Talbot Matra Murena
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 3
After seven years the Matra-Simca Bagheera
gave way to a new mid-engined coupe model, but PSA (overlords of Peugeot, Citroen, and Talbot) had by then killed off the name Simca, and used the name of its troubled Talbot marque to grace their new three-seater.
Named, for some obscure reason, Murena, the three-across seater (as was the Bagheera) utilised much the same technical layout as its predeecessor, but the rear suspension
was taken from the Talbot 1510 front-drive model, utilising trailing arms and torsion bars.
For the Paris Show launch in October 1980, the Tatra Matra Murena was displayed with the pushrod ohv 1592 cc engine from the Talbot SX saloon, but with maximum power boosted to 92 bhp (68.60 kW) at 5600 rpm, and delivering max. torque of 100.49 Ib ft (13.9 mkg/134.75 Nm) at 3200 rpm.
From 1981 there was a larger, more powerful engine derived from the old (Coventry-designed) Chrysler '2-litre' motor which was ultimately produced in three sizes; 1.6, 1.8, and 2 litres. For the Murena the cast iron ohc unit was enlarged once again, to 2156 cc, by lengthening the stroke to 81.60 mm (from 75 mm in the case of the 2-litre unit). The bore size remained at 91.70, the new dimensions increasing the engine's capacity to almost 2.2 litres.
The larger motor had a (claimed) maximum power output of 118 bhp (88 kW) at 5800 rpm, with max. torque of 136.64 Ib ft (18.9 mkg/185.29 Nm) at 3000 rpm. The transverse engine drove the rear wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox, and maximum speeds for the two cars (respectively) was given at 113 mph (182 km/h) and 122 mph (197 km/h).
The Murena, like the Bagheera
, was a two-door coupe with a slippery shape. The Murena, however, was far more efficient aerodynamically
with a drag figure of 0.324. The super-streamlined body was in G R P and the car was 13.35 ft long (4.07 metres). Interior trim was high quality. Production of the Matra Murena was discontinued in 1983
, when the Matra factory in Romorantin switched to production of the Renault Espace minivan.