Otnas Automotive - A Preview to the Otnas Harimau Dakar Esprit 1.8

Hello everyone! Welcome to the Otnas Automotive forum page. Here, I will explain and tell the stories about whats behind Otnas Automotive company and its cars.


Otnas Automotive was established in 1935 in Dutch East Indies (Indonesia as per 1945) as Nederlands-Indische Auto-Carrosserie (NAIC). NAIC is known for building busses and custom automobiles for customers around the world and is reputable for their splendid and precise work. 35 years after its establishment, NAIC changed their name into Otnas and announced that they will stop making bus bodies and custom coach-built bodies for other companies.



1st Generation Kucing Hatchback

The Sport Trims of the Otnas Kucing


2nd Generation Kucing
Otnas Tamtam - Sports Sedan



1974 - Anti Lock Brakes


Imperium Fluxus - VVT & VVL


Wait a minute, how do you even make bus bodies?

1 Like

workshop mods, somehow

1 Like

Otnas Kucing - The First Generation


It was 1971, a small hatchback from the Indonesian company was finally revealed to the public. It was called the 'Kucing' - a word for cat in Indonesian language which describes its small physical dimension yet zippy driving characteristics. It was made as an all-in-one car — a car that is dependable enough for daily use, sporty enough for spirited driving, capable to do light off-roading, and as comfortable as premium limousines.

Although some people tend to have two kind of cars; the fancy smanchy one for the weekends and special occasions, and a dependable daily car. What if we can deliver the best of both worlds in just one? Especially in the metro… You can’t drive a Lamborghini Miura everyday but you can’t also drive an S-Class easily in the tight packed traffic! It’s a hyperbole to say that our little car is as sporty as a Miura and as posh as an S-Class but what we’re talking about here is the goal of making the car is to deliver sportiness and comfort. Oh there’s a clue of its feature! A rigid monocoque chassis and a four wheel independent suspension setup!

Chassis & Suspension

The monocoque chassis is made out of corrosion resistant steel to make sure it lasts long. The rigid construction also ensures that there will be less chassis flex which improves the suspension performance. At the front, the Kucing has double wishbone suspension — used by F1 cars of that day. At the back it has semi trailing arm suspension — utilized to maximize cabin and cargo volume whilst having independent suspension. In skidpads, the Kucing can pull 0.88 g’s !

It also has four wheel disc brakes — 2 pistons at the front on each sides and 1 piston at the back on each sides which shortens its braking distance from 100km/h to 0 in just 40 metres in around 3 seconds!


The Otnas Kucing is available in five door and three door configuration (coming soon!). The Kucing has plastic clads that cover its wheel wells and underside of its front end to protect and enhance aerodynamics. The front end is rather rounded than boxier in order to improve aerodynamics. The Kucing achieves 0.343Cd — a good figure for its era — which allows the Kucing to move swiftly from the air resistance. Its styling although is inspired by sports cars such as the DeTomaso Mangusta, Ferrari 365 GTB/4. The upper part of the sides are also fitted with a plastic trim that stretches from the rear end to the front end — mimics the trimming found on luxury cars. The side indicators are also fitted at the fender and rear end that also functions as a parking light that tells where the car is parked in the dark.


The Kucing is powered by a 1.5 litre SOHC 12V Inline 4 motor that is codenamed ‘A’ since its Otnas’ first motor. Although it is also known to have another name; ‘Purring Cat’. Unlike many cars of its day, the Kucing had a mechanical fuel injection that is the Bosch D-Jetronic The D-Jetronic is considered as a fancy system that they are used in Jaguar V12s until 1989 and Mercedes V8s. Although later in 1974, the fuel system is changed into K-Jetronic - a newer system used by Mercedes cars and Porsches.

The ‘Purring Cat’ motor achieves 84hp and 120Nm of torque with its power channeled by a 5-speed manual transmission — allowing the small Kucing 1.5-Classic to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 10 seconds and reach a staggering 186km/h top speed as claimed. Although test drives have revealed that the Kucing’s 0-100km/h time is actually 9.5 seconds and has a 200km/h top speed. To make it more impressive, the fuel consumption of it is rated at 9.5l/100km — translates to 29.7 MPG.


7 years of research before NAIC changed its name as Otnas has resulted to Otnas Kucing’s refinements. Many of cars in the 70s are much larger than it — and how will the 980kg hatchback would survive in a head on crash against a 1.7 tonne car?

The Kucing has collapsible steering column, a dash that remained intact in crashes, safety glass, safety cage, crumple zones, pre-tensioning three point seatbelts at four points, headrests, and a fuel pump switch that turns it off in an event of a crash.

65km/h crash

65km/h vs 65km/h against a 1.7 tonne car

70km/h rollover

70km/h T-Bone

(Prototype pics. Might differ from the final product!)

The Kucing also has reinforced pillars to keep passengers safe in an event of a rollover crash.


Inside, the Otnas Kucing has a three spoke sporty steering wheel that is tilted to the left. Why? Because some people are born with their left hand longer than their right hand — which makes them experience fatigue in their right hand since they need to stretch it a bit further. The interior is upholstered in smooth Indigo colored fabric.

Otnas also researched on how the seats are supposed to be built. They had a research in human anatomy, worked with a team of doctors, to build orthopedic seats that are super friendly in long trips — because it’s not rare to meet people who do long trips! These seats are also known to hold the bodies of the passengers in an event of high speed cornering.

Last but not least, the Otnas Kucing has a Blaupunkt FM Radio with two high quality speakers. Although Otnas is known to have audiophiles working for them thus resulting the Kucing offered with with a Becker Europa AM/FM Radio and also Becker Mexico AM/FM Radio with a cassette player! They even offered four speaker option — in a 70s hatch!

Last but not least...

The Otnas Kucing possess impressive features which makes it such a car back then. Although it is known that the Kucing was offered in quite low price; $16900 in todays money for the base model. Its fuel consumption and performance is also astonishing, often compared with premium sport sedans. Although the world’s favourite Otnas Kucing story doesn’t end here for this generation — there’s a lot more to come!

Sport model coverage coming soon!

BeamNG.drive export:


Safer Braking

In the early 50s, Dunlop’s anti-brake lock system called Maxaret was the first system to be widely used in the aviation industry. It is able to shorten brake distances by 30% and eliminate flat spots and tire bursts due to skids whilst braking and later widely used in 70s in automotive when the electronics matured. In 1971, the Chrysler Imperial had four wheel anti-lock brakes that was supplied by Bendix and not much later Toyota and Nissan followed with their Toyota Crown and Nissan President.

At that time, Otnas only had one car; the Kucing. Although so, they wanted to introduce the system to the public to improve safety thus in 1974, Otnas introduced anti-lock brakes in the Otnas Kucing. It is proven that the brake distance of the ABS-equipped car is shorter; from 40.4 metres to 37.3 metres with ABS.


This first model from Otnas shows plenty of potential - as evidenced by the sporty version that’s coming soon. Why not make a 3-door version as well?

The 2nd Generation Kucing - A Step Further Taken


In 1985, there are 4 million units of first-generation Otnas Kucing have been produced making Otnas expand their market into the worldwide market. The 2nd generation Otnas Kucing development started in 1977 and the Citroën CX largely inspires the smooth-edged body work of this generation to reduce its drag coefficient. to 0.28 Cd Otnas also started developing test mules for the four-link multi link suspension system since 1973 - inspired by the Mercedes C111 and the second generation Kucing is originally finished in 1982. Although before the product was frozen, the Mercedes 190 Series was launched with the similar multi-link axle suspension and the board of directors decided to improve the suspension even further thus delaying its launch until mid 1985.

Chassis & Suspension

The chassis of the second generation Otnas Kucing is 15% more rigid than the one found on the previous model. As explained before, the second generation Otnas Kucing has four-link multi-link suspension (read: glorified double-wishbone suspension) and the reason why this generation of Kucing has that kind of suspension is to enhance its handling and comfort at the same time. The second generation Kucing could pull 0.91 g’s in the 20m skidpad and 0.90 g’s in the 200m skidpad. The platform of the Otnas Kucing is called FUTURA Modular platform which is used by other Otnas models.

Like the previous model, this one also has four wheel disc brakes which shortens its braking distance to 38 metres.

The second generation Kucing is clearly larger than its predecessor but thanks to aluminium panels at some parts of it, the weight is toned down to 1075kg that is nearly as light as the first generation Esprit-I model.


It’s powered by the new ‘Purring Cat - II / FUTURA’ engine. It has dual overhead cams (DOHC) with 4 valves per cylinder - totalling 16 valves which makes the new engine breathes better. The shown model is the 1.8-Classic that has the 1.8 litre version which produces 129hp - 180Nm of torque. The power is channeled to the front wheels either through a 5-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic gearbox and either with open differential or viscous limited-slip differential (optional) to the front wheels, allowing to propel from 0 to 100km/h in just 8.7 seconds - very quick for its time. Its top speed is also staggeringly high for an economy hatch 242km/h.

Although despite the sportiness it has, the Kucing is still an economy car. Thanks to its electronically controlled multi-port fuel injection that allows the car to be so efficient that its fuel consumption is rated at 7.7l/100km (36.7 MPG) for the 5-speed manual model.


The second generation Kucing has a modernized version dashboard. It has a four-spoke airbag steering wheel that is made out of polyurethane that could be wrapped in either leather or the newly founded material; Alcantara. Passenger side airbag was optional in the early models of this generation.

The seats are orthopedic that are basically an updated version of the previous ones making it deliver better comfort to the passengers. Otnas also started naming the seat; Otnas Ortho-II and selling the seats to the public with ‘Otnas’ branding. It was also available with speakers on the headrests just like Recaros!

Although the seats that are available in the Otnas Kucing were already orthopedic, the market for Recaro-equipped Otnas Kucing exists and it’s not so small so Otnas started offering the second generation Kucing with either Recaro LX and the Recaro Type-C seats too.

As standard the second-generation Otnas Kucing had Alpine cassette player with high quality four-speaker audio system but they also offer a 6-speaker system with Nakamichi cassette player if you want to enjoy listening to Chet Baker even better and if you still think that’s not enough, you can opt for the speaker-headrest seats.

Last but not least

This generation of Otnas Kucing ended was praised to deliver the utmost comfort and sportiness. It also proves that Otnas is not a discount brand that some people thought when the first generation came to the market not because it came cheap but because it came from a third world country; Indonesia. This generation also has the most sport models, from Esprit Junior, Esprit Turbo, Esprit W4 that has two versions, Esprit Sphinx, Esprit Sphinx-RS, and the Esprit Sphinx-RA450 that was produced to homologate for racing in the Group A.

BeamNG Ports!

Kucing 1.8-Classic: Coming Soon!

Kucing Esprit Turbo: Coming Soon!

Kucing Esprit W4, Sphinx, Sphinx-RS: CLICK HERE!


Otnas Kucing Explanation Video

Since not all people likes to read and prefer listening. I have made a video explaining the first gen Otnas Kucing! Have a watch!


Purring Cat engine explanation video!

Since there are a lot of people who asked about what’s under the hood of the Otnas Kucing and can’t get enough with a ‘1.5 litre Inline 4 12V SOHC’ answer, here’s a full explanation of the engine! Have a watch!


The Sport Trims of Otnas Kucing

As mentioned in the previous threads, sport trims of the Otnas Kucing do exist. At that time, Otnas received a lot demand for sport trims thus releasing the 'Kucing Normandy' for testing waters which turns out to succeed in the market. In 1975, Otnas announced the 'Esprit' models that.

Esprit Junior

The Otnas Kucing Esprit-Junior is the base model of all sport models of the ‘Esprit’ lineup. The car was offered in 3-door and 5-door hatchback bodystyle. Like other Esprit models of the first generation Kucing, it possess widened arches which allows for wider 195 tires with 14 inch alloy wheels to fit. It also was given uprated suspension which allows it to corner faster and pull 1.06 g’s at both 20m and 200m skidpad.

Under the hood, it has a tuned ‘Purring Cat’ engine which was given a performance intake, higher lift camshaft, 8.5:1 oversized pistons, 1750cc cast iron block, 4-2-1 exhaust header, and more free flowing exhaust. All these upgrades allow the engine to produce 94hp and 160Nm of torque which allows the car to blast from 0 to 100km/h in just 8.6 seconds and reach a 225km/h top speed.

The Kucing Esprit-Junior was priced at $5,155.19 in 1975 which translates to $24,799.61 in today’s currency.


The Kucing Esprit-I was the one that coined the term ‘Discount Supercar’. It sits lower than the Kucing Esprit Junior to reduce body roll whilst cornering, and has a somewhat stiffer suspension if compared to the Esprit Junior to enhance stability at high speeds. It also wears 215 tires all round - which allows it to pull 1.10 g’s at both 20m and 200m skidpad.

It was introduced with a 16V DOHC 2.0 litre engine that is dubbed as ‘Angry Cat’ since its based off the ‘Purring Cat’ engine. The ‘Angry Cat’ motor was also turbocharged - producing 181hp and 260Nm of torque - mated by a 5-speed manual transmission with a limited-slip differential. Thanks to its powerful engine, the Kucing Esprit-I can reach 100km/h from 0 in just 5.8 seconds, and achieve a 260km/h top speed which was absurdly high at that time.

It was priced at $7,498.45 which translates to $36,072.16 in today’s currency.


Last but not least, the Kucing Ocelot. Unlike other Kucings that sit on a monocoque chassis, this one has a ladder frame beneath it. Why? Because the Ocelot was made for offroading! It has a 4x4 drivetrain with low range gear and manual locking differentials, solid-axle coil rear suspension so you won’t be stuck at the mud in the forests for too long. The reason why it was made? Because in the woods, it’s easier to sneak in tight spaces with a small car than bigger SUVs!

Under the hood, it still is powered by the Purring Cat-I engine so spare parts of it is easier to find and interchangeable with the ordinary Kucing. Although its engine position was mounted longitudinally to fit in the new 4x4 drivetrain.

More updates coming soon! Stay tuned!


Otnas Tamtam – Introduction.

The growing demand of four door saloon from Otnas Automotive has never been bigger before. Otnas initiated the FUTURA project which consists of four main models; the hatchback (Otnas Kucing), the Otnas Tamtam (compact saloon), Otnas Korat (mid-sized sedan), and Otnas Chartreux (full-sized sedan). All models are developed starting from the Esprit models to make sure the chassis is rigid enough for road and track use.


Chassis rigidity, other than provides great handling as you tackle the corners, also provides better comfort. The chassis is the base of a car and every part of it is connected into it. The suspension of a car smoothens the ride and optimizes wheel contact to the road. If the suspension is placed on a rigid chassis, the more effective the work of the suspension will be – which means better handling and comfort. All four wheels have double-wishbone suspension with either gas mono tube dampers or adaptive dampers with progressive springs.

FUTURA based cars which have their engine mounted longitudinally, have their engines mounted between the front axles… resulting in a front-mid engine layout. This gives a better handling balance since the centre of gravity is closer to the middle of the car. The Inline 4 models have a weight distribution of 50F/50R. Inline 5 is at 51/49, and Inline 6 is at 53/48.


The Otnas Tamtam is available in four different powertrains. All engines are called FUTURA engines. Otnas FUTURA engines are modular engines that share the same bore and stroke sizes through the lineup. However, some models have smaller stroke sizes to comply what the trim or model needs. All FUTURA engines are fitted with a newly developed technology called “Imperium Fluxus”. In short, Imperium Fluxus is a combo of Variable Valve Timing and Variable Valve Lift. However, the turbodiesel engines don’t receive VVL. Otnas studied variable valve timing tech from aircraft engines, Porsche’s 1958 patent, and Fiat.

To ensure smoothness, all FUTURA engines have either balancer shaft (Inline 4, Inline 5) or a harmonic damper (Inline 6). Otnas is an Indonesian automotive manufacturer. At the time the Otnas Tamtam was launched, fuel in Indonesia was not great so the FUTURA engines were tuned for RON 88 fuel.

Body design

The Otnas Tamtam was designed to provide extra space for the passengers in a compact body. Other main goal of the bodywork is that it should be having at least adequate amount of downforce at 200 km/h whilst having low drag. Under the car, it has a flat undertray to smoothen the air pressure below which means there’s much less lift experienced but the car will still have low drag. On the fenders, there are vents to reduce wind turbulence in the front wheel wells which eliminates lift and improves stability. This also helps the brakes to cool down faster.


Classic 2.0 MT/AT

The Otnas Tamtam Classic is offered with the FUTURA Inline 4 DOHC 16-valve 2.0-litre engine. The engine puts out 141hp at 6700rpm, and 179.7Nm at 4800rpm. Thanks to Imperium Fluxus, the torque band of the engine is very flat which means the driver can cruise at normal speeds at low rpms – saving fuel and less noise is emitted. The Tamtam Classic 2.0 is available with a 5-speed manual transmission and 4-speed automatic transmission with torque lockup. The Tamtam Classic 2.0’s fuel consumption is rated at 6.8l/100km (41.54 Imperial MPG) for the manual model, and 7.1l/100km (39.8 Imperial MPG) for the automatic model. The Tamtam Classic is offered with a pair of Recaro seats, Four speakers with a Blaupunkt head unit, power windows, central lock, and variable power steering, Torsen LSD, and anti-lock brakes. Safety features include pre-tensioning seat belts, four-wheel disc brakes, safety cage that would hold a high speed rollover crash, drivers airbag, and driver health notification to remind the driver to take a rest after a long drive.

Performance wise, 0 – 100 km/h is at 8.2 seconds (9.0 seconds AT). Top speed is at 228 km/h (219 km/h AT). 20m and 200m skidpad ratings are 0.99 g’s. Body roll rating is at 6.3 degrees, 100 – 0 km/h braking distance is rated at 36.6 metres. The car finishes ¼ mile in 16.15 seconds and a mile in 29.10 seconds. The automatic model however, finishes ¼ mile in 16.86 seconds and a mile in 30.31 seconds. The kerb weight is at 1170kg, and the weight distribution is rated at 49.8F/50.2R.

Classic 2.0 MT model is priced at $14.271. Equal to todays $39.300
Classic 2.0 AT model is priced at $14.598. Equal to todays $40.200

Zen 3.0 MT/AT

The demand for a more upmarket Otnas was high ever since the Japanese bubble economy happened. At the time of the launch of the Otnas Tamtam, Mercedes-Benzes, BMWs, and luxury Japanese cars such as the Toyota Crown were everywhere in the streets of Indonesia. The Zen trim was then made as response to the large market. The Zen trim is powered by a FUTURA Inline 6 3.0 litre DOHC 24-Valve. The engine produces 221hp at 6300rpm, and 280.7 Nm at 4900rpm. Fuel consumption of the manual model is rated at 6.8l/100km (41.5 Imperial MPG) for the manual model and 7.2l/100km (39.23 Imperial MPG) for the automatic model.

Interior equipment includes what is found on the Classic trim, plus Recaro electric seats, Otnas Electronic Dampers, Nakamichi Hi-Fi audio system with 6 speakers + a subwoofer, Torsen LSD, and standard driver and passenger airbags.

Performance wise for the manual model, 0 – 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds (6.55 seconds AT), top speed of 260 km/h (255km/h AT), 20m and 200m skid pad rated at 0.98 g’s, body roll rated at 5.3 degrees, 100 – 0 km/h braking distance is rated at 36.7 metres. The car will finish ¼ mile in 14.23 seconds (14.8 seconds AT), a mile in 25.66 seconds (26.56 seconds AT). Fuel consumption of the manual model is rated at 7.8l/100km (36.2 Imperial MPG) for the manual model and 8.2l/100km (34.45 Imperial MPG) for the automatic model.

Zen 3.0 MT model is priced at $17.612 which is equal to $48.500 today
Zen 3.0 AT model is priced at $17.975 which is equal to $49.500 today

Zen 2.5 Turbodiesel AT

The turbodiesel model was produced for those who wants to have power and fuel efficiency in one car. The FUTURA turbodiesel 2.5-litre Inline 5 DOHC 20V engine produces 199hp at 5100rpm and 345Nm of torque at 2300rpm. The engine has a balancer shaft to cancel the typical diesel engine vibrations. The fuel consumption of the following model is 7.4l/100km (38 Imperial MPG)

The Tamtam Zen 2.5 Turbodiesel is only available with a 4-speed automatic transmission. The reason behind this is that cars with high torque tend to have clutch that are uncomfortable to use in daily use. The 4-speed automatic transmission also could stand much more torque than the 5-speed manual transmission.

All the equipment of the Tamtam Zen 2.5 Turbodiesel is the same as found with the other Tamtam Zen trims.

The 0-100 km/h time is 6.8 seconds, hits 245 km/h top speed, finishes ¼ mile in 15.1 seconds, a mile in 27.16 seconds. The car pulls 0.99 g’s at both 20m and 200m skid pad and stops from 100 km/h to 0 in just 36.5 metres. The body roll rating is rated at 5.3 degrees.
The car is priced at $16.885 or equivalent to $46.500 in today’s money. The Otnas Tamtam Zen 2.5 Turbodiesel is available to be experienced in BeamNG with various tuning parts and a factory tuned configuration from Otnas Esprit Works.

LINK: Otnas Tamtam BeamNG Mod Link Here!

Article for the motorsport derived Esprit 3.0 24-Valve trim will be published soon! For now, enjoy these extra pictures...


In my opinion, a little high value of body roll, in overall good.

Well it’s the 80s :stuck_out_tongue: That large of body roll was normal

For an 80s diesel that is very powerful and quick and for a diesel in a medium sized sedan that is a bit thirsty.

Cool taillights and interior.

Otnas Tamtam Esprit 3.0 24-Valve


As mentioned before, the Otnas Tamtam is based on the performance model; the Tamtam Esprit 3.0 24-Valve. The Tamtam Esprit 3.0 24-Valve is built with a principle of “if the road car is great on the tracks, then race car would dominate.” Back then a lot of special sports trims are just beef’ed up version of the normal ones and that would limit the freedom to engineer the car to what it must be. A good example, the race and homologation version Mercedes 190E 2.3-16 was developed first before the lesser trims which makes the car so great at the tracks. In the future, the Skyline GT-R R32 dominates the tracks, and it was built with the same principle.


The Otnas Tamtam Esprit 3.0 24-Valve has the same 3.0-litre Inline 6 FUTURA short block as the one that powers the Zen 3.0. However, Tamtam Esprit has higher compression ratio. The cylinder head is ported and polished, has stiffer valve springs, different cam profiles for eco and sport driving. This results to a buffed-up torque band at all rpms. The intake system is mostly the same with Tamtam Zen, except it has high flow air filter, and bigger throttle bodies. The injectors are also bigger than the Zen 3.0 and has a higher flowrate fuel rail.

The exhaust system of the Esprit 3.0 24-Valve is improved to cope up with the higher exhaust flow. It has long tubular headers, with straight pipe muffler and near the rear bumper, there is a reverse flow muffler, so the car is not too loud.

The following engine output is 254hp at 6900rpm and 299.5 Nm at 5400rpm. Indonesian market models might have higher output due to the absence of catalytic converter. Back then the common fuel that is found in Indonesia is the leaded Premix fuel. However, for markets outside Indonesia, the car has a catalytic converter. The redline is at 7800rpm and the maximum rpm for the internals is around 9000rpm. Max torque for the stock internals is 810Nm. The overabundant choices were made to consider reliability of the car.

The car has Torsen Limited Slip Differential, and a 5-speed manual transmission. The first gear was made to be short so its easier to creep in terms of a traffic jam. Although so, it gave the Otnas Tamtam an advantage to accelerate faster at tight corners.

The top speed of the vehicle is 266km/h and it will reach 0 to 100 km/h in just 5 seconds. Quarter mile time of the vehicle is 13.4 seconds.


The chassis remains the same since the Tamtam Esprit was the base of all Tamtams. Although so, the Tamtam Esprit received stiffer sway bars, springs, dampers, and bushings to eliminate body roll and enhances cornering capabilities. Bigger brakes were equipped to make sure the car stops on time. The wheels are now lightweight 16-inch wheels with a staggered setup. 225/45/R16 91W front, and 255/45/R16 97W back.


The Tamtam Esprit 3.0 24-Valve received a bodywork with a new front bumper with a splitter, side skirts, and rear adjustable spoiler. These modifications were made to optimize cooling, downforce, and airflow going through the vehicle. Due to the larger radiator, the Tamtam Esprit receive bigger bumper vents and a bit more down under the lower grille. Fog lights were bigger to illuminate the roads better in high speeds. Brake vents were applied to cool down the brakes as the car drives at speeds more than 235km/h. . .

Experience the Otnas Tamtam Esprit 3.0 24-Valve in BeamNG

More pics!


Otnas Harimau – In Between Utility and Motorsports – A PREVIEW


In the FUTURA project, Otnas also planned to enter the market that is highly popular in Indonesia; the AUV. Asian Utility Vehicle (or in short AUV) is a type of car that is a blend of MPV and SUV. They are mostly found on developing countries in Southeast Asia. However, it is known that they were exported to countries outside Asia later. They are mostly MPVs that can haul 7 to 10 people and is built on a small truck platform. The top seller is the Toyota Kijang and Otnas wanted to build something that competes the following car. Below are the main points that the Otnas Harimau needs to fulfil.

First, they need a small economical engine that would be powerful enough to climb hills whilst having atleast seven people in the car.

Second, AUVs needs to be simple, cheap, and easy to maintain. Reusing parts from the first gen Otnas Kucing is ideal which means there’ll be more parts to use.

Third, it needs to be reliable. The reliability of the AUV needs to be high since most of the roads back in the days are unpaved, dark, and in the middle of a rainforest. You don’t want to have your car to break down in the forest midnight.

However, Otnas is no longer seen as a startup automotive company from a third-world country. Otnas is known to offer cutting edge technology and engineering and since the Otnas Tamtam is a premium compact sedan, the Otnas Harimau needs to hold a prestige despite being a very affordable option for Otnas buyers. Otnas then demands the Harimau to fulfil these criterias;

First, it needs to enter a racing league. This means that the suspension, chassis, and engine setup need to be capable of hardcore driving and it is expected that the car will be a joy to drive even the base models.

Second, it needs to introduce people a new kind of technology – that is turbocharging in AUVs, aluminium panels at certain areas, and 4x4.

Third, it needs to hold a legendary and future classic status.

Otnas Harimau Dakar Esprit 4x4 1.8 [1988]

Otnas believes that if you want to win, you need to develop the racecar first then the lesser models. That sent the Otnas Tamtam winning trophies at the racetrack. The Otnas Harimau is also made in the same way – and it’s quite crazy to think that a car that competes with a Toyota Kijang has a hardcore rally homologation variant.
Unlike most AUVs, the Otnas Harimau is built upon a spaceframe chassis to ensure rigidity and lightness. The ladder frame construction is rugged, but Otnas wants lightness, and great handling so they chose spaceframe instead.
At the front, the car has MacPherson struts so it’s cheaper to maintain the front suspension than its competitors that had to have double-wishbone suspension due to engineering limitations.
At the back, it has live axle with coil springs and four longitudinal bars to stabilize its movements.
The engine is placed near the middle of the car, so the weight distribution is balanced. For the Dakar Esprit 4x4 1.8 model, it has a weight distribution of 53/47.
Some panels such as the roof, hood, and doors are made from alumium alloy to reduce weight and higher corrosion resistance.
Otnas is aware of the lack of safety the AUVs have. So, they decided to equip the Harimau with standard 80s equipment such as pretensioning seatbelts, crumple zones, safety glass, and inertia switch that shuts off the fuel pump in an event of a crash.
The total weight of the car is 1441 kg.

It was planned that the FUTURA 2.5 litre Inline 5 turbodiesel engine to power the Otnas Harimau Dakar Esprit 4x4. However, it’ll be too expensive for many people to buy so they decided to turbocharge the Otnas Kucing’s Purring Cat 1 engine instead.
The engine received different cams to produce low end power better. The cylinder head was also received different valve springs, valves, and is re-machined.

The engine block is also made out of stronger cast iron to handle 2 bar of boost pressure as stock and so are the pistons, connecting rods, and crankshaft are also reinforced to handle 800 Nm of torque.
The fuel system now is managed by a Bosch KE-Jetronic system which ensures more precise fuel delivery that results in bigger power and better fuel efficiency.

For the intake, it has individual throttle bodies with a plenum. The variable geometry turbo runs at 0.8 bar of boost and would fully spool at 2300 rpm. By the turbocharger being this responsive, the driver would not experience sudden boost spike as they are driving which means better drivability. This also gives fuel efficiency advantages since the turbo already spools at city driving conditions.

The engine produces 231hp at 5600rpm and 342Nm of torque at 2300-4000rpm. The power is sent to all four wheels via a 4x4 drivetrain and locking differentials.

To be revealed fully soon as the car is finished…