Sunday, 5 July 2015
Vauxhall Insignia latest to get ‘Whisper diesel'
Diesel engines have come a long way since the days when they emitted clouds of black smoke and a characteristic combustion sound. But they could be even better.
The latest version of this mid-size turbo engine replaces the current 2-litre units and was developed to deliver “exemplary responsiveness and low consumption with exceptional running smoothness”.
The 1.6 CDTi (136PS) ecoFLEX version achieves a top speed of 130 mile/h and 0-60mph in 10.9s.
Crucially for UK fleet managers and company car drivers this model achieves 99g/km CO emissions. But to achieve this engineers specify 17-inch alloy wheels and ultra-low rolling resistance tyres (Design, SE, Tech Line and SRi models only).
Fuel consumption is 74.3 mile/gal combined
All of which raises the question: If the diesel engine is such a marvellous engine, why did Vauxhall/Opel’s bosses at General Motors in the US pour cold water on the 4.5-litre Duramax (below). They must rue the day they took that decision to put the engine on the back burner.
Five years ago The General claimed its 4.5-litre diesel V8 engine is "fully developed and ready" to launch with power ratings of over 310 bhp and 520 lbft torque. And now, with Cummins, FCA and Ford all powering ahead in the application of compacted graphite iron (CGI) cylinder blocks, The General is falling behind. It is time Mary Barra, GM's chief executive officer, pressed the button. It certainly takes some leviathans a long time to make the right decision and get things moving, even given that GM has a substantial diesel technology centre in Europe to give support. Doesn't the right hand know what the left hand is doing?