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Vauxhall and Renault unveil project X83 van

Vauxhall and Renault will unveil the latest van developed as part of project X83, the joint light commercials venture, at the Frankfurt LCV show on September 23.

Vauxhall will call its version the Vivaro while Renault will stick with the Trafic name, which has been used since 1980.

The new vans were designed and engineered by Renault in Paris, but Vauxhall will build the Vivaro, including Opel versions, in Luton. The new van goes on sale in the UK from the middle of next year.

The new Trafic and Vivaro enter a light commercial vehicle market in which annual sales in the UK over the past five years have grown to around 230,000 units. Last year medium vans (up to 2.8 tonne gross vehicle weight) accounted for around 26% of the UK market - a total of 61,260 vehicles.

The LCV market is notable for its strong mix of panel vans, which represent 50% of the European market. Compact panel vans (between 2.5 and 2.8 tonnes) make up 50% of the total panel van segment in Europe.

Vauxhall says that Vivaro will be offered as a panel van and later as a minibus, with a choice of two wheelbases (3,098mm and 3,498mm), a maximum payload of around 1,200kg and up to six cubic metres of cargo volume.

New Trafic and Vivaro will be powered by 80bhp and 100bhp variants of Renault's common rail 1.9 dCi turbodiesel engines and a 120bhp version of its 2.0 16v petrol engine.

Renault has sold more than 940,000 versions of its current Trafic since launch in 1980. The new van will fit into Renault's light commercial vehicle range above the Clio and Kangoo vans and below the larger Master.
* Ford is putting air conditioning on the options list at £400 for turbo diesel versions of the Escort van.

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