Home CitroŽnŽt home

Site search powered by FreeFind
Do NOT include 'Citroen' in your search terms

1971 test of the CitroŽn DS-20

carlogo.jpg logo.jpg

Made in South Africa/Vervaarding in Suid-Afrika

001.jpg

A remarkable and extraordinary car…


JUST more than two years ago, the CitroŽn DS-20 was introduced in South Africa, with a number of important improvements over the previous model — the 3-DS (CAR Road Test, December 1968).

The 2-litre engine is uprated by 14,5 per cent through some gentle tuning: increasing inlet valve diameter from 47 to 49 mm, revising valve timing and cam profiles, and fitting an external inlet manifold. Five robust main bearings in the DS-20 engine provide the lower-end strength needed for the increased revs and output.

Small interior changes include a charging warning light on the fascia, twin dome lights, revision of control switches which are now marked with symbols, and the fitting of electrically-powered windscreen washers.

NEW GEARING

Peak rpm rises from 5 500 to 6 O00, and a complete revision of transmission ratios gives the DS-20 rich overgearing. All gearbox ratios are changed, most important being that the “overdrive” top now has a ratio of 0,785 to 1 — though this is countered to some extent by bringing the final drive ratio down from 4,375, to 4,857 to 1.

One of the delightful features of the CitroŽn models is that they are overgeared for smooth, quiet and economical cruising, and in the DS-20, this is taken to the extent of about 25 per cent overgearing in top, backed by a gearbox with close ratios. The result is that the car is extremely willing: it gets moving rather slowly in acceleration tests, with clawing spin and a bit of judder at the front wheels, then goes to 50, 85 and 130 km/h in the lower gears.

It is considerably quicker than earlier models, a comparison with the 3-DS (in Imperial measures) illustrating this:



3-DS

DS-20

0-60

17,2

15,3

0-70

23,7

21,8

ľ Mile

20,5

19,6

Speed

92,5

95,6

IMPERIAL DATA
ACCELERATION FROM REST (seconds)
0-60 15.3
MAXIMUM SPEED (mph)
True speed 95.6
FUEL ECONOMY (mpg)
60 mph 29.7
75 mph 25.4

Fuel economy—a strong point, particularly at higher speeds — and other features are not markedly affected.

The sensation of motoring in a CitroŽn is described by the manufacturer as “like travelling by plane”, and we would say that this is rather apt. The car floats along, with a considerable amount of flowing body movement and pitching action

We do not like some of the eccentric features of this unusual car: for instance, the steering is direct to the point of being over-sensitive, and the brake button on the floor (it cannot be called a pedal) does not give enough sensitivity of control because of its short and light travel, and the front wheels lock easily.

SUMMARY

As its very appearance suggests, the CitroŽn is an almost revolutionary car with some remarkable capabilities, yet it is not the car to appeal to the average motorist or those whose hobby is “do-it-yourself” maintenance.

It even requires its own philosophy and — to some extent — driving technique, yet because of its unquestioned comfort, ride capabilities, durable engine and specialised equipment, it has built up a devoted following among its owners in the Republic.

We found the DS-20 intriguing and capable, but lacking in the important “common touch”.

SPECIFICATIONS

ENGINE


ENGINE OUTPUT


Cylinders

Four in line

Max. power SAE (kW)

77,0 (103 bhp)

Carburettors

2 Weber 28/36-DLE-A2 twin choke

Max. power net (kW)

65,2

Bore

86,0 mm

Peak rpm

6 000

Stroke

85,5 mm

Max. torque (N.m) at rpm

146 at 4 000

Cubic capacity

1 985 cm3



Compression ratio

8,75 to 1

TRANSMISSION


Valve gear

Ohv, pushrods

Forward speeds

Four

Main bearings

Five

Synchromesh

All

Aircleaner

Dry elements

Gearshift

Steering column

Fuel requirement

93-octane Coast 90 Reef

Low gear

3,075 to 1

Cooling

11,1 litres with heater

2nd gear

1,830 to 1

Electrics

12 volt AC

3rd gear

1,175 to 1



Top gear   

0,785 to 1



Reverse gear

3,150 to 1



Final drive

4,857 to 1



Drive wheels

Front


002.jpg
I am assured that this is an error.  The DS-20 was fitted with a single carburettor.
© 2017 CitroŽnŽt/1971 Car