Home | Wiki | Discord | Dev Stream | YouTube | Archived Forums | Contact

Turból Corporation [1979-1989 3rd Generation Centurion]


#1

Turból Corporation

This feels long overdue. Time for lore. I will update this thread with designs as I make them, or as I feel like featuring them. All details here are subject to change, as my lore is not set in stone, but I will try to keep this thread up to date if any information here is no longer canon.

Turból Corporation is a American conglomerate with multple brands under it’s umbrella:

Turból: American luxury and near-luxury manufacturer, sold globally. (IRL comparisons: Oldsmobile, Buick, Cadillac, Chrysler, DeSoto, Lincoln, Mercury)

Boulder Trucks: American manufacturer of trucks for commercial, civilian, and military applications. Sold globally. Merged with Turból in the 1930s, forming Turból Corporation. (IRL comparisons: GMC, International, Jeep, Ram Trucks)

Legion: American economy car manufacturer. Created by Turból in the early 1950s to expand market share without moving the Turból brand too far downmarket. Shortly after it’s creation, a second headquarters was created in England to better develop models for the European market, where manufacturing would quickly expand to additional plants in Spain, Yugoslavia, and Finland, and knockdown kit assembly plants set up in Ireland, Turkey, South Africa, and Malaysia. Legion has also had a large presence in Latin America throughout it’s history, with manufacturing plants in Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil, offering a lineup including both European and American Legion models. Australia would also see domestic manufacture of Legion models. In the wake of the oil embargo crisis in the 1970s, Legion was consolidated with American designing efforts now on global platforms; due to labor issues and a flagging economy, the English engineering arm and all British manufacturing were shut down. (IRL comparisons: Ford, Opel/Vauxhall, Rambler, AMC, Saturn)

Homura: Small Japanese car manufacturer with a focus specifically on Japanese market. Turból purchased a controlling stake in the company in the 1960s, and allowed Homura freedom of engineering due to the unique landscape of the Japanese car market. However, following the oil embargo of the 1970s, Turból began consolidating Homura engineering efforts with those of Legionto create global platforms. All Turból Corporation vehicles sold in the Japanese market are sold under the Homura marque, aside from high-end Turbóls and Lucara-Ciambellas. (IRL comparisons: Suzuki, Daihatsu, Isuzu)

Lucara-Ciambella: Northern Italian coachbuilder, focused on hand-built, low production GT cars, sports cars, and supercars. Their partnership began solely as using Turból as supplier of large displacement engines for their bigger cars, but by the late 1960s Turból owned a controlling stake, and by the mid 1980s, owned the company in it’s entirety. (IRL comparisons: De Tomaso)

VEHICLE DIRECTORY:

under construction


#2

It’s about time. The entire group of carmakers deserves its own thread. The winner of CSR 120 (the Loncil) definitely should be shown here sooner or later.


#3

QDC Chassis: Legion Seagull, Homura Bedia, Turból 400

1982-1988

Introduced in 1982, the QDC chassis was one of Turból Corporation’s first global platforms co-developed by Legion of America, Legion of Europe, and Homura. Intended as a midsize sedan in North America or as a large family car in global markets, it was offered as the Legion Seagull in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Australasia, as the Homura Bedia in Japan and Southeast Asia, and as the Turból 400 in China. While initially planned to follow the trend of transverse FWD, the decision was made to use a longitudinal FWD design to utilize existing transmissions and flat 4 engine a, and to more easily add the AWD system Turból was developing at the same time. Updated versions of an existing SOHC 8v flat 4 engine would be used, in 1.6 liter and 1.9 liter guises, but would utilize electronic throttle body fuel injection on higher trim levels. While the flat fours were fuel efficient, their power output was unimpressive. Due to the packaging constraints from the aerodynamic, low hoodline and the longitudinal FWD layout, no larger existing engines would fit, so a new flat 6 cylinder was developed from the flat 4. Displacing 2.7 liters, the flat six provided a more powerful engine option, but development was not completed on time for the 1982 release, and was introduced with the 1983 model year.


1982 North American Market Legion Seagull Gold Edition.

While the platform was global, there were some differences across different markets. All models featured McaPherson strut front suspension, and shared the boxer engines. In global markets, the QDC Chassis was offered as a coupe, sedan, 5 door liftback, and 5 door estate. It utilized a galvanized chassis with semi-trailing-arm rear suspension for FWD models, and double wishbone rear suspension for AWD models. Transmission options were a 4 speed manual, 5 speed manual, and Turból’s newly-developed 4 speed electronic automatic. However, in North America, older Legion models continued to sell well, so the Seagull was positioned as Legion’s flagship. As such, it was offered only as a coupe in high-end luxurious or sporty trim levels. The base 4 speed manual was not available, and it utilized the double wishbone rear suspension from the global AWD models for a more luxurious ride, despite North American models being FWD only. Also, North American market models were not given the same quality rustproofing as global markets, as Turból brass believed that rustproofing was not important on a midsized economy car, flagship or not.


1985 North American Market Legion Seagull GX

1985 saw the first minor refresh, consolidating some of the differences between different markets. North American, European, Japanese, and Australasian market QDCs were now much more similar; they all now had the double wishbone rear suspension regardless of drivetrain choice and were all now properly rustproofed. In the North American market, with production of the existing Legion Squid finally winding down, the 4 door sedan and 5 door station wagon were added to the lineup, as were more affordable, more basic trim levels. AWD was now available in the North American market, but only on the wagon. Latin American and Mainland East Asian market models continued exclusively on the semi trailing arm suspension. Styling changes were very minor, but new for '85 were the popular, futuristic semi-hidden headlamps, available on GX trim levels and higher. The covers slid away under the hood when in use, exposing the sealed beam headlamps, but the translucent plastic of the lower part of the cover allowed the driver to flash their high beams when the headlights were not in use without the cover flipping back and forth. Their practical purpose was dubious, but few buyers of the trim levels on which they were offered did not opt for them.

In Motorsport:

The QDC chassis proved popular as a Group N and Group A rally car thanks to it’s available AWD. With the demise of Group B in 1986, in 1987 the Group A LegionSeagull was unexpectedly pressed into service as the top line World Rally Car for Team Turból Racing.

AWD made the car competitive on low-speed events in rough and/or slippery conditions, but the 2.7l 12v SOHC flat 6 was underpowered compared to the turbocharged competition.


#4

Despite its lack of power, the Legion Gull could still have been useful in Group A competition - as a touring car built for circuit racing. The works team could have found a way to squeeze out some extra grunt from its flat-six to make it competitive against other normally aspirated cars such as the E30 M3, although the all-conquering Sierra Cosworths would have been out of reach for the Gull.


#5

3rd Generation Turból Centurion (1979-1989)

In the wake of the oil crisis, Turból was in a very troubling place. With the entire American car industry in dire straights, the Turból seemed a brand particularly in trouble with a lineup of large, luxury cars with poor fuel mileage and an ageing customer base. Like the rest of the American manufacturers, Turból began downsizing it’s models, but the decision was made to take this opportunity to push the brand in a new direction, with more exciting models that could attract younger buyers, and could, possibly, make successful sales in international markets, where Turból’s reputation was less geriatric.

With power outputs increasingly robbed by the tightening of emissions and fuel economy standards, Turból threw immense money at a pair of new engines; both all-aluminum, overhead cam V8s. Turból gambled on the light weight of aluminum construction and the improved efficiency of overhead cam heads, with the eventual goal of multi-valve heads as well, to power their new models. The first V8 was a medium displacement V8 in 5.0 and 5.2 liters, and the second was a small displacement 60° V8, in 4.0 and 4.2 liters.

Showcasing the latter of the two new motors was the 3rd generation Centurion in 1979. It was downsized considerably, with a 3" reduction in wheelbase and more than a foot shorter in overall length. It was also considerably lighter and better handling, moving to unibody construction, and Turból’s newly developed independent rear suspension seen before only on sports cars. It also featured Turból’s new corporate design language, eschewing massive, square chrome grills for crisp, geometric, and aerodynamic designs. It’s wide, boxy fender flares were inspired by those of contemporary IMSA GT racecars and similar silhouette series found around the world.

The sporty trim of the new model was the ZR. Sporting the 4.2 liter version of the new V8, dual exhaust, and a four barrel carburetor, it produced a respectable 185 hp and either a 4 speed manual or 3 speed automatic. With the 4 speed, it could hit 60 mph in 7 seconds flat.

Backing up this perfomance was sporty styling. While the whole Centurion line featured boxy, aggressive fender flares and a rear spoiler integrated into the trunklid, the ZR turned up the heat with a deep chin spoiler, deep-dish two-tone alloy wheels, quad exits for the dual exhaust, black hood stripes, and door callouts.

While the empahsis was on excitement, Turból did not want to forsake it’s traditional buyers, so sedate, luxurious trim models were produced as well. Top among them was the Brougham Signature.

The Centurion Brougham was a sub-model range that featured a longer tail section with a more traditionally styled rear fascia. Chrome trim abound, with an incredibly cushy interior, and vinyl trim on roof and c pillar, and adorned with the classic Turból crest badge on the c pillar on Signature models.

1982 brought the first major changes. The aging 3 speed automatic was replaced with the new corporate electronically controlled 4 speed automatic. Rear disc brakes were introduced as an optional extra. In global markets, a 4 door sedan version was released. North American did not get the 4 door sedan, instead getting the similarly-sized, more traditional, body-on-frame Preveza. Also new for 1982 was the introduction of the 3 valve per cylinder head. Applied only on the 4.0 liter variant and with forged internals, it became the flagship performance engine of the Centurion line, and provided Turból with a strong basis to compete in newly adopted Group A regulations in various touring car series. The 4.2 and 4.0 liter 2v engines carried on as lesser engine options for US models and global models, respectively, and global models were available with smaller engine options (TBD, I don’t have that part of the canon down yet).

The Centurion received a minor facelift in 1985, with larger, fender-mounted turn signals, and more integrated, body-color bumpers. The big news, however, was the introduction of optional multi-point fuel injection. Also, the 4 speed manual was replaced by a 5 speed. The ZR model received a few tweaks to improve it’s Group A competitiveness; improved performance from the 4 liter, 24 valve V8 thanks to the new fuel injection, (234 hp in US-spec street trim), functional brake cooling ducts and a larger, adjustable element on the rear spoiler.

In Motorsport:

While the square fender flares were designed with inspiration from IMSA GT Championship and other similar racing series, the Centurion was initially not campaigned outside of showroom stock type touring car classes, as there were a pair of better suited models in the Turból stable already; the front engined Cutela and the brand new rear engined LCm79. But the Centurion III would find it’s way into top level motorsports soon, thanks to changing regulations.

In 1981, changes in NASCAR rules greatly decreased the size of vehicles in the Winston Cup Grand National Series, and the long-tail Centurion Brougham found itself just barely within the size allowance. It’s slippery shape proved popular on the banked ovals, but the new engine was not; Centurion-bodied NASCARs retained older pushrod V8s. Many of the Centurion road car’s advancements were not carried onto the NASCAR ovals, since tube-frame chassis and solid rear axles were mandatory.

With the 24v 4.0 liter V8 introduced in 1982, Turból was quick to homologate the more powerful engine in the 4.0 ZR Coupe for the FIA’s brand new Group A. The boxy flares and relatively narrow engine provided plenty of space for the wide tires allowed in the 4,000 cc class, and the compact aluminum V8 kept weight distribution solid. The 1985 update brought welcome improvements with a better gearbox, better braking, a more effective rear spoiler, and more power, which helped the Turból remain competitive against the steadily improving competitors from Jaguar, Rover, BMW, and Volvo. 1987 caught Turból (and everyone else) off guard with the incredible performance of the turbocharged Ford Sierra, especially in RS500 spec. To try to keep up, in 1988 Turból produced an Evolution model.

Like the Sierra RS500, the Centurion Evolution utilized un-used mounting points on the stock suspension for more adjustable suspension geometry on the race track. To improve weight distribution, all panels forward of the A-pillar were now made of aluminium or fiberglass. To try to keep up with the turbo power of the Sierra, the V8 was further tuned with individual throttle bodies and short tubular headers. The adjustable element of the rear spoiler was greatly increased in size. The required 500 Evolution models for homologation were all barebones models, with no side trim, manual windows, manual locks, basic interiors with minimal sound deadening and no radio. Produced in black, white, silver, and blue, 280 of the 500 were sold in the united states, and the remaining 220 sold in continental Europe.

Despite the changes, the Centurion Evolution, like many other Group A machines of the time, was still only barely able keep up with the massive pace of the Sierras, and with this generation of the Centurion reaching the end of it’s shelf life, Turból engineers turned their focus elsewhere for the time being.