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Home » Green Car News » Green Cars from Vauxhall

Vauxhall takes Astra SUB-100g

28 June 2011

Vauxhall takes Astra SUB-100g ecoflex

Vauxhall has pulled out all the stops to make its latest Astra ecoFLEX one of the cleanest and most efficient compact cars in the UK, using technology like energy recuperation and adaptive aerodynamics to achieve combined fuel consumption of 76.3mpg and C02 emissions of just 99g/km.

This last figure means a total exemption from TfL’s Congestion Charge, as well as zero VED (Vehicle Excise Duty), inclusion in the lowest 13 per cent BIK (Benefit in Kind) tax band, and 100 per cent capital allowance for businesses.

But thanks to its high-output, 1.7 CDTi diesel engine, strong performance has not been sacrificed. With 130PS of power (5PS up on the current highest output 1.7 CDTi) and 300Nm of torque, the new Astra ecoFLEX leaves other eco-rivals in the shade, maintaining Vauxhall’s reputation for combining driveability with exceptional efficiency.

Important revisions to powertrain bring even greater efficiency

Available to order soon, the Astra ecoFLEX 1.7 CDTi 130PS produces emissions 20g/km less than the Astra 1.7 CDTi 125PS – a massive 17 per cent reduction. One of the keys to this is an all-new engine management system, allowing a reduced compression ratio, and a new fuel injection system with eight injections per cycle at 1800 bar. A new variable geometry turbocharger also provides even greater boost-pressure control.

Internal revisions to the engine further enhance the package (see image).

Friction reductions have been applied to piston rings, tappets and piston pins, while sensors in the low-pressure glow plugs enable more accurate combustion control. To help the engine reach its operating temperature quickly from cold – normally a highly inefficient phase – an oil-cooler bypass has been introduced.

Unlike many rival eco-models, the Astra ecoFLEX 1.7 CDTi 130PS is fitted with a friction-reduced six-speed gearbox that has been tuned to work with the new version of the engine. A shift-indicator between the speedometer and rev-counter shows drivers the best time to change up, while a graphic-assist function helps adopt the most fuel-efficient driving style.

Energy recuperation and improved aero enhance Astra’s green cred still further

For the first time on a Vauxhall ecoFLEX model, an energy-recuperation system has been introduced. When the driver takes his/her foot off the throttle, or applies the brakes, kinetic energy is collected and stored in the battery, allowing the alternator to shut down when there is sufficient charge to run ancillaries. In addition, a clutch activates the air conditioning compressor only when it’s needed. Standard LED daytime running lights also reduce energy consumption.

Aerodynamics play a significant role in the new Astra ecoFLEX’s reduced emissions. As well as being fitted with low rolling resistance tyres (a choice of 215/60 x 16 or 225/50 x 17 sizes), there is an active aero-shutter in the radiator grille, which automatically reacts to different vehicle speeds and loads to aid efficiency. The grille remains open at low speeds, or where more throttle load is required – such as when driving up hills – but closes at higher cruising speeds where less throttle is needed. As a result, air is diverted around, rather than through, the grille, improving the car’s aerodynamics.

Completing the Astra ecoFLEX’s aero armoury, is a ride height which has been reduced by 12mm, creating less wind resistance at speed.

Start/Stop continues roll-out into ecoFLEX ranges

Already available on 1.3 and 2.0 CDTi versions of the Astra ecoFLEX (as well as low-C02 versions of the Corsa and Insignia) this is the first time the 1.7 CDTi engine has been fitted with Start/Stop technology. The system automatically shuts down the engine when neutral is engaged and the clutch pedal released, reducing fuel consumption and emissions – a great advantage during city driving. To re-start the engine, the driver simply engages first gear and moves away. A high-performance battery ensures the electric system’s reliability at all times, and the system can be deactivated altogether via a centre-console-mounted ‘eco’ switch.

At a glance guide to Astra ecoFLEX 1.7 CDTi’s C02 reduction measures

  • “Clean Tech Combustion” technology
  • Intelligent Start/Stop system with braking energy recuperation
  • New engine management and thermal management
  • Friction-reduced six-speed transmission with optimised axle and gear layout
  • Improved aerodynamics including active aeroshutter
  • Low rolling-resistance tyres
  • Standard LED daytime running lights

Pricing

In showrooms from late this year, with pricing to be announced shortly, the Astra ecoFLEX 1.7 CDTi 130PS comes in three trims: Exclusiv, SE and SRi. Details are shown below, with full specifications to follow.

Provisional Fuel Economy & Co2 Emissions

Body style / Engine / Wheel Size Urban driving Extra urban driving Combined figure CO2 emissions*

(g/km)

HB5 1.7 (130PS) ecoFLEX Start / Stop 99g/km  with 16” & 17” wheels 62.8 (4.5) 83.1 (3.4) 76.3 (3.7) 99

 

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