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Peugeot to clean up with petrol particulate filter

Clean machine: Peugeot’s 508 GT gets a petrol particulate filter that can handle Australia’s high-suphur petrol, as long as owners stick with 95RON or 98RON fuels and use recommended oil.

New Peugeot 308 GT and 508 GT to pioneer petrol particulate filter in Australia

14 Aug 2019

PEUGEOT will become the first car manufacturer to introduce soot-busting particulate filters in petrol passenger cars in Australia after coming up with technology to beat the high-sulphur fuel sold Down Under.


Petrol particulate filters (PPFs) will be fitted to the exhaust systems of the 1.6-litre turbo-petrol, direct-injected engine to be shared by the new Peugeot 308 GT hatch and 508 GT Fastback and Sportwagon when they are rolled out across Australia over the next few weeks.


Car manufacturers have been reluctant to fit such filters to their vehicles sold in Australia because of the low-quality local fuel that, in basic 91RON form, has a sulphur content of 150 parts per million – 15 times higher than similar fuels in Europe.


Manufacturers and their peak body, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), have been lobbying the federal government since 2015 to mandate low-sulphur fuels to enable them to introduce cleaner engines.


Now Peugeot is going ahead regardless, saying its new close-coupled PPFs can cope with Australian higher-octane 95RON and 98RON fuels with up to 40ppm of sulphur.


Peugeot Australia managing director Ben Farlow said the decision to add PPFs to the 308 GT and 508 GT meant Australian Peugeot customers would get access to arguably the cleanest petrol drivetrains available in Australia.


“With the substantive amount of testing and development that has gone into our system, we believe that our moves will be followed by others in the near future,” he said.


Mr Farlow added: “With the government mandating the current fuel standards well beyond mid-next decade, the time for debate is over. We just have to get on with the task of developing and offering efficient and exciting vehicles.”


Peugeot began fitting PPFs to its direct-injected vehicles in Europe in 2017.


Particulate filters have been fitted to diesel engines for some years in Australia to cut the high levels of carcinogenic soot emitted through the exhaust.


These diesel filters have been in the news lately with the announcement of a customer class action against Toyota over allegations of clogged filters on HiLux, Fortuner and Prado vehicles fitted with the 2.8-litre diesel engine.


Porsche talked about introducing PPFs in its facelifted Macan S launched in February, but GoAuto understands vehicles sold in Australia do not have the device.


According to Peugeot, one of the keys to the new process for its petrol vehicles is that the PPFs are “uncoated”, meaning they do not have catalytic coatings of precious metals that can be poisoned over time by high levels of sulphur.


The Peugeot solution has the coated catalyst and uncoated PPF line astern in the same unit, close to the engine where the exhaust gas heat burns the soot particles in regular motoring, as long as drivers use only high-octane petrol – not 91RON – and take their cars for a longer run now and then, rather than driving them only for short distances in the urban slog.


They also need to use recommended lubricants and have their vehicle serviced regularly.


Peugeot engineers say petrol engines run hotter than diesel engines and thus do not require a specific regeneration process to burn built-up particulates from the filter.


Diesel engines do this by running at higher revs per minute occasionally to raise the exhaust temperature at certain intervals to burn off the gunk.


Peugeot says its diesel particulate filters have shown few clogging problems and rarely need to be replaced. It expects its PPFs to be similarly durable as long as drivers follow the rules.


If the petrol unit needs replacing, perhaps due to crash damage, it will cost $1238.


The new 308 GT will be launched in Australia this month and will be followed in September by the 508 in Fastback and Sportwagon body styles.

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