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Insignia to top new Vauxhall eco range

Date: 29 April 2008   |   Author: Tristan Young

Vauxhall Insignia

Vauxhall is promising a low-CO2 Ecoflex version of its new Insignia, designed to take the eco fight to Ford's Mondeo Econetic and the Bluemotion VW Passat.

The Vectra replacement goes on sale in November. But the big news is that the new model will have its eco-friendly model available from launch to complete a three-car range of green models, with Astra and Corsa arriving ahead of the Insignia.

The first Ecoflex car has just been launched, a 119g/km version of the Corsa, giving Vauxhall a rival to VW's ultra-popular Bluemotion line-up. The Corsa Ecoflex is powered by a 75PS version of Vauxhall's 1.3-litre diesel.

Commenting on Vauxhall and parent company GM's green strategy, Vauxhall boss Bill Parfitt said: "Ecoflex is our brand on this. We have a two-pronged strategy. Try to make existing cars better and offer even better green performance with the Ecoflex models.

"The new Insignia will have an Ecoflex from launch and there will be an Astra Ecoflex on the current model."

Parfitt hinted there would be a petrol and diesel Insignia Ecoflex but remained tight lipped about which engines would be used to power the Astra Ecoflex.

BusinessCar understands the petrol Insignia Ecoflex will use a 1.8-litre engine emitting 139g/km and the diesel will use a low-CO2 version of the 2.0 CDTI engine.

As with Volkswagen's Bluemotion and Ford's Econetic green ranges, Vauxhall is already experiencing demand outstripping supply.

"We've done a retail rather than fleet launch as supplies are limited because there's a backlog on the engine," said Parfitt.

On a worldwide basis GM has five strands to its green strategy, according to Parfitt.

"Hydrogen power is right out there. Then there's the Volt. It's an electric vehicle that will will leap over everyone. Currently electric vehicles don't go far enough. The Volt is charged by its engine, not run on it. It has a small, efficient turbo engine that charges a battery which powers the car."

Parfitt added that GM was also working on hybrids, biofuels and improving conventional engines.