I was away the whole of this weekend in Aberdeen. Bit of a trek from Edinburgh, and not exactly exciting with straight dual carriageway all the way. Anyway, one of my mates mates who we met up with had a hire car 2.0 Citroen Xsara TD. As it was a hire car, he was more than happy to demonstrate the performance!
Not that it would give an old-school high revving 16v hot hatch any real trouble in outright acceleration, but I was still deeply, deeply impressed. Nor that the Xsara or its engine unit seems to be the best either. But you cannot ignore these machines!
I used to be a very anti-diesel person, like many here will still be!
But you cannot argue with about 200lb/ft of torque at about 2000 rpm!!
As I say, the car wasnt exactly fast off the mark, but out of corners and so on it would tear apart a 16v/172/Willy at say 2000rpm. I guess it depends on how far up the rev range you are when you meet one of these things - and how fast you can change down! Believe me, the advantage they have is enough to leave you embarassed if youre not game or are slow witted. Dont get me wrong, as soon as you hit 4000rpm youll be fine - but thats often quite difficult believe it or not!
I had a Passat TDi try it on while on the way home (with four people in the car) - and I can safely say that I well and truly smashed it. But not until we were a while longer out of the roundabouts than I was comfortable with.
I see that the current 130bhp TD SEAT Ibiza does 0-60 in 8 secs and tops out at 130mph. Not too dis-similar from a Valver (dare I say it ).