Iveco delivers the goods with Massif

  • 25-Apr-2008 03:53 EDT
The Iveco Massif’s suspension and driveline are based on the Series II Land Rover, with parabolic leaf springs all around and selectable four-wheel drive.

Iveco cites the Fiat Campagnola, a post-World War II utility 4x4 model first produced in 1951 by Iveco’s parent company, as the spiritual predecessor to the Massif, but anyone familiar with the 60-year-old Land Rover, now sold as the Defender, will see more than a passing resemblance to the British-built 4x4 model. And the relationship between the two is a close one.

While Italian design house Giugiaro has been responsible for the external finishing touches, the Iveco Massif is a reworked Santana Anibal PS-10, which in turn is a reworked Series II Land Rover.

Santana began building the Land Rover in Spain under license 50 years ago, continuing until 1990 with the Series II model. Santana then continued to build its own version, the Santana 2500 for another few years.

Production then ceased altogether until 2001, when the PS-10 emerged, effectively a reworked 2500 model but powered by a 2.8-L four-cylinder Iveco diesel engine derived from the Daily cargo van. Then in 2006, Iveco signed a deal with the Spanish company, which saw Santana continuing to build the model with Iveco taking responsibility for sales and marketing. The Massif is the result.

Now there is a sequel to the story. Ford recently agreed to sell Land Rover with Jaguar to Indian conglomerate Tata. Iveco and Tata are exploring commercial-vehicle cooperation, which must at least open up the possibility of the Defender and Massif being sold side-by-side somewhere in the world.

The principal differences between the Defender and the Massif are in the materials, suspension, and powertrain.

Under the skin, Santana has maintained the front and rear leaf-spring layout of the Land Rover Series II, whereas Land Rover switched to coil springs for the Series III model. The Massif uses parabolic leaf springs front and rear, far simpler than the Land Rover but designed for durability and ease of maintenance. At the front, the springs are coupled with double-action hydraulic dampers and an antiroll bar, while at the rear, double action gas dampers and an antiroll bar complete the picture. The front axle is rated at 1017 kg (2242 lb) and the rear at 2033 kg (4482 lb), while Iveco quotes a maximum gross vehicle mass of 3050 kg (6724 lb) and maximum trailer capacity of 3000 kg (6614 lb).

The Massif is also built in steel with a composite roof, compared with the aluminum panels on steel construction of the Land Rover Defender. Production will include three- and five-door station wagons with wheelbase lengths of 2452 mm (96.5 in) and 2768 mm (109 in), respectively. Long-wheelbase (LWB) pickup and chassis cab variants are also available.

All models share an approach angle of 50°, with a ramp angle of 24° for LWB versions and 33° for the short-wheelbase (SWB) models. The departure angle for LWB models is 30°, and 34° for the SWB model. Iveco gives 100% gradeability for the vehicle and a side slope capability of 40°. On the standard 235/85R16 tires, the Massif offers ground clearance of 200 mm (7.9 in) and a wading depth of 500 mm (19.7 in).

Iveco provides the 3.0-L, four-cylinder, common-rail, turbocharged diesel engine built at the company’s Foggia plant in southern Italy. The engine powers the Daily cargo van and is also supplied for front-wheel-drive installation in the Citroën Relay/Jumper, Fiat Ducato, and Peugeot Boxer cargo vans.

In the Massif, the engine is available with the same two power outputs as in the Iveco Daily. The choice is 146 bhp (109 kW) between 3000 and 3500 rpm, with maximum torque of 350 N·m (258 lb·ft) at 1400 to 2800 rpm; and 176 bhp (131 kW) between 3200 and 3500 rpm, with maximum torque of 400 N·m (295 lb·ft) between 1250 and 3000 rpm. The more powerful version is equipped with a variable-geometry turbocharger.

Where transmission is concerned, the Massif also follows the basic layout of the series II Land Rover with selectable four-wheel drive. Primary drive is through a six-speed ZF 6S400 overdrive gearbox to a Santana produced two-speed transfer box. This gives a choice of high-ratio two- and four-wheel drive and low-ratio four-wheel drive. The transfer box provides a fixed 50:50 front/rear torque split. Options include a rear axle differential lock and automatic freewheeling front hubs. The front axle final drive uses a helical gear, with a hypoid gear set at the rear.

The Massif is certified to N1 light goods vehicle standards, not to M1 passenger car standards in Europe. Consequently, the vehicle lacks many of the modern safety features expected of a new vehicle. ABS brakes are optional, an airbag is not available, and the center rear seat is equipped with a lap seatbelt. Disc brakes are fitted front and rear, ventilated at the front. The handbrake operates through a drum brake mounted on the transfer box.

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