less an experienced driver who understands what to do on impassability. Certainly, it is necessary to adapt to electronics, which every now and then resets a box in a safe mode, and to that it is possible to burn or at least to heat up an inter-axle clutch etc. One more problem can become volume of a boot: at the folded back seats in it 1152 litres of various luggage can be placed, but in a five-seater configuration, in my opinion, in a narrow hole under a curtain will fit no more than 350 litres. Actually, all the listed features, not counting the behavior of the box, for which the Chinese “adjusters” can still put “ned”, are quite typical for other compact crossovers. But by and large it is better not to move down on F7x in a dirt and to rejoice to the car on a good asphalt!
Unfortunately (or fortunately), I’m not crazy enough to quit my dust-free job and finally get behind the wheel of a truck. That’s why I’m going to spend my working day as a second driver, and Denis, who has been working on this car for two years, will remain the main driver. By the way, what kind of car did they give us? We were given a good old Mercedes-Benz Axor 2007. And now let’s be distracted by a little lyrical retreat.
I have an acquaintance who told me how to recruit drivers. It was necessary to drive a tractor with a semi-trailer. On the first flight with the first candidate he went together, going from St. Petersburg to Moscow.
The new driver was driving quite well: he was accelerating and braking in time, almost did not touch the brake pedal, slowing down with the help of retarder, adequately assessed the situation around the car, and before moving backwards under the semi-trailer, even “shouted” a signal. They said, “Carefully, I’m going backwards. In general, he did what he was supposed to do. After a while my friend asked me to stop for a break. We stopped, came out, got cigarettes. We smoked, standing by the cockpit, rattled “for life”, sat down and drove on. We did not hire a new driver. Why not?
The employer explained his decision simply: the candidate did not use the break for a break to inspect the car during the stop, having driven the first hundred kilometers. He was not to stand by the cab, but to bypass the car around and throw it with his master’s eye: check the wheel nuts, see if anything was leaking from the car… And he didn’t do it. And a friend of mine had enough to look for another driver. Moreover, there are much more drivers now than there are jobs.
Why did I tell this story, full of feudal selfishness and capitalist shrapnel? To explain why I first went around our truck a couple of times. “That’s not the kind of thing that was attacked! – I was talking about my appearance. You won’t drink the experience.
What surprised me right away was the mileage. Kill me, but I won’t believe that 12-year-old Aksor, who was also imported from Germany, may have mileage of 270 thousand kilometers. And if outside the car looks cheerful, and in the technical part there is only one small drawback (I’ll tell you about it below), in the cabin you can feel the age and mileage. What can I do? This situation is very typical for commercial vehicles.
So, two axles, 4×4 drive. Our car is the second generation of Aksorov, released in 2006. In the Mercedes-Benz truck “rank plates” Axor occupies a place between Atego and the flagship Actros, and in this generation it received engines from Atego. Here we have the OM 906 LA engine from the x29 version. The volume of in-line diesel “six” is 6.37 liters, power – 286 hp at 2,200 rpm, maximum torque – 1,120 Nm at 1,200-1,600 rpm. But all this is not as interesting as the cabin of this Aksor.
Do you recognize it? Yes, we saw her at Kamaz-5490. Or, for example, at KAMAZ-6580. And it’s not by chance, because it was Aksor’s old cabin that became the new KAMAZ cabin. However, now the times have changed, KAMAZ has got a cabin of the next generation K5 (it was taken from Actros of the fifth generation), but the beginning of German-Tatar cabins relations can be counted from this Aksor (other relations, motor-boxed, began earlier).
Already at that time Mercedes put the BlueTec system, as evidenced by the name plate on the left side of the cabin. So, there are many “favorite” SCR urea here. And that’s exactly what it doesn’t work for us. This is the only small technical disadvantage of the machine I mentioned above. The engine does not go into emergency mode (apparently, then it was not as strict as it is now), so the AdBlue tank has been empty for several years, as Billy Novik’s double bass. Not environmentally friendly, but economical.
The same words can be used to describe the philosophy of the Honored Axor. No complicated or unnecessary devices, everything is simple and practical. And if on the new Axors you can find a robotic box Mercedes PowerShift, we have the simplest nine-stage mechanics G 131-9 with hydraulic-pneumatic switching and single disc clutch.
Behind the cab, as I announced at the beginning, we have a crane-manipulator unit. Frankly speaking, CMU fans are right in many respects: it has many advantages that make it quite popular even today, when the market of road freight transport is close to a coma. The strengths of CMU are obvious: no separate crane is needed for loading and unloading. Moreover, it is possible to work at the CMU instead of a crane. Yes, because of the articulated boom and lack of counterweights it has a slightly lower lifting capacity, but in many situations the manipulator is quite capable of replacing the crane and copes with its tasks quite well.
Yes, I almost forgot about the most important characteristic of the truck: our gross weight is 18 tons. In principle, this is the limit for the Axors with the wheel arrangement 4×2 and 4×4, but the three-axle Axors 6×4 and 6×2 can boast a gross weight of 26 tons.
It’s time to find out where we’re going to work today. Our immediate superior, Andrey Viktorovich, will tell us this. At the same time, he will say it for free, not as some…
And some bosses (especially in large enterprises) distribute work for small bribes. They take everything: money, alcohol, and greyhound puppies. If you want to get a job, pay for it. If you don’t want to pay, sit on the base, but this seat is not paid for. Of course, this also happens in small companies, but in our case it’s all right: orders are fairly shared between all the drivers and cars, bribes are useless, and it’s not necessary to sit without pay – the job is almost always there.
They say about Andrei Viktorovich here as a strict father: he will not be offended, but you can also get a belt from him. He only gives us a waybill. In principle, the paperwork usually ends here. If it is necessary to carry a cargo, the documents are almost always taken care of by the consignor, so that the driver receives ready-made waybills at the place of loading. And we move empty to one of the enterprises of the city.
Along Peter’s side
It’s not difficult to get into Aksora’s cabin: there’s a pair of comfortable vertical handrails in the doorway. But the lower step, which stands on the bracket below the floor of the cab, fell off the driver’s side. Time, to my great sorrow, is ruthless even to Mercedes. Therefore, if the passenger seat I flew aki mountain goat on a stone boulder, but on the driver’s seat was not immediately.
We’re not too far away, 12 kilometers away. But we’ve had to go through a lot of trouble. I rarely get an opportunity to drive a truck around the city, usually test drives of commercial vehicles are arranged at closed training grounds. That’s probably why I first experienced a nervous shock from some car drivers. For example, most people don’t know what a blind spot of a truck is, and they climb in there hard. Many people don’t realize that you don’t have to lean under a truck that turns right, or try to jump to the right of it by pressing on its wheel. They climb up, try to… And then thoughtfully scratch the reputation: “How so? Still, it is not in vain that many American trucks have been putting a small window at the bottom of the passenger door for a very long time: such figures can sometimes be seen in it.
Denis says he has a sixth sense that tells him if there’s another “Easy Rider” under his car. I did not have such a feeling, but suddenly, even for me, a surprisingly extensive set of material emotions jumped often.
Other comrades wanted to fit into the empty space in front of the truck, which is supposed to provide us with a distance to the front of the car. It is desirable – at the traffic lights to get into this space and to brake sharply in front of a multi-tonnage truck. In short, the trip around the city once again brought me disappointment in people. But not in Mercedes.
When I asked what Denis thought about his car, he immediately replied: “No, well, it’s not Kamaz, of course! Then I thought about it and added: “…but also not a “bench”, though. By “bench” he meant his previous car, the Scania, which he remembered for a long time for comfort.
Here I will agree at least in one thing: in Aksor there is absolutely nowhere to put one’s hands. Even the armrest on the driver’s door is not the most comfortable, and on the right it is not there at all. The steering column is adjustable only on an inclination, and it too is not enough. It is a shame, because otherwise everything is in order with ergonomics here: a driver’s seat on an air suspension, a convenient arrangement of devices and the lever of the checkpoint, the good review (fortunately for the idiots climbing under wheels).
Denis didn’t say anything about the clutch pedal he was used to. But I got used to it for a long time. Between it and the gas and brake pedals there is a steering column, and for some reason this pedal was hidden very far behind the speaker. At first I was even afraid to take my foot off it: what if I didn’t find it quickly? But driving with my foot on the clutch pedal is wrong, so I had to take a risk. One time from the third or fourth I got used to stick my foot far behind the speaker, and the clutch pedal was right there.
And Scania also liked Denis for its dynamics. Axor has problems with it. All-wheel drive truck shouldn’t be a bullet in principle, but Aksor is overwhelmed by many: he’s gaining speed like an old diesel locomotive. Calmly, confidently, I would say – reliably. But very slowly. And it doesn’t yell with a diesel engine, doesn’t hum the transmission, doesn’t knock on the suspension, and just silently resists any attempt to go quickly. In a city stream, of course, it is difficult from an unusual habit.
But the brakes of the old Axor will please any driver. It is clear that the truck’s braking system is pneumatic, but its character is unexpectedly very even hydraulic: with the precisely predicted moment of setting and easy dosing of effort. But I can’t say anything about their effectiveness when braking at high speed because of the lack of this highest speed. From 60 km/h they slow down perfectly.
In general, Aksor’s behavior in the city is unexpectedly mild. There is no cargo noise, there is no danger of not fitting into the turn. Of course, three-axle Aksors behave differently, but the car with the formula 4×4 is rather maneuverable for city streets.
There is, however, one urban danger that has been haunting me all day. This, strange as it may seem, is mirrors. It’s not hard to get close to a bus or other truck: there are no problems with dimensions. But it’s very scary to get caught in the mirrors, which both cars have outside the dimensions. And here to it I could not get used to it and could not get used to it. Apparently, I have to repeat the exercise.
Meanwhile, we are approaching our destination. The entrance passes through narrow gates, behind them – right at once, and one more gate. Everything, a dead end, a warehouse, a workshop with machine tools. And the feeling of doom: there is nowhere to turn around here, we have to get out through all these gates in reverse.
Back and forth
At the scene, it turns out we’re not gonna have to drive anything today. We will be carrying some machines from the shop under the open sky, where they will wait until the shop is being repaired.
The front of Denise’s work begins with intelligence: what to carry and how much it weighs. It turns out that not only heads of transport offices, but also clients are different. Sometimes they ask for a manipulator to lift a weight that is significantly higher than that of the manipulator. Sometimes drivers agree to this – they are afraid of losing their earnings. And in case the cargo goes down, it gets on a lot of money. And if it is not a broken sling, but a broken arrow of the CMU or a spectacular overturning of the truck that causes the load to fall, the amount of “flying” will become even higher. In our office it is customary to take the side of the driver: if the client gets insolent, the driver has the right to slam the door and leave. Nobody will fine him for this – safety rules and fear to get on the money above all.
On the other hand, customers always try to get maximum benefit for their money. The minimum time of ordering a car with the CMU is four hours, and many customers, having coped with the work in half an hour, try to torment the driver with all sorts of crap on the carrying “of this – there, this – here. They say that your money is gone, so let’s work it out.
We produce outriggers – the very hydraulic side supports without which it is impossible to work. This is done with the hydraulic handles on the right and left of the machine. And then Denis picks up the radio remote control of the manipulator. It’s a very cool toy, I’ll tell you! But I didn’t take it in my hands. One wrong move – and you have to several thousand rubles. Or millions, if you cocktail something very expensive. In general, I got away from these adult games.
We were lucky to have a customer who provided the slingers. This is usually the case, but Denis easily remembered situations when he was met at his place of work by guests frightened by a manipulator from the friendly southern republics. This is the first time they have seen the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, and the slings – too. Then it is easier to fasten the cargo yourself: it will be faster and more reliable. But today everything goes smoothly: customers fasten the slings on the heaviest machine (he weighs about one and a half tons), and Denis drags the cargo to the other side. It’s important to keep it as close to the ground as possible and to keep the boom to a minimum – this is what safety and common sense require. Even if the side support (e.g. the ground falls under it) is brought down, the load will remain intact and the car will not fall on its side.
And now the time went on very slowly. Denis was carrying the machines, and I climbed into the cabin. It was cold! My partner says that cold is one of the biggest challenges in his work. You come to the construction site and let’s go back and forth in the wind to carry loads for eight hours… No, that’s not my job. But Denis is not complaining. Either the man is stronger or he knows how to dress.
Finita la comedy
The work of carrying the machines is finished quickly. Just a couple of hours – that’s all. Denis fills out the task sheet (arrival, departure, and work time) and gets into the car. We go to the base.
Generally speaking, the work is finished. In half an hour you can drink tea in the lounge. But… No. Do you want your car to work? Then welcome to the inspection. Nothing is leaking, all the liquids are on the level (except for urea – “it’s a swing!”) The work was clean and the weather was dry, so you didn’t have to wash the car. So tea was the last thing to do.
Speaking of tea. Somehow we had an opinion that drivers are those “chauffeurs” who like to give them. I will not be categorical, drivers are different. In the company where I spent the day, drivers do not drink – they came here to work. Although, they say, there is a regular alcoholic, too. But the drunken have not yet managed to catch him. Apparently, he does not advertise his hobbies at work.
Let’s go back to Denis’s phrase that Axor is no longer Kamaz, but not a “bench”. Why not the “bench”, we have already found out. But why not Kamaz? I will be frank, as Gelsomino in the Land of Liars: I sympathize with Chelnya’s giant motorcar. But their KAMAZs are not quoted too high among drivers. It is possible to work for the first year or two, and then it becomes difficult. And ergonomics in the “dodaimler age” was inhumane for them. But Axor turned out at once. And despite its 12 years, it is very much alive and does not tremble with the nerves of its driver. Yes, I had to go through the brakes, but everything else drives and drives and drives… But Denis remembers his KAMAZ with a shiver. He tries to hide it honestly, but it still breaks out.
* * *
Everything we’ve done today doesn’t seem so hard. We arrived, worked as a manipulator, left. But when I again remember fans to climb into the blind spot, when I think about straps, when I feel that cold … You know, this job should be respected. It is not as simple as it seems. And if you can’t respect it, at least don’t throw yourself under the truck on your small cars! It is also expensive.
The car – Chevrolet Corvette, 405 horsepower, body “targa”, 2005, 6 generation, mileage 36 000 km, purchased for 2 000 000 rubles.
The cars of the previous generation (and earlier ones) are still very young, and it is unrealistic to find something alive among them. The seventh is too expensive. The “Six” of the first 3-4 years of production of this generation with low mileage in Russia can be found for the price of about 2 million rubles. In our country, the sixth Corvettes came both new and three-year-olds. Although, I must say, it is not so easy to get a successful copy – even with small runs, they are often squeezed out like lemons.
It was my car that came to our country at the time, until 2018 it was owned by one person, then it was purchased by my friend, and then I went for a short drive, and I carefully studied the condition of the car and bought it from him. For a long time I wanted a sports car with a big engine – well, if not for every day, then certainly not as a “weekend car. It itchy. And since six months I’ve been driving on Corvette almost every day – it’s not tense, comfortable and convenient. The only problem is the fines from the cameras… It’s hard to control my right leg – the resolutions come just in queues.
The corvette is the quintessence of American oil-car classics, and on the road it stands out from the mass of boring modern cars, like a daring kite from a herd of dull pigeons.
The peculiarity of this equipment is a removable roof of the body of the “tag”. The roof is plastic, very light and looks monolithic on the outside of the body – metallic and painted in color
However, in fact, it is transparent – with a blue hue that maximizes the delay of ultraviolet light.
The roof is removed and placed in a couple of easy movements. And in the trunk there are special stops for it – so that it is lying rigid and does not jump on unevenness and corners.
The interior of the car is quite simple, the designer’s fantasy wasn’t on it… The seven-inch multimedia system’s display, which fits nicely into the console, is a non-standard accessory, and in its place was initially a simple basic “radio”. Plus in the interior it is possible to easily find signs of economy for which sofa critics would simply drown a budget sedan, though the 405-strong Corvette will not dare… In fact, this is not so much an economy as a traditional American shame. On the frequently used controls and panels of finishing begins to scratch and erase the paint “under the metal”, at the joints of the panels can be seen fair and not always symmetrical slits, plastic creaks…
The chairs are excellent! Very tenacious, elastic, with a wide range of adjustments.
The steering wheel is adjustable in inclination and outreach. It moves up and down manually and in steps, and back and forth electrically, on command from the joystick, and smoothly. This is typical for many American cars, especially off-road ones, and is made for the convenience of large and full drivers – when you want to get out quickly, it is faster and easier to pull the steering wheel up manually than to wait for the buzzing of the servo motor.
The speedometer is marked not in kilometers or miles, but simply in numbers. If kilometers are set in the menu, it means that the arrow shows kilometers, if miles – respectively miles. Plus, the real speed is digitally transmitted to the windshield with the projector.
To the left and right of the steering wheel are the columns of buttons responsible for the route information. Part of it is displayed on a small screen near the instrument scales, part – by projection on the windshield. You can, for example, see even the level of overloads in G during acceleration and braking. It is possible to change the angle of inclination and brightness of the projector.
Funny mistake in the wiper speed regulator in intermittent mode – the maximum on its scale corresponds to the minimum frequency and vice versa …
Starting the engine is a push button. By the way, the Corvette of this generation is the first GM car, where the keyless access to the salon is applied.
The doors are frameless and locked with glass, which after slamming make a short move upwards, entering the groove of the doorway seal. There are no usual internal rods for unlocking the locks in the doors – they are replaced by electric buttons on the main handles. Interestingly, the locks are installed in the doorway columns, and the brackets to capture them – in the doors themselves (most machines – on the contrary).
This copy of C6 – one of the first in its generation, so, of course, prerestyling (restyled later significantly changed the engine and transmission). Our Corvette has under the hood an 8-cylinder 6-liter V-shaped LS2 and an automatic 4L65 4-speed gearbox with forged shaft. No, of course, the box is not under the hood, but … under the boot, because the Corvette operates a rear-wheel drive system with a “transaxle”, in which the gearbox is combined with the gearbox of the main gear. Since the machine is rear-wheel drive, the main gear is also in the middle of the rear axle. And the gearbox, respectively, is located there … The engine is connected to the control system by a powerful pipe running along the bottom, and inside the pipe rotates the PTO shaft, which in turn is ideally protected from dust and moisture. This arrangement on the Corvette gives an excellent sports balance, almost 50:50, and increases the rigidity of the body.
The air filter is located in front of the radiator – so the maximum air intake forward is realized, so that the inlet is colder and the filling of the cylinders is improved.
The plugs of the antifreeze tank, brake fluid and washer are close enough that they can be covered with the palm of one hand (only the Distributor tank is located separately!). When pouring, be careful not to make a “cocktail” of non-mixed components…
The engine and the box have been reconfigured by the current owner. Power increased by 35-40 forces, but this is a “side effect”, the meaning was not in it. It was much more important to reveal the full potential of the power characteristics of this motor, which is strangled with environmental requirements from the plant in the entire range of operation, not only at the peak power. And also to change the algorithms of ACP operation, the standard firmware of which is boring and uninteresting, with it the car drove dull…
Initially, the engine’s native settings (electronic throttle, injection and ignition systems) and transmission were shifted towards maximum smoothness: any external factors, from temperature to at least a short drive in the traffic jam, the adaptation algorithm was used to slow down and limit everything, adding where pauses and delays can only be added. After flashing, the car was simply not found out – instantaneous response to gas, no delays in speeding up and switching the box. However, it was necessary to follow the temperature regime and service even more strictly … The engine and transmission of the Corvette and in the factory version worked in severe thermal mode – through the menu you can see that the temperature of oil in the engine and the box usually reaches 110 degrees, which is considered the norm, but in fact significantly reduces the life of units. Therefore, judging by the practice of mechanics, who know Corvette well, the oil should be changed in a good way once in 5,000 km, although the official regulatory interval is twice as long.
Among other interesting things on iron it is necessary to note the wide application of composite panels in the body structure and even in the suspension: both front and rear axles – springs, but springs, of course, are not classical, steel and longitudinal, but carbon fiberglass and located transversely, one per bridge. Composite single leaf springs are effective, light and cheap. This can surprise a modern car owner, but in GM cars this solution is used for a long time, and it is still found today in Volvo. Magnetic Ride Control shock absorbers are paired with the springs, which continuously control stiffness in real time by changing the viscosity of the magnetorheological fluid under the influence of the magnetic field.
Another funny nuance is the problem with entering the service lift. The machine is very low, and most conventional lifts have “paws” even in the lowest position unable to get under the thresholds. We have to first jack the car in a circle and then alternately bring the “paws”, removing the jack …
On the move.
Is a sports car in a car format convenient for every day? Strange as it may seem – quite. Yes, of course, there are limitations and nuances. But they are not radical, they do not force to the bottom to break all former driving habits and skills – it is necessary to adjust a little bit.
The visibility from the driver’s seat, of course, leaves much to be desired – still, low landing in the chair, low landing of the whole car, huge “airfield” of the hood in front of the nose and tilted stern at the back force to be careful and stretch the neck during yard maneuvers. But this is just a moment of personal adaptability and habits – you just need to get used to it, and it happens quickly enough. In usual city traffic the car is felt the same way as any modern sedan – there are no appreciable differences. The low bodywork, which has exactly four fingers between the elastic aerodynamic ribbon walking along the front bumper edge and asphalt, makes you carefully overcome the “lying policemen”, but in general, the car cops with any city roughness without any exotic methods like a diagonal crossing.
Some problem represent unless joints on the Third transport ring, causing an unpleasant blow in the backbone, caused by rigidity of a suspension and a rubber profile (behind R19 285/35, in front R18 245/40). The sports car body which many will call extremely unsuitable to usual practical problems of the average townspeople is also a myth: the Corvette actually is a two-seater hatchback, and its boot, though not deep, but is very spacious. There is a huge number of packed bags from the supermarket, and packages with disassembled furniture, and a box with a huge TV set. The owner has already transported building materials, including long ones, such as skirting boards and laths, a couple of times. Corvette’s neighbors are also not worried: when driving a car very quiet and delicate sound of a silencer – you can’t say that there is such a herd under the hood.
Next year AvtoVAZ will not have any new models, except maybe Largus in X-shape design, but development works are in full swing. For example, the Lada Vesta is being tried on with a French-German engine 1.3 Turbo, which successfully pushes its way to Arkana – the share of cars with it in the first three months of sales is half. If this project takes place, it will entail a miscalculation of localization of the downhill motor. On the “native” engine VAZ-21129 they screw on the phase rotators, cling to the upgraded oil pump and pump. And all this is within the framework of preparation of Togliatti “cast iron” for installation on Renault-Nissan Alliance models in Russia.
What about Vesta? Let’s say at once: its restyling still stands in the plan for 2021, but can quite move to the fourth quarter of 2020. However, now AvtoVAZ reacts promptly to customer feedback. For example, on the versions of Vesta with a high armrest, it was inconvenient for the driver and front passenger to fasten the belt – the buckle was raised higher by 70 mm, and the discomfort disappeared. Besides, in Togliatti they carry out extensive “work on mistakes”, eliminating much more serious defects in the design of assemblies and units – the domestic company will report about it all next year.
Calibrate – do not calibrate…
So, for the Variant Vesta test, the organizers offered us a basic sedan and a body kit, i.e. a Vesta SW Cross. It was there that we drove the whole day: we rolled around the city, “pressed the slipper” in the countryside, tried to climb up the liquefied primers, finding the limits of traction capabilities of the Togliatti novelty.
It all started with dynamic exercises: they were started by my colleague, who was confused by too fast passport acceleration. Allegedly, from a place to a speed of 100 km/h the wagon, which is heavier than the Lada Xray Cross with the same power unit, accelerates in 12.2 seconds against 12.3 at the crossover. Where did this figure come from, because on the first kilometers the car showed a persistent unwillingness to show all its zeal? We armed with a stopwatch, installed the appropriate mobile application and began to accelerate in basic mode D. Though “to accelerate” in this case – it is strongly told: both I, and the colleague – not at all thin, in a boot we had a pair of weighty bags, on a back seat – provisions… As a result the engine H4M giving out 113 “horses”, and variator Jatco JF015E which is carried to Russia now from South Korea, have appeared to be loaded one and a half tons.
But now we got to the original one, so I pressed the brake, spun the crankshaft a little bit, threw the left pedal and opened the throttle. I’m not even sure it was like overclocking. Twenty minutes later, the car smelled like burnt friction plates on the box, and the homeless Kabardino-Balkarian dogs looked pitifully at us afterwards. A good-looking grandfather in a tyubeteika rolled up to us at the tea-house “Cayenne” and asked if we needed help. We needed help – in the sense of pushing, because all our precise devices did not want to show acceleration less than 16 seconds. In general, I had to leave my friend on the sidelines, which immediately had the effect: 13.4 seconds! I didn’t want to consolidate my success, because the burning smell became threatening. However, I am sure that nothing happened to the variator. First of all, we drove another 250 km further, and if we broke something, we would have found out about it. Secondly, the “indestructibility” inherent in our technique is somehow miraculously transferred to foreign units that are implanted in domestic cars.
But there is something to burn in the variator: in the mechanical part there are friction switches in the planetary gear: in its time it was given to help the variator to avoid the belt in the most dangerous modes – at the limit positions of the pulleys. Secondly, the friction lock-up of the torque converter consists of three friction pairs, which allow to provide a partial lock-up mode, which under certain conditions is possible at a speed of 30 km/h, while this threshold in most cases determines the exclusion of the “bagel” from the work. By the way, in the absence of signs of breakage in the variator dealer will refuse you in change of oil: it will be possible to change it only on 120 thousand runs. It is “service life” which the manufacturer is obliged to appoint under the law. The main thing is that by this time the oil does not have to be changed along with the stepless transmission…
Interestingly, the manual acceleration of “M” was slower than in “D”, although the Project Director of Lada Vesta Alexey with the “car” surname Likhachev assured us otherwise. His logic does not seem to contradict common sense: the program “M” implies spinning of the crankshaft neatly to the maximum power rpm – 5500 rpm, which is 500-800 rpm higher than in the “D” mode. Actually, and what happens after the tachometer hand crawls up to the cutoff? After that, as well as on Nissan and Renault models, the imitation of the hydromechanical automatic machine begins, just on Lada it is less expressed, but the nature of behavior of the CVT – exactly the same. In general, in the evening after races my colleague has told that for nothing, they have not provided Sport button. Alexey answered that the way the variator works on Vesta, and means “sport”, that is, it was calibrated taking into account the full opening of the engine possibilities…
By the way, the engine braking capability on the machine is very limited, which is again clearly visible when driving on high ground. The virtual first stage of the variator corresponding to the position of the pulleys at the beginning of the movement is activated when the speed is reduced to 60 km/h, but there is no noticeable slowdown. In general, it is good that there are disc brakes at the back – in fact, there is no hope for the box.
We are thinking about the good
Of course, Variant Vesta has a lot of advantages over conventional Vesta. First of all, the new power pack, as with the Xray Cross, has brought the intermediate support of the right drive shaft with it, so that the universal joints on the Vesta CVT are of the same length. It is clear that during acceleration, especially on a bad surface, the steering wheel does not come out of the way anymore, and stability during emergency braking is increased. However, at deceleration on a straight line nevertheless small updating can be demanded – but only if the road is unimportant and at the very end, practically before a stop. But we still have revealed modes at which the driver cannot lose vigilance: it is emergency braking in turn with strongly varying geometry – if the road goes under a bias and still wags. For the first time we paid attention to it on one of numerous descents of Karachaevo-Cherkessia, and having repeated experience some times, we have convinced, that were right: the driver needs to be on guard. It is quite possible that the electronic stabilization system was slightly under-calibrated here, and the mechanical part has nothing to do with it, but the fact remains the fact.
Secondly, together with the foreign engine (again like on Xray Cross) the car was moved by a new exhaust system, which makes less noise and vibrates less. By the way, let’s remind that on usual versions of Xray the variator is not accessible – only on Cross. The fact that when installing the engine and variator had to make changes even in the subframe of the crossover, that is, the total volume of modifications was wide. On Vesta, it cost little blood, namely, the original powertrain supports, again, according to the developers, greatly reducing the vibration load of the machine. It is clear that the French motor H4M, localized in Togliatti, including the casting of aluminum block, shakes less. It also has a chain drive and adaptation to 92-nd gasoline – in general, a lot of advantages.
But even this innovation, migrated to Vesta, was not limited. Now the novelty can be identified by the mirrors of the original design and by the floating antenna. Besides, there is a function of illumination of turns by fog headlights and even the frameless brushes accessible in a base complete set Classic. In the most expensive configuration Exclusive mirrors are folded when the doors are locked. In the interior, too, not without upgrades: black ceiling, new cup holders and heated steering wheel, however, not on the entire circumference of the rim, but only in places of professional grip and in the segment “for six hours”. The variable speed gear selector is from Renault Fluence, not the same as on Xray. By the way, the brushes – that frame, that frameless – are carried from Turkey: it is surprising, but domestic suppliers have not blown. What is the localization of the variator here…
In the fields.
Back at our Vesta SW Cross AT (Togliatti managers do not want to use the abbreviation CVT – maybe to distance themselves from Renault-Nissan products) in the fields. It is not expected that this is a very convenient dosage of traction in the city, especially in places where the traction capacity of the machine is at its limit. Even in the manual mode with the ESP Vesta switched off limits the possibilities of traction control right up to irritation. Not to mention the fact that it can stop in the middle of the slide, after which you have to roll backwards. Even on a soft, grass-covered slope with a soft top layer, the machine can hardly crawl, not to mention driving on a liquefied primer or slippery gravel. In short, outside of the asphalt, the Vesta variator feels very insecure.
No, don’t think I don’t like Vesta SW Cross, on the contrary! I always sincerely recommended it for purchase, but with one condition – in the modification with VAZovsky 1.8-liter engine VAZ-21179, paired with the French “handle” JR5, which has a clutch diameter of 20 mm larger than the “weak” versions. At least, the clutch can be saved in the fields and the clutch can be saved, and the engine will give out more traction at the bottom than any other, and, most importantly, the driver will retain full control over this traction. And what about here? And here – there is a dissonance between the exterior of the car, which seems to imply a relatively wide range of opportunities outside the asphalt (at least, not worse than the front-drive B-class crossovers), and its actual content.
In general, the conclusion is as follows: those who are eager to see the Lada Vesta SW Cross with two pedals, probably have to wait for the version with a 1.3-liter turbo engine H5H and CVT Jatco JF016E, which unlike JF015E perfectly digests the torque of 250 Nm, available at 1700 rpm. But – alas! – and a more powerful engine is unlikely to please the true connoisseurs of impassability, at least those who have money only on the “West” in the dodger. The fact is that, introducing a new power plant, Togliattitsy simply cut a hole in the forging of “protection” under the CVT crankcase, and it means that the insidious stone, similar to the one we caught in the fields of Karachevo-Cherkessia, can cause irreparable harm to the Japanese box …
And for the city, let’s repeat, and the current power unit will be enough with the head, especially since with the advent of Vesta CVT from the market removed the performance of Vesta AMT with a domestic box with a single automatic clutch – it was left only on the “junior models”. As Alexey Likhachev said, “to prevent the appearance of unnecessary diversity. Indeed, there is nothing to spoil…
Very popular crossover in the domestic market is considered to be Nissan Juke, which became a favorite among mini-crossovers. This car with interesting design was presented in 2009, and a year later its serial version was born. At the same time Nissan Juke’s characteristics are quite outstanding. In the Russian Federation, it appeared in the same year, but its production was not moved to the local factory Nissan, and the car remained foreign assembled. Today its production is carried out by English and Japanese plants of this company. It is from here that all existing Juke appear.
Despite the aversion of some critics to the extravagant design, nevertheless, most of them liked it. Even in Russia, it became one of the best-selling crossovers up to 1 million, but in 2016 the Japanese company announced its refusal to send it for sale in Russia. Speaking of the price, dealers charge 800,000 for the basic equipment, while for the maximum they will have to pay almost 1300,000. It should be noted that despite its “youthfulness”, this car received its first restyling in 2016, which gave it LED-lights and a rear-view camera, which was an excellent addition to its high equipment.
Car owners are offered versions of the car with gasoline and diesel engines
In terms of filling, the car is available in two versions: diesel and gasoline. The latter has a 1.6-liter volume and a capacity of 117 hp, and a more economical version it has a volume of 0.1 liters less and reduced power by 8 horses. For the most advanced users was presented the most powerful model with 188 horsepower, which is the top model. For those who prefer diesel, there is an engine with a volume of 1.5 liters and 110 hp.
The car is equipped with 5-speed mechanics and 6-speed automatic box
The car is driven quite smoothly, and due to its small size it has become more maneuverable, even if we talk about its closest colleague Qashqai. It was from him that the transmission and tiptronic were taken. Now there are models with ICPC and 5 steps, as well as automatic machines with modification up to 6 steps. The car enjoys great popularity due to the fact that it has identical power with Qashqai, but its consumption is lower and is only 10-12 liters per 100 km in the city cycle.
Minus the car many editions have considered that it is not calculated for trips out of town. In addition, the safety class does not reach the ideal. Despite this, buyers often gave their preference to it, due to its economy and maneuverability. In addition, in a metropolitan area its size plays a good role in parking and driving on busy highways.
The car – Toyota Mark II Wagon Blit 2002 (version Mark II in the body of the universal). It was produced from 2000 to 2007, and lasted three years longer than a Mark II sedan of the same generation. The current owner bought it 1.5 years ago for 385,000 rubles. The mileage is 427,000 kilometers. The car is rare in Moscow and its surroundings and attracts attention. Today, up to 600,000 rubles are asked for a good copy.
Black Blit looks like a natural hearse, but the light body is not associated with a gloomy theme. In the optimistic “silver” heavy and, in fact, loaded “shed” looks unusually fast and dynamic. The outlines of the luggage compartment windows, the lines of the windows of the cabin and the roof, as well as the edges of the body panels, forming lines and shadows, give the utilitarian “universal” very stylish look, which does not look old-school, despite the age of 17 years!
By the way, this “Mark” became one of the first cars in Moscow, which found a “Russian-Japanese” number! The test and filming team of Koles met with Evgeny and his car on August 8, and literally four days before that, a new GOST for license plates, which had been repeatedly postponed, finally came into force and allowed the installation of “square” plates with dimensions of 290×150 mm. However, this standard is allowed only for “stern” – the front number of the Blit traditional rectangular form, 520×112 mm.
Thanks to expensive and high-quality materials, the Blit salon has retained its decent appearance for 17 years, and the armchairs have retained their shape and elasticity. The owner only pulled the steering wheel and armrest cover with leather to refresh the interior.
In the center of the console there is a touch (resistive) display of MultiVision system, which is mostly useless in Russian conditions due to incompatibility and archaic standards. These are navigation, analogue TV, climate control, maintenance diary. In the glove compartment there is a CD/DVD changer.
The central grilles of the climate system deflectors have a motorized drive – the swing system. After pressing the button of the same name, the deflectors slowly move their horizontal blinds to the left and right, changing the direction of the flows so that you do not lose. And in a ceiling the frozen air-cleaning complex named on a slang of japonovodovodov “vacuum cleaner” is established. At the turn of the nineties and zero years in Japan, the problem of atmospheric pollution in cities with automobile emissions and various industrial dust appeared quite acutely, and many models of above average class cars were equipped with a fashionable chip – ionizer-cleaner. Although this device is a tribute to marketing, it still differs radically from modern trinkets inserted into the cigarette lighter and is really effective. Inside the ceiling-mounted device there are two filters – corrugated paper dust and a filler made of absorbent pellets with silver ions. The air passing through these filters also passes through the high voltage electrode mesh forming the corona discharge – it is additional filtration, disinfection and ozone saturation. The only problem with such filter units is the high cost of replaceable elements, for which there are no non-original analogues…
The “hold” of the car is huge and by itself, and, moreover, with the back of the back sofa folded. It is folded flush with the trunk floor, which allows not only to carry a huge amount of junk, but also to spend the night in the cabin if necessary. By the way, the boot door has an electric door closer in this set!
Most of the interior elements are quite traditional. Flat panel dashboard dashboard scales without any “wells”, “ladder” ACP selector, classic ignition key.
Under the hood is a 1G-FE BEAMS engine with a 4-speed torque converter. 1G-FE is a 24-valve in-line atmospheric “six” designed for Toyota rear-wheel drive models and first introduced in 1988. Ten years later, a revised version with the VVT-I phase-regulator system and a number of other advanced auxiliary systems was released. These engines received the BEAMS index – a more marketing than technical abbreviation “Breakthrough Engine with Advanced Mechanism System”.
Specifically, our engine is a 2-liter 160 hp, with a VVT-I valve, a throttle cable drive, and an air filter integrated into the inlet manifold. This is a quite successful and well-designed Toyota engine, which, however, in the circles of fans of the Japanese car industry has a reputation not the most reliable. It was formed mainly at the expense of fans to squeeze power from the atmospheric “beams” like from the turbine “j-zet” and ignore the requirements of this engine to the quality low-viscosity oil…
There is very little “Markov” of the ninth generation in the body of the universal in Russia, so the body parts from the disassembly are in low demand and very cheap. For example, the lid of the trunk (complete and in color) cost Eugene 1700 rubles in Ussuriysk (plus sent). Two rear doors – a thousand (!) rubles apiece (because of our winters they had a slight corrosion at the bottom, and due to the peculiarities of pricing for spare parts for this car doors were cheaper to buy used and the same color). Xenon headlight assembly with ignition unit – 900 rubles…
The reliability of a well-groomed “Japanese”, made for the domestic market, is known, and, actually, mainly for this reason, the current owner and chose Blit. The hollow machine, despite its age, practically does not require current repairs, not to mention unexpected surprises – all the works, which Eugene did with it, belonged to cosmetic and carried out for his own pleasure.
On the move
The seats and the landing of the “wagon” were designed with an emphasis on comfortable long-distance travel, so you feel at home driving, even without adjusting anything at first. The visibility due to the abundant glazing does not cause discomfort. The turning radius for such a large “barges” is very small, and maneuvers in the parking lot do not take up too much time. Brakes left much to be desired until the owner put compatible “bolt-on” front calipers from Toyota Celsior – 4-piston (instead of two-piston) and with 315 disks. So now they are very tenacious and precisely dosing braking force.
Blit was conceived as a “semi-sports wagon”, and it really does have an excellent steering wheel and an excellent weight distribution of 51:49. That’s just a 4-stage machine is very thoughtful, and two-liter atmosphere is somewhat weak for a heavy body – the machine gives some sense of drive only if you work with your right foot on-off principle … After the set of 4.5 thousand there is a small “kick” and there is a feeling of inclusion of the Ma-a-a-alenkoy of such a tiny turbine – it triggers a phase. The consumption of a massive “barn” in active mode in the city easily reaches 13-15 liters, reducing to a dozen only on the track.
Blit doesn’t provoke active drive and doesn’t offer to play racers, but rewards with “ship” softness of suspension peculiar to a business class, easily swallowing even polymer “lying policemen”, and worthy noise isolation, allowing to talk comfortably at the speed from 120 km/h.
Toyota Mark II in our country is known mainly for its model range from 6 to 9 generations (1988-2003) and is perceived by most people as a richly equipped “evil” sedan, perfectly suited to the spirit of JDM. The body “universal” at Mark II seems to many people alien and “not canonical”. Although in the history of the Mark II, which began in 1968, there were always versions of the “Wagon”. However, the change of generations of the “Mark” for universalists was almost always atypical. For example, a universal from the fifth generation in the body of the 70th series appeared together with a sedan in 1984, but it was produced for 13 years – it was replaced only in the 8th generation of “Markov” in 1997… And the “changer” had only the name of Mark II (and even with the prefix not “Wagon”, The real “Mark Wagon” came back only in the last for the ninth generation model, the Mark II Wagon Blit, and was built on the basis of the Toyota Mark II sedan.
Wagon Blit, as well as its predecessors-universals, again “went against” the official dates and dates for the model. Mark II sedan of the ninth generation lasted on the conveyor from 2000 to 2004, but the wagon was produced for three years longer! The concept of the “car” with a sporty dynamic appearance turned out to be very successful and attractive. And in the version with 280-horsepower turbocharged 2.5-liter engine of the JZ range, the car allowed not only to take away half an apartment at once, but also to play around in a straight line, and even to fiddle with it.
They say they don’t just buy cars like that. They think, study and read forums for a long time… But it turned out differently for Vladimir and his father. There was a Mazda MPV minivan in the family, and in 2010 we wanted something bigger. This Chevrolet was quickly found on sale. The only picture in the ad was not of the best quality, but the car on it looked tempting. And the mileage was only 39 thousand miles, and the price was 500 thousand rubles. It would have been a crime to miss such a gift of fate. However, there was one difficulty. Small, but essential: there was no money to buy. It was necessary to sell Mazda, to borrow or to accumulate the missing amount… But, as the ancient Romans said, fortes fortuna adiuvat – brave fate helps. Having thrown a little over the price, Vladimir asked the seller to wait. And he, despite the urgency of the sale, agreed. As a result, the car found a new owner.
It would be untrue to say that the car has not seen life at all. The last owner – the fifth in Russia – drove it for only six months. But the condition of the car, according to its current owner, was amazing (for his age, of course). And for the American van it’s even better – they’re often stolen back home.
Registration in the traffic police was successful, although the certificate of registration of the vehicle capacity was 210 hp. And although the PTS is worth noting that the capacity is still 195 hp, not 210, traffic police officers do not believe it. They require a certificate from GM. Vladimir has received the certificate this year, so there are plans to try to convince the traffic police. He doesn’t expect a quick success, but for the sake of interest he should go. Well, what if…
Two gifts from fate
The purchased Chevrolet really turned out to be in good condition, which made it possible not to invest money in the car immediately after the purchase. From March to July, the van ran on the roads and pleased the new owner. In July, a trip to the Black Sea was planned.
A week before the start, Chevrolet boiled: the cooling pipe burst. Let’s be blunt: not the most serious breakage for a 1993 car. The spigot was replaced and rushed to Anapa.
But there we had to go through a little adventure: on the seashore the generator ordered to live for a long time. It turned out impossible to try the generator in Anapa at that time: it was impossible to find specialists. And somehow you have to come back at home! The generator was taken off, got in a taxi and went to Novorossiysk. They resuscitated him there for four thousand. Taxis again, now to Anapa. The generator was put in place, everything turned out well. Only it is not very convenient to take off this detail and put it down: although the half-bonneted layout makes it possible to do it from the front, I still had to suffer. As a result, five years after repairing the generator worked properly.
The year before last, Vladimir went back to Anapa and… Well, you understand, right?
This time the workshop was found on the spot, and we didn’t have to take a taxi to Novorossiysk. But the result was far from impressive: the repair was enough only to Moscow. There the generator died finally. Now we had to find a new one.
The generator for the 25-year-old Chevy Van is not a filter for Solaris. Vladimir prepared for a long search for a new detail, but fate gave him a royal gift. When he called a well-known spare parts store to find out how much it would cost to buy and deliver a generator from the United States, he was told that he did not need to order anything: the generator was in the warehouse. And for only seven thousand rubles. Of course, the analogue, but still. So one problem became less.
Once in Moscow, something hit the back of the car at the turn, and the car skewed. It turned out that a spring burst. Arsors were completely drunk. We didn’t have to install the original ones, but we didn’t take any details with GAZelle either: something from Tahoe, something from another “American”. It turned out well and almost “in the original
In winter, you could be stuck in a van on a flat road. Something had to be done with it, so there was a blockage in the rear axle. It became much easier to drive.
Another big investment is the replacement of the output. The old one has already left, the new one cost 17 thousand.
Well, it is impossible not to say about the second gift of fate. A man came up on the street and offered disks for a van. For the whole set of decent disks, he asked for funny four thousand rubles. So instead of 15-inch wheels, 17-inch wheels appeared on the car.
This year we had to replace the engine and automatic transmission supports – there was nothing left from the family, and the van was shaking like in a fever attack at idle speed. At this point, the repair is over, but regular maintenance remains.
I’d like to shock the public at least a little bit with space prices, but it won’t work. The cost of “consumables” for maintenance is the average, and the availability is high. Air and oil filters cost 500 rubles each, front pads – 1,600, rear – about 3,000 (of course, analogues). Stabilizer bushings – 1 500, candles – 250 rubles per piece, steering pendulum – 1 400. In general, the shock-content did not work out.
But no. There is something strange after all: headlight bulbs here can be replaced only … assembled with headlights. But also they cost dollars on 10, so it is possible to exhale and disperse.
Chevy Van of the third generation, to which our car belongs, had an interesting set called Conversion. In fact, it was an absolutely empty van. It was made especially for those who always lacked something. For those who wanted to build a van for themselves. But if in Russia the tuning of the van is a winch on the “loaf”, and the wheels on it are of abnormal size, then in America the approach to “improving” is quite different. There were firms (for example, Mark III, Tiara, Coach, Starcraft and some others), which took the van-conversion and made from them what the customer wanted. Our tree van has the Mark III logo on it, but it is unlikely that it came from the United States with this tree: everything you see inside the car is made by the previous owners in Russia. In general, it’s what conversion was for. It can hardly be called a “collective farm”, although the old gypsy curse in the form of a strange interior lighting with variable colors seems a little out of place here. Well, 22 speakers of the audio system, two subwoofers, a TV set, a karaoke, a 220 volt converter, a computer desk, a printer, a scanner and a bar… Let’s consider it a small whim of the one who stuck it all in here. By nature, a spacious salon received the charm of the house-office with a patina of frivolous flirting and insignificant debauchery. There is everything for life here. Even if it is not all American. Perhaps, I will not describe the luxury of the passenger cabin, and go straight to the technology, and from there – to the driver’s seat.
Technically, of course, there’s a full drain. Motor mono injection 5.7-liter atmospheric V8. In addition to 195 hp, it has another 400 Nm of torque, which is a very serious figure for today, even taking into account the weight of the car. The car has already run 92 thousand miles (about 150 thousand kilometers), and the engine has not been climbed yet. And if the mileage is really real, it won’t take much longer.
Transmission is automatic four-speed 4L60E. From the moment of purchase of the car it was not even changed oil, but it also did not require repair.
In general, Chevy Van of this generation was launched in 1971, finished in 1995. We can say that our car is one of the late versions. And so, even despite some archaic design, the equipment for its age is not the poorest. There is an adjustment of the steering column, ABS, window lifters, air conditioner… But the airbag of drivers in the basic configuration was put only in 1994.
I think, nobody will be surprised by the fact that the drive here is rear, rear brakes are drum, front brakes are disc brakes. The rear suspension is with a continuous axle on springs, the front is an independent spring suspension. There are no technical refinements in Chevy Van. Its task is to drive for a long time and not to break. Let’s watch him drive.
From a low start
The driver and front passenger are separated by a very wide engine casing that stands between them. But since the width of the cabin is impressive, it does not embarrass either. Still, the latter will have to trample a little on the floor to find a place for feet: it is very little there. But the driver’s legs are somehow more spacious.
When I got in the driver’s seat, I had a slight dissonance in my head. It’s not a driver’s seat, it’s a cozy kitchen! Urgently put an ashtray on the table under your right hand, a bottle with the name of some Jack or Johnny, cut a green apple and get ice out of the fridge. I think this is the most comfortable car seat I’ve ever seen. Although there are some devices here. Does it also drive?
There aren’t too many devices. And from them too blows “Jurassic Park”, “Groundhog Day” and not the old Stallone: they stand in a wooden frame and do not cut the eyes like modern daring scales or screens. Besides, one of the devices is interestingly arranged: three arrows in one circle show the battery charging, the temperature of the coolant and oil. And the analogue position indicator of the ACP selector is particularly delightful. The selector on the steering column itself is not delighted, but respected. I saw a similar lever last time in ZIL-131, and here – on the automatic machine…
According to the old American tradition, the parking brake handle protrudes from under the panel to the left of the steering wheel, and the light is activated by a central switch. Everything is made so monumental and looks so reliable that you want to put pressure on the zombie’s van and shoot from a cut through the window of the old model of Terminator. But the main thing is the sound of the motor.
To confess, I expected another from almost six liters and eight cylinders lying in the cabin. I thought I’d at least growl a little, bubble and roll potatoes in a wooden box. No, I was wrong. The engine runs very quietly, and in order to raise testosterone levels in a worn-out organism, I had to lower the window a little bit. Now everything is fine with the sound! By the way, passengers in the back can hear this sound better – the release is closer to them than to the front row of seats. And on the big distances can even complain a little bit. They say that this eight-cylinder tiresome tongue. Well, it’s a matter of taste. I like this sound so far. And if you press the gas…
A lot of people think a V8 car is a bullet. Yes, I agree: such a car usually drives like this. But you can’t call a van a bullet. From a place – yes. He sits on his hind legs and jumps forward. The acceleration is very decent, and in combination with the roar of the engine – just a song. But it doesn’t last very long. The automatic machine here is not capable to change gears quickly and is a little indifferent to a roar of the engine. What are you yelling about? Now I will switch over. And switches. It does it delicately and not too quickly. And the weight of the car somehow does not dispose to drag racing. And not only weight.
Let’s start with the fact that the center of gravity of the van is still high. No, it doesn’t fall in the corners and doesn’t seem like an old barge. On the contrary, it is surprisingly assembled, but this assemblage to me has something reminded any Lexus LX450d: the car, it would seem, integral, but with wheels is not so strong connected. Well with Lexus everything is clear – there is an air suspension for unbridledness of the chassis. And here, apparently, springs. Therefore, it seems that a very strong body goes in one direction, and the road – in the other. And it strengthens this impression of smooth running. Americans have always been able to make soft cars, and Chevy is no exception.
The second thing that makes a van driver stick a flower in his hair and go to San Francisco is the steering features. It is a little phlegmatic and with a good backlash. On a straight line it is necessary to steer constantly, though in turns the car enters precisely. In a combination with pedals with big moves there is a little hypnotic effect: we have already learned life, let puberty young men hurry, and adult uncles have nothing to catch up with. They have already caught up with everything. But if anything, we have almost six liters of wild ponies in stock. We have to go down the mountain and catch the whole herd.
But what is definitely good is the review. Better than in many cars, and you can not only feel your size, but also see it. Except for the stern, of course – here you need experience.
Age, of course, takes its own age. We have to do something in the car: to remove the “redheads” of rust, to restore the strips lost under the tractor bucket on the swing side door, at least to replace the oil in the box … and drive, drive, drive. Vladimir is not going to sell his car, and I understand it: now they just don’t make such cozy, fast and unkillable cars at the same time. There is a spirit of freedom here, and the soul of a family car, and a challenge to go on a trip, and – which is more prosaic and no less important – not too high cost of maintenance. So the van will stay in this family for a long time: it is the owner’s favorite, and there is no substitute for it. And it seems to me that we love Chevy Van quite deservedly.
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And now, a little bonus for those who’ve finished reading. What question do they ask Vladimir most often? Yes, of course: how much gasoline does Chevy eat? Well, I will answer that.
The flow rate is individual. If you put a lot of pressure on the gas, then 30 liters per hundred kilometers. If you cruise on the route at a speed of 100-110 km / h, you can get a minimum flow rate of 13.5 liters. In a quiet city mode – 18-19 liters. The average flow rate along the route is 14.5. A lot? Well, at least one drawback of the car can be!