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Vauxhall Astra to duck below 90g/km with 1.6 diesel

Date: 18 October 2013   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Vauxhall's lower medium Astra will drop to less than 90g/km with a new 1.6-litre diesel engine next year

Vauxhall is set to introduce a sub-90g/km version of its lower medium Astra in mid-2014.

The firm will drag the car's emissions down when it introduces its new 1.6-litre diesel engine to the line-up (already available with the Zafira Tourer MPV), which will drop the Astra, pictured, that currently charts a range low of 99g/km, into territory occupied by clean rivals such as the 87g/km Ford Focus Econetic and the new 85g/km Peugeot 308.

Speaking to BusinessCar, fleet boss James Taylor, said: [By] mid-next year we'll have the Astra 1.6 diesel. We're targeting sub-90g/km. [It] will win us some business next year."

The engine is expected to be rolled out further across the range (it has just  been confirmed for the Meriva) and, although he did not confirm it, Taylor acknowledged it would complement the Mokka crossover well. He added: "We've got to make that 5-10g/km leap every year to get to where we want to be in the marketplace."

His statement follows Vauxhall managing director and chairman Duncan Aldred's announcement that he intends to usurp Ford as the number one manufacturer in the UK. Taylor said that this applied specifically to retail and true fleet sales. He added: "If we can keep converting people at the same rate we do today, then we will be number one."

Addressing the facelifted upper medium Insignia, which now emits 99g/km, Taylor said: "The D-segment has been decaying and we've been holding our share. Hopefully, with the CO2 being so low, we'll get some people up from the Astra segment. I think that segment will grow again eventually.

"When people hear 99g/km they're a bit sceptical until they drive the car. There are definitely some tangible improvements there. When you get under that 100 number it strikes a chord. From a new business point of view, we're getting a lot of interest."