Automotive AHC/WI - More Franco-Italian Co-Operation

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Masked Grizzly, Oct 12, 2019 at 9:23 AM.

  1. Masked Grizzly Well-Known Member

    Mar 8, 2011
    In 1968 OTL Fiat and Citroen signed the Pardevi agreement that amongst other things included the Fiat 242 / Citroen C35 later Sevel, while the French government would attempt to encourage Peugeot and Renault to become more intertwined via various projects including the X "Suitcase" engine (that later became the PSA TU), Douvrin and PRV V6 (including PRV V8 - which Peugeot later continued to want for the Peugeot 604 for US sales pre-fuel crisis) that would later be joined by Volvo (who originally planned to develop Redblock based 6-cylinder, V8 and diesel engines), along with a stillborn Peugeot-Renault luxury car project under a neutral brand known as Project H / 120 (for the French government, bosses and elites, etc - which may have potentially entailed reviving Hotchkiss as opposed to the costs of starting up an all-new brand).

    Fiat would end up acquiring Lancia and later Alfa Romeo, Citroen would acquire Maserati before itself being acquired by Peugeot in OTL.

    What if there was more tactical Franco-Italian co-operation between the above carmakers where at minimum the likes of Citroen and Alfa Romeo are still independent, yet still collaborate with other carmakers in some areas?

    The POD would be in the early-60s with Citroen already having a mid-sized car via an earlier Citroen C60, not getting involved with NSU on the Wankel engine (never establishing Comotor), still acquiring Maserati and signing the Pardevi agreement yet developing a 1600-2000cc Flat-4 via Panhard or Fiat (by way of Lancia).

    Fiat and Citroen basically swap Lancia and Maserati at some point (though both still have some ties to both marques), leaving an independent Citroen to get involved with Peugeot-Renault on the PRV V6 / V8 (in place of the Maserati V6 plus stillborn V6-based V8 that is instead used by Maserati) and possibly replacing the air-cooled Flat-4s for its C60 replacement via a deal with Alfa Romeo for its water-cooled Alfasud Flat-4 engines.

    It is possible ATL Lancia produces an Alfasud-based slightly-LWB three-box saloon successor to the Fulvia below the Beta via a deal between Citroen and Alfa Romeo, while the ATL Lancia Gamma and Citroen CX would be more closely intertwined as originally intended in OTL with the alternate Citroen SM being more related to the Citroen CX with possible PRV V6 (or even PRV V8) power or later on.

    Interestingly in OTL it seems Fiat and PSA collaborated on what became the Fiat FIRE engine (with a 3-cylinder version being used in the Citroen Eco 2000 concepts), until Peugeot found it cheaper to develop the X "Suitcase" engine into the PSA TU engine (and also had to deal with being forced to absorb Chrysler Europe).

    It also seems Peugeot had a bit of a rough time in the 1970s due to being forced to first acquire Citroen and later Chrysler Europe, which negatively impacted its own product plans including an alternate Peugeot 305 (part 1, part 2, part 3) not based on the previous 304 and a possible mid-1970s introduction of the PSA XU engine.

    Maserati under Fiat meanwhile would butterfly away the De Tomaso years and allow Fiat to push Maserati upmarket compared to OTL Lancia, with an ATL RWD Maserati Quattroporte basically replacing the Fiat 130 at the luxury end along with with RWD cars including an ATL 3-Series challenger that is more reliable compared to the OTL Maserati Biturbo and with a more sophisticated chassis, while Fiat makes the switch to producing FWD cars.

    Not sure where the likes of Panhard would fit into this complex ATL scenario perhaps it is canned as in OTL, maybe Citroen allows it to develop a Flat-4 engine and 4-door body for the Panhard 24 as well as utilizes Citroen's ATL ties with NSU to develop a Flat-4/6 engined NSU Ro80-based replacement for the Panhard 24 (in the event NSU's own experimental Flat-6 engine during the Ro80 project had ties to Citroen). Another possibility is Panhard being merged with Lancia.

    Fiat themselves meanwhile in the possible absence of Lancia, could have potentially done much more with Autobianchi as an ATL analogue of post-Fiat Lancia that manages to absorb Neckar (aka NSU-Fiat) as well as used for an earlier FWD push via an early-60s Heilbronn-developed (aka NSU-Fiat) small FWD hatchback precursor to the Autobianchi A112 known as Tipo 07* and a production version of the FWD Fiat 123 E4 prototype** (that is launched together with the Autobianchi Primula instead of being dusted off and introduced as the Autobianchi A111).

    So the ATL Autobianchi range (plus Neckar aka NSU-Fiat) would resemble as follows in the 60s.
    - Autobianchi "Tipo 07" (aka NSU-Fiat developed A112 precursor)
    - Autobianchi Primula: Albeit with 1585cc (124 Series) engine
    - Autobianchi "123 E4" (aka earlier A111): Albeit with 1585cc (124 Series) engine and fastback hatchback variant akin to the 123 E1 prototype***

    *- See page 275 in above link
    **- Search "124 E4" in above link
    ***- See page 283 in above link
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019 at 11:40 AM
  2. lukedalton Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2009
    North Italy
    If this type of cooperation start in the early 60's, well there is the strong possiblity that Italy will choose the Mirage III instead of the F-104 as fighter, as the jet was license built by FIAT aircraft division, if there is already a collaboration with the French industries Dassault instead of Lookheed can search a patnerships with FIAT
  3. Masked Grizzly Well-Known Member

    Mar 8, 2011
    Cannot say whether more Automotive Co-Operation between French and Italian carmakers would extend to Aviation, both countries were part of the EEC however.

    The ATL Carmakers would likely evolve as follows (am sure there is much more):
    • Fiat is composed of Autobianchi (assuming it is not discontinued or revived as the Fiat equivalent of Dacia), Maserati and Ferrari.
    • Citroen is composed of Lancia (Panhard absorbed) and has complex ties with Fiat, Peugeot and Alfa Romeo and engaging in a balancing act*.
    • Alfa Romeo possibly still ends up being acquired by Fiat, however other candidates include Citroen, Ford, Volkswagen, Peugeot or Renault. The latter two would be in the event Project H becomes a success and becomes solely owned by either Peugeot or Renault, with the loser opting for Alfa Romeo when the opportunity arises. (Citroen could have probably benefited being part of Alfa Romeo's projects during the 1970s and 1980s via the following Italian language link, that unfortunately is not widely known in the English speaking motor enthusiast world.)
    • Peugeot does not have to deal with the acquisition of either Citroen or Chrysler Europe, meaning many of its delayed or cancelled projects are brought forward or enter production including the PRV V8 (perhaps Alfa Romeo opts for the PRV V8 either in place of or succeeding the Montreal V8**).
    • Renault and Peugeot's co-operation still largely unfolds as OTL, however the X "Suitcase" would be enlarged to 1587cc (as on the related TU successor) from the outset with Renault themselves in response possibly enlarging the C-Type / E-Type engines to 1596cc as on the OTL Volvo 343 Oettinger.

    Another potential POD could be Alfa Romeo deciding to build the Tipo 103 prototype, followed by an ATL Alfasud project that may or may not feature the OTL Alfasud Flat-4 (with Citroen potentially approaching Alfa Romeo to acquire the Flat-4 design while the ATL Alfasud carries over the Tipo 103 Twin-Cam enlarged to 1600cc).

    That would have the effect of leaving ATL Alfa Romeo with only the Twin-Cam and V6 engines to deal with (plus PRV V8) instead of the OTL Flat-4, Twin-Cam and V6 engines (plus Montreal V8).

    *- Imagine for example an ATL Citroen AX with the 0.9 Fiat 100 Series or 0.75-1.4 Fiat FIRE petrol (plus pre-Multijet 1.3 diesel) as well as a 1.6 TU petrol/diesel engines, a Citroen BX with some Fiat engine as well as an earlier replacement of the Citroen CX.

    **- Apparently the Alfa Romeo Montreal V8 was capable of being enlarged to 3-litres via Autodelta GTV and could have possibly been used in the Alfa Romeo 6 had it reached production much earlier as originally intended (it was reputed delayed by 5+ years), though not sure how much enlargement would be left in the Montreal V8 compared to the 4-litre+ potential of the PRV V8.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019 at 4:53 PM
  4. Simon Thread Killer Extraordinaire

    Sep 20, 2009
    Must admit just from seeing the title of the thread I expected it to be about Simca. There's a fair amount of detail so will have to give it a proper read and a consider.
  5. Masked Grizzly Well-Known Member

    Mar 8, 2011
    Simca while also having ties to Fiat is another matter.

    It is admittingly complex though a number of the same carmakers did co-operate with each other in OTL (e.g. Sevel, etc), it is just a matter of laying the groundwork for more ATL Franco-Italian co-operation between carmakers and each other whilst saving the likes of Citroen and Alfa Romeo as independent carmakers (as opposed to a BL-like "Euro Motors" combine).