Moreover, one of these countries is Russia, and the car is Renault Logan, which was launched in the summer at Moscow Avtoframos. Therefore, we decided to visit Romania, where the main production of this model is deployed at the Dacia plant. In France, where they designed the car. And, finally, in Morocco, where another plant has just opened, following the example of Moscow.
We called the run “Driving Without Borders” because traveling by car really erases the boundaries. The idea seemed very interesting to colleagues from France. So again, journalists from the L'Automobile Store were on the road with us.
They will do the first part of the journey with us at the editorial Logan (1.4 liters, 75 hp, $ 8999, participant in the 60 hours at the wheel marathon - ZR, 2005, No. 10). And in Romania they will get Dacia-Logan, which is more powerful and richer with which our Renault stretches.
So, the start and first page of the logbook.
LANGUAGE WILL LEAD TO KIEV
Start: Moscow, September 19, 8.00
Finish: Kiev, 20.30
Mileage: 876 km
Average speed: 70 km / h
165 km from Moscow begins the repair of roads, potholes. But the suspension "Logan" perfectly copes. After an hour of driving on bumps, budget decisions begin to annoy. An unregulated seat belt sticks into the shoulder. The hole in the armrest - it’s the handle for closing the door - cuts into the wrist.
The main task of the day is to cross the border with Ukraine. Here it is, a barrier with a long queue of trucks in front of him. Half an hour, and we are on neutral land: before us is the Friendship monument, behind us are Russian flags, Belarusian to the right, Ukrainian to the left. Another half hour, and "Logan" rolls over Chernihiv land. “Tell me, are we going to Kiev correctly?” - “Yes, in two hours you’ll be there.”
Rumors about the abolition of Ukrainian DAI are greatly exaggerated. Soon we were stopped at the post: as the inspector said, "I am very worried if there is a technical inspection ticket." Then, on the highway, oncoming traffic with headlights warned about ambushes.
The phrase of the day was said by Gael Brianso, our colleague from the French L'Automobile Store. When a truck came into our forehead, from the back seat with a French pronouns it sounded: “Optimist!”
There would be less such optimists!
Start: Kiev, September 20, 10.45
Finish: Chernivtsi, 20.30
Mileage: 637 km
Average speed: 65 km / h
Today we cross the neighboring country - Ukraine and we are all waiting for a meeting with the local “Logan”. In vain: neither in Ukraine nor in Russia they are visible. So we were delighted with the appearance of Dacia in the mirrors: let not Logan, but the old Solenets, but still a car from the Romanian Pitesti.
Start: Chernivtsi, September 21, 8.45
Finish: Pitesti, 20.00
Mileage: 594 km
Average speed: 53 km / h
We are in the country of “Logans”. The “Driving Without Borders” run crossed the Ukraine-Romania border (border + customs on both sides = only half an hour). Most of the Romanian car fleet is made up of “dachas”, and among them, in turn, are many brand-new “logans”. Cars, according to our observations, are in fairly rich trim levels - here the model is considered prestigious.
It rains in the morning in Pitesti. Today we are going to Dacia. We’re on a detour because one of the bridges is washed away by the flood that happened days earlier.
Large raindrops are threshed in the windshield - they remind us that the forces of nature can again dictate their will to man.
After 20 minutes we are at the checkpoint. Dacia is truly reborn. Over the past few years, Renault has invested 450 million euros here, and the plant has begun to make a profit. But the main thing is that it works as a modern automobile enterprise, according to the quality standards of Renault and Nissan. Not a single complaint is ignored.
For example, the factory is well aware of the malfunction that occurred with the Logan motor during the 60 hours at the wheel marathon. Thank you, “Dacia”, for the hospitality - “multiciumsk,” as they say here.
NIGHT MARCH THROW
Start: Pitesti, September 23, 9.00
Finish: Paris, September 24, 4 p.m.
Mileage: 2293 km
Average speed: 74 km / h
Finally, our "Logan" has a "partner". From the Romanian Pitesti, the “Driving Without Borders” run has already gone on two cars. Renault provided the French colleagues with a red, with a spark, Dacia: a 1.6-liter engine, power steering, air conditioning, a pair of airbags - in general, the maximum configuration.
They crossed Romania for a long time, arrived at the border in the evening. About an hour later we are in Hungary.
We pass the country in just four hours - and before us is another border. Here is a complete mess: a bunch of cars are simultaneously trying to squeeze into the eye of a needle with a barrier. An hour and a half later, with difficulty, almost wrinkling our sides, we get to the treasured booth, we pass out the passports through the window and … find ourselves in Austria. Here, French colleagues are already waiting for us - for citizens of a united Europe, their own free corridor at the border.
Deep night, behind 900 km, and to Paris, where you need to be tomorrow, another 1, 400! In order to be in time, we decide on a night march, good quality of Austrian, German, French roads allows it.
The calculation was justified: at 16 o'clock we enter Paris. Behind a fast but calm ride on the autobahns, two "transparent" borders and … a brief dream in a car a la Stirlitz.
In the dead of time, around half past four, they wanted to cheer up coffee at a gas station. Finding a place in a row of parked cars, they found a sleepy kingdom around. In a haughty "Land Rover Discovery 3" the Germans snored, in a funny "Smart Fo-Fo" the Dutchman was dreaming, a French couple tossed about in an overloaded A-class Mercedes. And we thought, in cars they spend the night only in Russia!
We also took a nap in a spontaneous motel, recalling one of the moments of spring: “After 20 minutes, Stirlitz will wake up and go to Berlin.” By the way, he was resting somewhere nearby. We woke up an hour later and headed for Paris. The experience of Colonel Isaev was very useful. Paris, Port de Vanves, Saturday evening. At a traffic light, a young French couple crosses the road in front of us.
The head of the family glances at the car and, almost stumbling, runs up to us.
- I bought the exact same Logan, but it was Dacia. Are they really being released under the Renault brand ?!
… Yes, they release it - in Russia, where this car came from. And in Morocco, where she goes tomorrow, is also Dacia. But more about that in the next issue.
|POST NAMED AFTER DRIVING - I found out about the incident with your motor the very next day, August 16 - at the door of the mechanical assembly shop its head Agius Richard was waiting for us - and although this was the first case of all time, we took measures to exclude the slightest likelihood of such a defect. Now you will see this.
Recall - during the marathon “60 hours at the wheel” on the evening of August 15, “Logan” made an emergency stop due to a malfunction in the motor. Two locknuts on the valve control rods were turned away (ЗР, 2005, No. 10). And now, after a month or so, we are observing at the Dacia plant in Pitesti how the valves are now regulated in the engine assembly area. “The worker is now setting the intake valve clearances,” Mr. Richard explains. Four times flash probe and special key. Previously, the motor immediately moved to the next post. But after our signal, the plant introduced an additional control operation. The conveyor will not move until the worker walks through the four locknuts with a torque wrench connected by wires to the remote control. Here a green lamp was lit on it - and the motor drove on, to the exact same post where the exhaust valves would be adjusted.
“And now,” Mr. Richard smiles, “we will model the marriage, and if it slip control, I will quit tomorrow!” At his command, the worker checks only two out of four valves on the next engine. The motor remains motionless reproach to the "negligent" collector. The manufacturers agreed that the new control stand could be called the “post behind the wheel”. We, in turn, were pleased to see how manufacturers responded clearly and quickly to our criticism. Such a reaction - to Russian factories! And it’s good that it didn’t come to the dismissal of switchmen. Run the conveyor, Mr. Richard!