Renault South Africa has launched its first diesel vehicles in the country, with more due later in the year.

Renault South Africa has launched its first diesel vehicles in the country, with more due later in the year.

The French manufacturer has added a common rail 1,9-litre diesel engine to its Scenic and Laguna ranges

The Laguna 1,9dCi is powered by the F9Q direct injection diesel engine, which delivers maximum power of 88 kW at 4 000 r/min.

According to Renault, the vehicle has a combined urban/extra urban cycle figure of 5,5 litres/100 km. The urban- and extra-urban figures are 7,2 and 4,6 litres/100 km respectively. It can sprint from 0-100 km/h in 10,7 seconds and reach a top speed of 200 km/h. Peak torque is 270 N.m at 2 00 r/min.

The turbodiesel engine is linked to a new, compact six-speed manual gearbox.

The Scenic 1,9 dCi has a powerplant broadly similar to that of the new Laguna. It shares its displacement of 1 870 cm3 with the engine in the Laguna, but peak torque of 200 N.m is delivered 500 revolutions lower down the scale, at only 1 500 r/min. Peak power is 75 kW at 4 000 r/min. It has a claimed top speed of 172 km/h and reaches 100 km/h from standstill in 12,7 sec.

The Scenic 1,9 dCi has a five-speed manual gearbox. It has the same spec level as the 1,6-litre Expression Scenic.

Renault said the turbodiesel engines employ the latest common rail direct injection technology. This allows for greater precision in controlling combustion characteristics, further enhanced by the use of a dedicated controller for each injector, to permit injection timing and fuel quantity to be regulated on an individual cylinder basis.

Coupled with this is the use of a variable nozzle turbocharger, equipped with vanes the angles of which are electronically controlled according to engine speed and load. At low engine speeds and loads it reacts with very little inertia, providing a fast response with little or no lag. At higher engine speeds, the vanes adjust to increase the volume of air delivered, and hence increase engine output.

“The acceptance of modern diesel engines in the local market has grown appreciably since the public became aware of the benefits they can offer. With the levels of sulphur in local diesel fuel having been lowered sufficiently to allow its use in sophisticated direct injection engines, we decided the time was ripe to introduce a diesel engine to the local Renault range,” said Manny de Canha, managing director of Renault South Africa.

“The reason we took so long to introduce diesel vehicles in South Africa is because of the quality of the diesel available in the country due to a high sulphur content,” said De Canha. The sulphur content in diesel was lowered in 2002, which has improved the quality of diesel. The 0,5 per cent sulphur content diesel was replaced by 0,3 per cent, while diesel with 0,05 per cent sulphur is available on the highveld.

Renault will launch the Megane II, with two diesel derivatives, a diesel version of the Clio 1,5, rated at 48 kW, and the quirky Vel Satis.

The Scenic Expression 1,9 dCI sells for R193 995, while the Laguna Expression 1,9 dCI costs R239 995. Renault expects diesel sales to make up 10-15 per cent of the total Scenic sales, and expects 20 per cent of Laguna sales to be diesel.

Original article from Car