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Renault debuts new economy petrol engine

Renault is aiming to counter spiralling fuel prices by fitting a high-output, super-economy petrol engine to some of its most popular models.

Boasting a 1.8-litre power level and 16% improvements in economy and emissions, the company’s next-generation 1.4-litre unit will debut in the new Megane compact car range at the Paris Motor Show in October.

Fitted with a low-inertia turbocharger, the 16-valve TCe 130 has been honed to deliver torque of 190Nm and will replace the Megane’s normally aspirated 2.0-litre engine.

Like other manufacturers, the carmaker is anticipating that next year’s tougher Euro5 exhaust emission regulations will prompt higher interest in more efficient petrol engines.

The engine is also perfectly timed to exploit rising fuel prices.

Renault engineer Stephane Guilan claimed that replacing larger engines with smaller, more efficient units was one of the most logical ways of putting the brake on fuel consumption.

“We have already proved this in diesel by substituting a 110bhp, 1.5-litre dCi unit for the 115bhp, 2.2-litre motor that used to drive the Laguna, a move that has given us a 60g/km gain in emissions along with fuel savings of 2.3litres/100km.

“Now we can repeat this with our new petrol engine,” Guilan said.

The 130 joins the 1.2-litre TCe 100 motor which replaced the 1.7-litre petrol engine in the Clio range last year.

Work is now under way on a third unit, thought to have a 1.6-litre displacement.

Renault has revealed NOx Trap, its new post-combustion system to reduce diesel pollutant emissions.

Based on a chemical process that captures nitrogen oxides, then converts them into neutral gas every few minutes, the trap is covered by 36 patents.

It will be tested on fleets of 2.0 dCi Espace models later this year.

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