Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Fastest Lion: Peugeot 407 (Part 3)

The “arsenal” of the 407 also includes such pleasant things for the driver as adaptive headlights, tire pressure control system and an oil temperature gauge on the dashboard.

The driver’s seat is not much different from other cars of this family. The only thing that might attract your attention is the beautiful metallic gear stick. The running of the 6-cylinder engine is accompanied by pleasant sounds of exhaust system. The engine traction is really impressive and provokes you to nothing but acceleration. The gear change is so smooth that there is no doubt as to perfect tuning of the transmission. Strange thing: although I knew that there was a function of sequential gearshift in the manual mode, I never wanted to disturb the harmony by interfering in the perfect performance of the automatic mode.
Unlike its fellows, the top version of the 407 has laminated side windows, so the inside is very quiet and cozy. But this car with the most powerful engine is definitely not for a quiet ride. It easily crosses the line of 200km/h.

This “lion” also has super “instincts” of self-preservation: in difficult situations, the permanent ESP system will come to the rescue of the driver. However, the “instincts” of the 3.0L model not only act for prohibitions and restrictions, but also assist the (reasonable) fulfillment of the driver’s desires.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Fastest Lion: Peugeot 407 (Part 2)

The slight decrease of the dynamic performance and fuel efficiency is caused by additional concern about the driver and passengers of the 407, which includes specially designed front crumple zones, energy-absorbing inserts in the doors and additional air bags, including the one under the column of the steering wheel- it prevents injuries of the driver’s knees.  In other words, the designers made the car safer to the detriment of dynamics. However, this Peugeot 407 3.0 still remains the fastest and the most expressive car in the family.

The engine and the gearbox are not the only features that make the most expensive 407 differ from its fellows. For instance, shock absorbers with variable characteristics cannot be found on other versions of the family. Nowadays, Peugeot is among the fewest companies that provide domestically manufactured shock absorbers. So, the shock absorbers of the most powerful 407 are also the product of the native designers. In order to maintain good contact with the road, the shocks have nine modes of rigidity and each of them is controlled by own rigidity sensor. Thus, the shock absorbers not only obey the driver’s desires, but also monitor feedback depending on the road surface and changes of the movement nature. For instance, when driving on a bumpy road, the suspension becomes softer; and vice versa, it becomes harder on bends and turns.

The stiffness of the shock absorbers also varies depending on speed, acceleration and slowdown. Of course, the driver can himself add stiffness to the suspension by switching to sport mode.
Another interesting feature of this 407 is the power steering. It changes the force on the steering wheel depending on many factors, such as speed, crankshaft rotation frequency, angle and speed of steering.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Fastest Lion: Peugeot 407 (Part 1)

Like humans and animals, cars also always have an outstanding leader.  In the “lion family”, the leader is the Peugeot 407 with a 3-liter V6 engine. Of course, car leaders set the tone for technical solutions, trimming quality and rich equipment. However, leaders cannot claim the top lines in sales summaries due to high prices, but in everything else, they don’t give even the slightest chance to their “kin”.

The main difference of the most expensive 407 is in the engine- it’s more powerful than those installed on the rest of the representatives of the company, including the executive 607. So the 3-liter sedan turned out to be the fastest lion in the pride. At the same time, this engine is not at all something exceptional in the world of motors. Yes, it produces 211 HP, which is not bad. Yes, as compared with 3-liter engines of the previous generations, it has 3 kW more power and 5 N m more torque. All this was achieved through an improved control of valve timing and a new muffler. But, for instance, the BMW engine of the same volume produces 20HP more.

 Sad is that the 407 got heavier than its predecessor (Peugeot 406) by 150 kg and almost caught up with the next model of a higher class- the Peugeot 607.  It’s natural that the 407 loses to the 406 in terms of agility conceding half a second (6 versus 5.5) during the acceleration from 80-120 km/h. But the most frustrating fact is that it became more voracious (average fuel consumption: the 407-12.5L/100km, the 406-11.7L/100km). The problem was alleviated (but not finally resolved) by the use of a super-modern 6-speed gearbox, which engages in a sequential manner. This gearbox is installed on all 3L models. Note that the top version of the 406 was equipped with a traditional 4-speed automatic gearbox.
To be continued...