Vauxhall's newly revised Dualfuel Astravan has driven in with a more eco-friendly 1.6 8v engine that exceeds Euro IV emission levels due to come into force in 2005. Carbon monoxide emissions are down by 39 per cent, hydrocarbons by 26.5 per cent and dangerous NOx gases by 38 per cent against petrol.
Against current Euro III regulations the new engine's emissions overall are down by an average of 79 per cent, with CO2 emissions at 150.9 g/km against 170.8 g/km for petrol.
Changes to the Astravan's engine include the fitting of a sequential injection system that means precise amounts of gas are fed through each injector. This more sophisticated system also ensures smoother running and slightly improved economy.
Astravan is one of the most successful of all Vauxhall's dualfuel petrol/liquefied petroleum gas vehicles. A spokesman for Vauxhall said that between now and the end of the year the sales target of around 600 vans is expected to be met, principally from urban-based fleet users.
While LPG fuel gives similar performance levels to petrol, it costs around 37p per litre against unleaded fuel at around 79p per litre. In addition, LPG duty is capped until 2004. An additional £1,660 for the Dualfuel model means an on-the-road price of £11,805 for the Envoy version and £12,905 for the LS-trim model (exc VAT). Both models have an upper load restraint mesh as standard. Grants of 75 per cent are available from TransportAction's PowerShift programme towards the conversion premium of Dualfuel Astravan against conventional models.
Like all Vauxhall models, Dualfuel Astravan has a three-year warranty and 20,000-mile/annual service.