Fleet News

New Vectra to get tax-beating Euro IV diesel engine by 2003

THE new Vauxhall Vectra is likely to gain a Euro IV compliant diesel engine in 2003, allowing UK company car drivers to avoid the 3 per cent tax penalty imposed on all other diesels.

Initially the Vectra will have 1.8, 2.2 and 3.2-litre petrol engines - fleets with strict company car hierarchies have six months to plan around the absence of a 2.0-litre petrol engine - and 2.0 and 2.2-litre diesel engines, carried over from the current model range.

But the increasing closeness of General Motors' links with Fiat should see Vauxhall gain the Italian company's common rail diesel engine, followed by a 3.0-litre Isuzu unit that has just made its debut in the Saab range.

Vauxhall believes there is no point in developing a new diesel engine that does not meet Euro IV emission standards, and claims its current units are competitive with current common rail engines in terms of fuel economy and carbon dioxide emissions.

It is also hinting that the arrival of the common rail engine may not see the phase out of the current diesel unit, with a price premium separating the two.

Official type-approved performance figures for the three petrol engines are not yet available, although Vauxhall's own tests indicate 0-62mph acceleration in 10.5 seconds for the 1.8-litre, 9.5 seconds for the 2.2 and 7.5 seconds for the 211bhp 3.2-litre unit.

For the diesel engines, the 2.0-litre unit should reach 62mph in 13 seconds, while the 2.2 achieves this benchmark two seconds quicker.

Fuel economy should be roughly similar to the present range despite the new Vectra gaining about 80kg in weight on its predecessor. Outline figures indicate the 1.8-litre petrol will have a combined cycle fuel economy figure of 37.6mpg.

Continental European markets will also have the option of a 1.6-litre petrol engine, but this will not be coming to the UK.

  • Full report on new Vectra in this week's Fleet News. For subscription details, click here.

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