Tuesday 18 March 2014

Vivaro vans to get new engines

The new Vauxhall Vivaro, which comes to market this summer and is the second generation of the company’s panel van, has been subjected to engine downsizing. It will be powered by new engines from Renault.

The new Vivaro is described as “an all-round, heavy-duty workhorse thanks to its modern powertrain technology”. It comes with two all-new turbo diesel engines: a 1.6 CDTi, as well as an advanced 1.6 BiTurbo CDTi with sequential turbocharging and a twin-cooler system. Previously versions of Vivaro used a 2-litre diesel.

According to Vauxhall the new engine “powered by two turbochargers working together, combines excellent performance with high fuel economy. Combined cycle fuel consumption of 47mile/gal (preliminary data) with the new turbo diesel units is considerably improved. This gives the new edition of Vauxhall’s successful all-rounder top value in its vehicle class.”

At this point Vauxhall is saying no more about the engines, including power and torque noting “we will not be giving further details of the engines until we get more info.”

Earlier this year, however, French car and van maker Renault made a splash when launched the new 158bhp 1.6-litre twin-turbo diesel engine. The engine is the first 1.6-litre diesel of its kind to be twin-turbocharged, the aim being to match performance levels of large 2-litre engines, at the same time reducing friction – a common goal now amongst engine makers.

At the time of the engine’s launch, Renault claimed a peak output for the twin-turbo engine of 158bhp at 4,000rev/min and 380Nm of torque at 1,750rev/min.

Renault also made the point that the performance and economy figures of the engine have been made possible by exploiting the firm’s F1 technology. The twin-turbo system working sequentially to deliver low-end torque as well as higher powers at faster engine speeds.

Engine cooling and friction reduction techniques have also been inspired by F1 technology. A transverse water flow system cools the combustion chamber, and flexible piston rings adapt to temperature and pressure to reduce friction and maintain efficiency.

Renault also claims fuel consumption and CO2 emissions savings of 25 per cent, compared to its 2-litre dCi unit. Economy figures are over 70mile/gal, with emissions of under 100g/km CO2. It is unlikely such figures will be returned with the engine mounted in Vivaro!

Meanwhile, Vauxhall claims that some 500,000 vehicles are sold annually in West and Central Europe in this segment, with the Vivaro accounting for nearly ten per cent of this total.

“The second generation Vauxhall Vivaro distinguishes itself with its superb practicality and quality. After 13 successful years on the market, we wanted to make the new Vivaro’s packaging even more attractive while raising the standard of its core capabilities,” says Mark Adams, Vauxhall design vice president. “The new Vivaro showcases Sculptural Artistry and technical precision with sweeping sculptural design accents, bold proportions and premium accents. This gives it a sharpened and more refined character, making it the ideal mobile business card.”

The Vivaro will be available in various configurations in two overall lengths and two heights: as a panel van, Combi and double cab.

All the new Vauxhall Vivaro’s standard roof variants are built at the Luton plant. Different versions of Vauxhall/Opel’s light commercial van bestseller, developed together with Renault, have been rolling off the assembly line at the Luton plant since 2001. To date, over 900,000 units have been produced.

In 2009, a vehicle conversion centre for specialist variants, such as platform cabs, was also opened at the plant, which will further expand its manufacturing activities with the new generation Vivaro. This will enable ex-works delivery of the new Vivaro in many conversions, enlarging the field of Vivaro capabilities for very specific professional uses.

The Renault Trafic panel van at present has a 2-litre dCi engine available in two versions (90bhp and 115bhp). Up to now the Renault Trafic has been built at the Nissan plant in Barcelona (Spain) and the Vauxhall Van Plant in Luton (UK).

Meanwhile, Renault’s new twin-turbo engine could soon feature in the Megane range. In Europe, the engine will be available in Renault’s replacement for the Espace – due this year – as well as featuring in the Laguna due in 2015.

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