Vauxhall has widened customer choice in its Astra Dualfuel range with the addition of a powerful 1.8 16v engine to run alongside two 1.6 litre-engined versions.
The increased Astra choice, coupled with several more Dualfuel options scheduled for introduction in the next few months, maintains Vauxhall's lead in the alternative fuels market place.
The introduction of the new model coincides with the release of figures which show that registrations of Vauxhall Dualfuel vehicles in the first half of the year rose by 16 per cent against the same period last year. Registrations totalled 1105 against 955 in Jan-June last year.
The sales rise is set to continue with the growth in the number of local authorities and fleet users now making firm decisions to add environmentally-friendly - and cheaper-to-operate vehicles.
The use of liquefied petroleum gas which costs half -- or less -- of the price of petrol, helps to dramatically reduce operating costs as well as contributing to improved city air quality.
The new model utilises the exceptionally refined 1.8i l6v ECOTEC-4 petrol engine and is available to order in SXi and Elegance trims on hatchback, saloon and estate models. The additional power pack choice is certain to enhance Astra's already high reputation among the growing number of companies moving towards "greener" fleets.
For the first time petrol/gas power can be specified on the sporty Astra SRi.
Cost of the fully Vauxhall-warranted Dualfuel Astra options comprises an additional £1950 (£1660 ex VAT) added to the trim level specified. That means a 1.8 litre Dualfuel SXi can be had for as little as £14,545. However a TransportAction Powershift grant equal to 60 per cent of the pre-VAT additional Dualfuel cost reduces the price by £995.
Sparkling performance combines with vastly reduced fuel costs to make the new model extremely attractive.
Combined mode fuel consumption figure for the 1.8 litre engine running on LPG is 26.9mpg. The urban driving mode figure is 19.1mpg and the extra-urban mode is 33.2mpg.
With more than 1200 LPG stations now open in the UK there are few areas without a convenient filling-up point. This means there is less need to run on more expensive petrol, although, as its name implies, Dualfuel Astra can be driven on either fuel, selected at the press of a switch.Published 12 July 2002