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So we tried the Citroën 2 HP

June 16, 2019

We show you one of the most revolutionary cars in terms of design. On this occasion, the model analyzed corresponds to the year 1963.

In June 1963, the 31st edition of Revista Parabrisas launched the Citroën 2 CV test. The emblematic model had an impact on the popular culture of different countries (France was the main one), and Argentina was no exception. The revolutionary design for the time made it win approval in different markets around the world.


Within the current automotive sense, the Citroën 2 CV occupies a special place, shared only by himself. European sports motorsport has a specific meaning, as well as the utilitarian one, different from each other and different from American motorsport. We can establish three defined automotive criteria in this way. The Citroën 2 CV does not match any of them and establishes a unique class.


In this car, utilitarianism has been taken to its fullest. It is designed and built to save parts that can decompose, and incorporates others that although they seem complicated at first sight, are the result of a study of general conservation of the car, as in the case of the centrifugal clutch. 

All these factors make the Test or Road Test of 2 CV have special characteristics for the people of Windshield, which tries to locate with respect to automobiles in a more technical than affective plane.


The technical team of Parabrisas made in 2 CV the tests that are customary in all cases, performance in the racetrack and impressions and consumption in routes.


The first impression that the 2 CV produces is strange. Looking critically it is difficult to say if your line is from the pre Noé period or the beginning of the space age.


Both one position and another has its supporters. Even in the Windshield staff, although penetrating more deeply into the details, both mechanical and constructive, it is closer to the last position.

The four doors of the 2 CV are very spacious; They occupy almost all the space of the cabin. Then, the entry and exit of the vehicle is a simple operation, complemented by the low weight of the doors. When the driver finishes placing himself in front of the steering wheel, an interesting circumstance becomes evident; always fit well in the seat, whether correctly seated or sideways. This is due to the design of the seat and backrest, which consists of a soul of rubber bands with an upholstered cover.


This design of seats adapts to any anatomy, is comfortable, and the fact of offering a full lift in the back determines a comfort and comfort of handling hardly surpassed by cars of the same displacement.

In the interior design, as well as in the exterior, you can see the lack of sporting sense that is the hallmark of the Citroën. The driving position, although strange to people accustomed to driving other cars, is comfortable. The steering wheel has a more horizontal than vertical inclination and is large and thick. In tight corners, the front traction hardens the steering and the size of the steering wheel is widely justified. The gearshift lever, with a central position on the dash, has a special route, different from the generality of the cars, but it is easy to memorize and its handling does not present difficulties.


The pedals are perhaps too small and arranged too perpendicular, at least those of the clutch and brake. The accelerator is long and wide, easy to find. The visual controls are small. They consist of an ammeter dial and a speedometer, located off the board, in the lower left corner of the windshield. The speedometer is driven by a transmitter cable, which in turn commands the windshield wipers. Then, the latter works according to the speed of the car.


At low speeds, the cadence is very slow, but at normal speeds of 60/70 km / h, the windscreen wiper behaves accordingly. At the base of the windshield, there is an air intake with an elongated rectangular shape that allows air to enter the interior of the car. The air inlet is protected by a metal screen and by a screen that opens or closes at will from the inside.

There is no doubt that the 2 HP "crouches" when braking, but brakes a lot. The low weight of the vehicle helps in these circumstances. This inclination corresponds to the effective braking from 60 km / ha 0. As in the previous cases and the subsequent, the car did not deviate during braking, always doing it on a straight line.


On the inside of the opening there is a small platform ideal for placing those items that should always be at hand: cigarettes, matches, glasses, etc., never with the screen open, since the wind is responsible for spreading them as length and width of the cabin.


The ventilation is carried out in this way and the air arrives correctly in the area of ​​the front seat. The rear seat has no direct ventilation, since the windows of the corresponding doors do not open, and the air that may come from the front is, as in most cars, insufficient.


The visibility in general is good. The proportion of glass in the cabin is more than enough, although in the case of the rear window, the raised position of this makes the rear shadow area extend more than necessary. The rear window is generous and the rearview mirror covers it perfectly, taking full advantage of the angle of vision. The sun visors are placed in the usual places, but when they are lowered and raised they interfere with the rear-view mirror and dislodge it from its primitive position. If they were somewhat shorter, this inconvenience would not arise.


The front windows are raised outwards pivoting to the height of half of the total glass, and are locked in the to upper position by means of a shaped tip that enters a rubber stop provided for this purpose. They have a trigger lock on the inside that prevents opening from the outside. This has its advantages and disadvantages. As advantages, the only one that we can consider appreciable is the decrease of the cost, in front of a conventional system of cam, rack and guide, etc.

The most notable drawbacks are the restriction of the open space and a special tendency not to close when the car is moving at a certain speed. The remedy: to raise it and to drop it of blow so that it locks by gravity, since it does not have handle to attract it from the inner side. Anyway, these disadvantages can be neutralized with the use of the sliding roof, which when it is at its maximum opening point, establishes a true sensation of self-opening.


The handling of the 2 CV has, like all the automobile, particular characteristics. In the city, as well as on the route, you can see the absence of a few CVs. The reactions to the accelerator are delayed but sure. "Short gallop, long breath and faithful instinct"; I would say Belisario Roldán. En route the behavior of the vehicle, saving speed, is good. The longitudinal stability is sufficient to maintain the 2 CV in its line of march without major efforts. The lateral wind exerts a felt influence, given the large impact surface of the side of the car.

The suspension deserves a separate chapter. For the constructive system and the theory of the durability of the designers, it is very soft and has a long journey. This makes it capable of absorbing very large slopes at relatively high speeds for those jumps.


Of course, there are jumps that suit you and others that do not. The potholes cut to peak, of net edges, like those that customary to manufacture some official distributions in our beloved city, feel. The type of bump or rounded protrusion is overcome with greater ease, although sometimes a curious phenomenon of synchronism between the potholes and the car occurs and this begins a growing pitch to the point where it is necessary to slow down. The inertia beaters, which fulfill the functions of shock absorber, were found insufficient in some cases.


The rear suspension reacts greatly to the weight of passengers in the back seat and the car "sits" with respect to the position occupied without passengers. This makes the road lights point up with the usual inconveniences. To anticipate this circumstance, the headlights can be oriented discreetly in the vertical direction, from the inside of the car, by means of a knob that rotates the transverse axis on which they are mounted.


The inner capacity is remarkable. Considering the small displacement of the car and even comparing it with those of greater displacement, the 2 HP is what is said in Creole very fitter.


Other data 

Engine: 0.4 liters with two cylinders in line and 12 HP

Transmission: Four-speed manual

Maximum speed: 86 km / h

Acceleration 0-80 km / h: 56 seconds

Braking distance at 80 km / h: 21.4 meters

Consumption in city: 16.5 km / l

Consumption en route at 80 km / h: 19 km / l





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