Silverstone Fleet Show 2014: New “Whisper Diesel” Astra for first drive
Vauxhall’s top-selling Astra is now available with a super-smooth, super-quiet new-generation 1.6 CDTi engine, billed as Vauxhall’s cleanest ever mid-size diesel, with fuel consumption of up to 76.3mpg and carbon emissions of a tax-busting 97g/km.
Unveiled in the Astra at this month’s Geneva Motor Show, the new “Whisper Diesel” engine is available in two power outputs: 110PS and 136PS, in both hatchback and Sports Tourer body styles. The 110PS version achieves 76.3mpg combined with C02 emissions of just 97g/km, and 72.4mpg combined and 104g/km in 136PS guise.
Already Euro 6-compliant, the engine is best-in-class in noise and vibration generation thanks to its optimised component design, and especially efficient combustion process with multiple injection.
The new Astra 1.6 CDTi, which is sure to attract a lot of fleet attention, is available to order now with first deliveries expected from April. Prices start at £17,635 for the 1.6 CDTi 16v (110ps) ecoFLEX.
Vauxhall will also have the latest generation of its flagship, Insignia, available for driving at Silverstone, boasting the latest 2.0CDTi diesel engine with carbon emissions of just 98g/km. And fleet managers will also be able to put the new Cascada convertible through its paces around the world-famous Grand Prix circuit.
Another manufacturer that will be placing an emphasis on low or zero carbon emissions at Silverstone this year is Renault, which is bringing all its models equipped with the latest Energy diesel engines and electric drive-trains to the event – including the facelifted Megane which has just seen a price cut for the 90g/km 1.5 diesel model.
New research from JATO Dynamics has just revealed that Renault is now officially Europe’s cleanest car manufacturer, with average CO2 emissions of 110.1g/km last year across its model range, an 11.2g/km improvement over 2012 – the greatest improvement of all the volume brands.
While Renault’s total of over 9,000 electric cars registered in 2013 contributed to this performance, the greatest improvement came from models like the new Clio and Captur, which together accounted for over 45% of the brand's total volume, and had average carbon emissions of 103.9g/km and 105.6g/km respectively.
The new initiatives from Vauxhall and Renault will be amongst a number of highlights at this year’s Show. For example, there will be an exciting UK premiere of the Peugeot 308 SW estate which made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show this week, along with a number of UK first drives of the very latest new models from a variety of motor manufacturers.
Jerry Ramsdale, organiser of the Fleet World Fleet Show event, said: ‘We are delighted with the green emphasis at this year’s Show, which has seen many manufacturers keen to show off their very latest low-carbon offerings, like the new ‘whisper diesel’ Astra from Vauxhall.’
The Silverstone Grand Prix circuit has been split in two for this year’s event, so that the National circuit can be used for high-speed laps, and the International Circuit for road speed drives. There is also an off-road circuit for those wishing to try one of the many 4x4s that will be on offer.
At the same time, a new eco-driving hub at Silverstone’s infield Stowe Circuit is being supported by Allstar Card Services, and will feature those manufacturers with strong low-CO2 sub-brands. They will demonstrate not only the fuel efficiency of their cars, but also how they can be driven in the most economical fashion.
‘For those fleet decision makers who want to find out more about the benefits of going green, the Allstar Card Services Eco-driving Hub will help them understand all the factors affecting the size of their future fuel and tax bills, and all the ways of improving them,’ added Jerry Ramsdale.
As well as the test driving element, the Show will again feature an indoor exhibition in halls 1-3 of the Silverstone Wing, with up to 60 exhibitors demonstrating some of the latest developments, products and services in the fleet arena.
The Show also will pioneer an exciting new seminar and training format designed to provide practical hands-on advice and guidance across a range of fleet management disciplines.
Each session will be presented by a respected and current fleet manager whose own experience in their chosen subject area will provide delegates with a case-study style learning experience.