Thirty years ago, on 21st April 1989, Vauxhall was first to cut emissions with three-way catalytic converter on every model in its range – from Nova and Astra, to Corsa and Cavalier, forging the way for new environmentally focussed innovations throughout the industry.
At the same time, in a bid to ensure the new, climate-friendly technology was accessible to all, Vauxhall boldly lowered its prices on many lines, allowing customers to benefit from the developments and help reduce CO2 emissions without incurring further cost. This came in light of a £500 million investment on new test facilities and equipment to reduce emissions.
Today, Vauxhall continues to take its environmental responsibilities seriously, with its current cars meeting the strict Euro 6d-TEMP emissions standard. Further to that, by 2024, the company will deliver an electric alternative for all models, with the upcoming Grandland X hybrid electric vehicle and battery-powered next-generation Corsa later this year.
Leading the way from the start – three-way catalytic converter on every model
Back in March 1988, Vauxhall (along with sister brand Opel) quickly established itself as a leader and innovator, selling 20,541 cars with three-way catalytic converters. By the end of the same year, that figure reached 208,000 and rose again in 1989 as the new Vectra and its standard-fit catalytic converter launched.
Cutting exhaust emissions and committing to its drive for cleaner air soon meant Vauxhall implemented three-way catalytic converters across the board, reducing emissions by an impressive 90 per cent. By comparison, a conventional two-way converter favoured by other OEMs only heralded a 50 per cent reduction, or 60 per cent with a lean-burn engine.
The three-way catalytic converter was fitted as standard to the 60hp 1.3-litre fuel-injection Nova, Vauxhall’s smallest hatchback in 1989, ahead of the 1.3-litre Astra and both the 75hp 1.6-litre and 115hp 2.0-litre Vectra. The 115hp 2.0-litre Omega saloon also benefitted, alongside the top-of-the-range Vauxhall Senator, which had a three-way catalytic converter fitted as standard to its 3.0-litre, in-line six cylinder 156hp and 177hp engines.
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