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FIRST DRIVE: Opel unveilS uber-efficient new diesel engines for the Insignia and Mokka

Opel has added to its automotive arsenal with the unveiling of two new ultra-efficient diesel engines.

The new powerplants will make their debut in the German giant's flagship Insignia and uber-trendy Mokka.

First to the daddy, the 2.0 CDTI that delivers almost 5pc more horsepower (170bhp) and a 14pc increase in torque to 400Nm.

In layman's terms, it means that the new oil-burner can hit 0-100kph in a shade under nine seconds and has a top end of 225kph.

In monetary terms, it means better fuel consumption and a reduced CO2 count of 114gm/km which translates to €200 in annual road tax.

Looking at the stats, I was half expecting to feel no real difference in the drive.

Wrong. The bigger torque gives the saloon that extra oomph and really proved its worth on the twisty, windy roads around the Wicklow Mountains.

Traction while powering into tricky bends was hot-hatch-like, while acceleration on the straight was brisk.

But the most noticeable change of all is the noise reduction in the cabin.

Vibration from under the hood and the clatter of the four-pot diesel has been almost eradicated. In fact, the only tell-tale sign of "the knock" is evident on a cold start, but once running at the right temperature it is almost silent.

Which brings us to the all-new 1.6 CDTI - or the Whisper diesel - which is now powering Opel's other big seller, the Mokka.

Having made its debut in the Zafira Tourer, Meriva and Astra range, the all-aluminium lightweight engine is not only more powerful (136hp, up 6hp), it's more efficient.

It returns an impressive 69mpg (4.1 litres/100km) while CO2 is reduced to 109 g/km CO2, meaning €190 annual road tax.

Drive-wise, the Mokka is really suited to this new engine, and again the noise in the cabin has been pretty much eradicated, making it a much more comfortable ride.

The 4x4 version will also be powered by this unit, which makes much more sense than the petrol-only option avail-able last year.

Towing capacity alone will sway you towards the Whisper, but watch the pricing on the automatic, which will see you fork out a hefty €3,000 for the pleasure.

Although not available in the entry level S model, the SC spec comes with lots of goodies as standard including 18-inch alloys, parking sensors front and rear, Bluetooth, dual zone climate control, leather multi-function steering wheel and IntelliLink infotainment system with seven-inch colour display.

Prices for the Mokka start at €19,995.

The SC and SE are available from €25,245.

The 2.0CDTI (170hp) Insignia engine is available on the saloon, hatchback, sports tourer and 4x4 Country Tourer and starts from €30,395.

Later this year the new 2.0 CDTI will also be introduced in the Zafira Tourer. It is also available in automatic.