1967 - The big offensive
Nobody bought the CMT City anymore and the Libra was a good car, no question, but the buyers started looking for newer cars with a more contemporary design, better economy and lower price. CMT reacted and launched the radically new City II which was not a fun car as the City I but a serious attempt at a subcompact, offered in a wide trim range and not looking cheap in any way even if the prices were pleasantly low for CMT habits. Radically new because CMT banned the solid rear axle for a beam axle and fitted gas dampeners in all models. The only 3,5 meter short car offered accetptable interior space and a good build quality.
The start for only $6400 was the 1100 a four-door five seater, with basic interior and a simple radio and no power steering. The car recieved the Bingo engine, adressing those that considered a Bingo as not practical enough. The car accelerated even slower, reaching 100 after 19,9 seconds and with 125 kph the same top speed as the Bingo despite a 126 kg weight gain. Even if the three-speed manual was the same, the consumption was a liter less with 10,5 liter, as engineers optimized the City II as much as possible.
The sales were good, being the smallest utility car, even suiting for a family. For better scores, the 1100 lacked comfort and power. It was mainly the budget choice.
For a $6950 cheque the 1400 stood in front of your door. The car was a three-door four-seater, more suitable for city use and going away from frugal utility. It as a standard interior, featuring a passenger sunvisor, temperature gauge, a glove compartment, interval wipers and a passenger side mirror. The car still had only a three-speed, but a stronger engine derived from the CI204-64, delivering 58 horsepower, allowing for 140 kph topspeed and 14,9 seconds accelleration with even better economy of 10,2 liter, but the serive costs were significantly higher as the 1100 was aligned to low cost all the way.
The sales were not bad, not as high as those of the 1100, but the trim was a good balance between low price, some comfort and reasonable power.
To replace the City I with a similar fun model, the “1500 S” trim was created, using the same engine as the 1400, but just with a little more volume. The car was intended as a pony car on a minimum scale. Basing on the three-door body, it featured a two-tone paint with a sidestripe in contrast color, transparent indicator glass, a better standard radio with two speakers, a premium interior with rev counter, cloth door panel, adjustable driver seat height and steering column, fake wood dashboard decor and power steering. The 1,5 liter engine recieved a fourth gear, making the car 147 kph fast and propelling it to 100 in 13,5 seconds, much faster than any other car in the 3,5 meter class, although 10,9 liter are a lot for the small size as well as the $8120 price, but not too much if you consider how fast it is, beating most family sedans easily, but on the other hand - the Astrona III 2000 was available for not even $1000 more, so the car sold only as pony or city premium car in comparatively low amounts.
Targetting the Libra buyers, the five-door body recieved the same engine and trim as the 1500S, creating the 1500L. The transparent indicator glasses were swiched back to yellow ones and the three-speed ComfoShift automatic was added as well as painted hubcaps, raising the price to $8400. But do not forget what you get here: Sedan comfort in a subcompact, an engine still capable of reaching 100 after 14,8 seconds and 144 kph top speed, great utility and the well-known almost perfect CMT handling. 11,8 liter consumption and 705$ annual service cost made it an alternative for those who were tired of looking for a rare parking spot. The unknown-in-this-class comfort made it the #1 city premium car worldwide except Dalluha, and in Dalluha it became the “best fleet car award” as the Astrona III wagon a year ago, returning good reliability for the price wanted. It even succeeded in keeping the former Libra buyers going for a CMT, as it was usable as “full” family car despite the tiny dimensions.
With the last Astrona III models, the Familia has become obsolete. But shortly before this would be the case, CMT released the “CS” model, a completely redesigned car that came as two-door sedan. The four-meter car was planned as a link between the City II and the Astrona III, featuring the standard interior from the City 1400 as well as it’s 58 horsepower engine and the three-speed manual, but no radio and still no power steering to be offered at a price of $7900.
The performance of the el-cheapo-Familia was not impressive, reaching only 136 kph and 100 after 17,3 seconds and that needing 12,7 liter. Maybe it looked not bad and more “adult” compared to the City II, but the car was an answer to a question nobody asked and therefore failed on the market, disappearing in summer 1970.
Three new Astrona models arrived, but as a surprise, these were not all six-cylinder cars.
The 2000iS was CMTs first car with fuel injection, using a licensed copy of the Frosch Jetronic mechanical system. The engine gained 10 horsepower, now 100 in total. The car was basically a 2000 L as four-seater with slightly different suspension, black roof, black hubcaps on one inch larger rims. Furthermore it has a black grille frame and also a black paint below the bumpers. Even if the car would have had a better drivability without, it featured a fifth gear for its manual transmission, adding prestige and sportiness to it.
The 2000iS was an experiment to test fuel injection systems, as this car is able to run on the newly-available unleaded fuel. It was offered for $11.100, still accessible for a car with high-tech features. The 168 kph top speed was ok, and 11,5 seconds to 100 were not much back then. Another benefit was the 13,1 liter consumption, not really less than the 2000, but considered the better trim it shows that injection systems will be important in the future. Its sales success was not overwhelming, as many buyers feared the new technology and assumed that it will be prone to failure.
The six-cylinders went for different layouts, a curiosity for a car. Both feature the good L trim added with two-tone paint and square headlights to underline the upmarket position of the more powerful models. The 2400L aimed the elder or conservative people that want a classical sedan, not too expensive, but smooth and comfortable. The suspension was a little softer, and the again updated 2.4 that has its origin in 1950 was pushed to 120 horsepower, allowing for solid 178 kph top speed and 10,3 seconds acceleration time. But the 16,2 liter needed for 100 km show the age of the engine, although the overall $11.160 price of the car was not too much. Although the 2400L was the gentleman car, it was sold with a four-speed manual instead of an automatic to leave enough space for the 3000L.
It was no surprise that the top-of-the-line Astrona features the same engine as the base Excelsior model. As it performs very good in the larger car, buyers expected superb performance in the midsize car - and were not disappointed. Although having an automatic, it accelerated as fast as the 2400 with a stickshift and reached a little higher 184 kph top speed? So, where is the evolution? Look at the fuel gauge. The 3000L with automatic needs less than the 2400L with a manual, and 15,9 liter were not bad for the overall performance of the car.
$11.730 were 800 less than the Astrona II with the same engine and gearbox, but the specs were slightly worse, as the car became heavier. A comparison made by the motor journalists showed that both cars were nearlly identical, the Astrona II was more comfortable and did better on bad roads, the Astrona III was sportier, had a few more safety features and a hint more space.
As expected, the 3000 with V6 outsold the 2400 with the old I6, but both were no low-performers on the markets, as reasonnably priced midsize sedans with sixpacks between 2,5 and 3 liter were welcomened premium cars in the second half of the 60s.
For the Gasmeans that hyped strong and overpowered cars, CMT took the Excelsior chassis and switched the panels to aluminum ones. Thandor first thought to launch a coupe variant of the Excelsior, but the Indianapolis needed a replacement and so they agreed on building a new car.
The Daytona abandoned rear double wishbone suspension and recieved the solid axle like the Excelsior. The car became quite large, with a length of 4,8 meter and - thanks to the aluminum panels - 1650 kilogram, mostly a fault of the engine. To outdo the competitors, CMT took the 6.2 liter block and maxxed it out to 7 liter. The engine was called CV8-62-70HO, as HO stood for high output, although it could also be named high octane, as it broke with the CMT philosophy to run all engines on regular gas - this one needed premium leaded. The result were enormous 395 horsepower - it could have been more, but CMT worried about the consumption of this monster. The flatplane layout was abandoned to give it a proper GT touch, and forged parts keep it reliable at higher rpm.
It was offered in two different trims, the 7000GT with automatic, 16 inch steel wheels and all premium four seat interior. To differ it from cheaper similar cars, the handling was still only for skilled drivers, but the car suited for more than just a straigt line. To remove the widow-maker reputation, proper brakes stopped the car within 40 meters. The $22.600 price was hefty, but not too much for former Indianapolis buyers that wanted refinement in a premium muscle. CMT wanted to sell it worldwide, but the aluminium parts limited the production numbers, and the demand in Gasmea was so high that it was hard to deliver enough vehicles. But how fast is it acutally? 6,78 to 100, 238 kph top speed and quarter mile in 15,19 seconds. So the 7000GT was no cannonball, but there are not many situations where it does not provide enough power.
To push everything to its limits, CMT offered the 7000R for $25.750, a monster created by the devil himself to seperate the men from the boys. It even featured mirrored “C M T” letters in the grille, allowing drivers of cars in front of you read whose intake will suck them in. The engine remained unchanged, but the ComfoShift was replaced with a five-speed manual and absurdly wide sports compound tires on magnesium wheels desperately fighting against the 593nm torque.
The sport interior with premium radio underlined that this is a serious attempt at a performance vehicle, and it was - at least in this league, were single seconds matter - much faster, reaching 100 in 5,7 seconds and capable of reaching 250 kph. The consumption of 21 liter is relatively low compared to the overall performance and the time period it was built in, mainly a reason of the absurtly long gearing (306 kph), neccessary to avoid extreme overpowering in lower gears. Quarter mile time is 14 seconds for the stock car, special dragster tuned versions were capable of going very close to 10 seconds. Sales were of course not as much as of the more civillian GT trim, but the R had a lot of fans.
The engine was just enough to power CMTs top model, the Excelsior 70, recognizable by additional external foglamps and its “70” badge on the rear. The heavy 1930 kg weight and the automatic make it a lot slower than the Daytona’s, but with 256 kph top speed it was still the world’s fastest mass-produced sedan. Reaching 100 in 7,6 seconds, the car left many confused sports car drivers behind. The luxury interior featured a phonograph with six speakers, automatic dual antenna, equalizer and a needle that was immune to shocks, as it was mounted on a special bearing not to scratch the vinyl when hitting a bump. The passengers enjoyed a hydropneumatic suspension, using a license from Citrone. Candyllac and Washington were shocked - what to answer to this superlative? $ 32.300 indicate a serious markup, but the people it adressed in Gasmea did not care - this was a car for self-confident millionaires that do not ask for a price tag and throw a blanco cheque on the desk, so not only Gasmeans loved it. Every second car in the $30.000 class sold in Dalluha was this vehicle! Only Archaneans were not able to enjoy it, as premium gas was a rare sight there. Oh Lord, Won’t You Buy Me a CMT?