It’s amazing what car engineers can do when faced with a challenge to surmount.
You may have noticed that there are an increasing amount of cars appearing that just slip under the magic 120g/km CO2 figure. This leads to the price of a tax disc dropping from £115 to £35, and potentially much more significantly, may result in free entry into London’s Congestion Charge zone if, as proposed, it becomes exempt for sub-120g/km cars in 2008.
It also shows the power that legislation can have on encouraging manufacturers to give us lower emissions cars.
So the latest to join the sub-120g/km club is Vauxhall, with their Corsa – which they are calling the ‘Co2rsa’. Vauxhall’s engineers have made minor changes to the 1.3CDTi 75PS engine in order to reduce emissions from 124g/km to 119g/km. As well as the VED Group dropping to B, and the cost of an annual tax disc reducing from £115 to £35, company car drivers will also benefit from savings; as from the 2008/09 tax year the Corsa will fall into the new 13 percent company car tax band introduced by the Chancellor for diesel cars emitting less than 120g/km – a drop which could save a 40 percent tax payer £237 a year.
In addition, the new model would also be entitled to a 100 percent discount from the London Congestion Charge if the mayor’s proposals for 2008 are approved. This could save drivers who enter the capital daily more than £2,000 every year. In fact, a company car driver using a new Corsa CDTi Life in London every day could recoup the list price of the car in tax and congestion charge savings after little more than four years!
Over the past few months Vauxhall has also introduced new high-efficiency engines to improve the CO2 output of the most popular petrol Astra and Vectra models with variable valve timing and TWINPORT technology.
Bill Parfitt, Vauxhall’s managing director, explained: “General Motors is investing heavily in alternative fuel strategies for the medium and long term. Today, we are making reductions in CO2 emissions wherever possible on our most popular model lines. This has a dramatic effect when considering the scale of our sales operations and also has an important benefit of saving our customers money.”
The new Corsa CDTi models are on sale now, priced from £9,810 for the Corsa Life 1.3CDTi 3-door.