Vauxhall is taking a major step forward in its diesel engine programme with the introduction of its latest common-rail offering.

The 1.9 CDTi ECOTEC is available in two power outputs - 120 and 150 hp - and can be ordered now in Vectra hatch and Estate, and Signum. It will also be one of the star engines when it becomes available in the new Astra, later this year.

Coupled to a new six-speed gearbox, Vauxhall’s state of the art diesel will set the standard in performance, torque, fuel efficiency and refinement. It also meets the Euro 4 emissions standard.

Both engines develop maximum torque between a very usable 2000 and 2750 rpm. The 120 hp engine produces up to 280 Nm while the 150 hp version develops a whopping 315 Nm of torque. And so performance, especially from the 150 hp version, is rather impressive - and without sacrificing fuel economy.

The two versions of the 1.9 CDTi are largely similar – each with four cylinders, a 1910 cc displacement, a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry and intercooler. However, the 150 hp version features four-valve technology. Fuel is supplied to the combustion chambers at pressures of up to 1600 bar.

The Vectra Estate and Signum will also feature a maintenance free diesel particulate filter (DPF) to ensure compliance with the Euro 4 emission standard. The filter consists of a ‘honeycomb’ ceramic core of silicon carbide, perforated by microscopic channels. As exhaust gas passes through, particulates are collected on the channel walls, and are burned off regularly to prevent the filter from exceeding back-pressure limits.

No tax penalty for company car drivers

Company car drivers will not only enjoy the latest technology with Vauxhall’s new diesels; they also benefit from a reduced Benefit in Kind tax bill.

Diesel cars ordinarily receive a 3% company car tax penalty against petrol models. However with both of the new engines meeting the Euro 4 emission standard this charge is waived, which means tax savings for the driver. This would mean the driver of a 2.2 DTi Vectra who changes to a 1.9 CDTi (120 PS) would save around £628 per year during 2004/5, if they were a 40% tax payer.

The new 1.9 CDTi (120 hp) replaces the existing 2.2 DTi with models being priced the same as the outgoing engine. Those models fitted with the DPF will have an additional £300 price premium, while the 150 hp version will be £500 over its less powerful sibling.

Both the new diesel engines are available across the Signum and Vectra ranges (with the exception of the Vectra Expression and GSi) and can be ordered now. Deliveries of the 1.9 CDTi 150 hp in the Vectra SRi are expected to start this month.

Published : 11/03/04 Author : Melanie Carter

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