Byline: Maurice Glover
DIESEL cars from Citroen and Peugeot are in line for a major eco-boost from the end of this year. City driving economy of 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre models is set to improve by 15% thanks to the latest development in gadgetry designed to automatically stop the engine in traffic jams and start it again when power is needed.
Called e-HDi and to be launched on the Citroen C5, the new technology also promises to make cars kinder to the environment with a 15% cut in city driving tailpipe emissions and a 5g/km reduction during average driving conditions.
The first equipment of its kind to be harnessed to diesel power, e-HDi is the result of a three-year joint development project between French giant PSA Peugeot Citroen and component supplier Valeo that has cost more than pounds 300m.
It will also feature in the all-new Citroen C4 hatchback that will be previewed at the Paris Motor Show this autumn and will be a key part of the Peugeot 308 compact car range and replacement 407 line-up next year.
"We pioneered stop-start on the petrol Citroen C3 in 2004 and have drawn on all our experience to offer the best solution for diesel drivers. We believe this to be the best technology available and think it will soon become the new industry benchmark," said PSA sales and marketing vice president Jean-Marc Gales.
Speaking as the equipment was unveiled in Paris, he added: "This is a significant development because research has proved that the engine is not needed for 30% of the time the average car spends in cities or busy urban traffic. Something needs to be done to avoid this waste of energy and we think this is an effective way to make considerable potential savings available."
Like other stop-start equipment, the PSA package shuts down the engine in traffic hold-ups and brings it back to life again when it is …