Renault low-cost Romanian Dacia car unit has widened its range of economical and ‘eco-friendly’ engines to include new versions powered by liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and E85 bioethanol. The new Sandero E85 model emits as little as 60g/km on the sugar cane-based E85 fuel available in Sweden and 130g/km on the sugar beet/wheat-based E85 fuel made in France.

The automaker has also just launched a new 1.2 16V petrol engine.

All the new powertrains will be launched Europe-wide this year. They are: 1.4-litre, 75hp LPG Logan (sedan) and Sandero (hatchback), 1.6-litre, 90hp LPG Logan MCV (wagon), 1.6-litre E85 Sandero and 1.2-litre 16V Logan and Sandero.

Renault said LPG reduces CO2 emissions by up to 12% compared with petrol power and reduces emissions, is competitively priced, and is also eligible for tax incentives in several countries including France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Germany.

It’s also readily available at 32,000 service stations in Europe. LPG vehicles are 60% quieter than diesel-powered vehicles, too, the automaker said.

The LPG Dacia models are dual-mode petrol/gas vehicles and the driver manually selects petrol or gas mode. Record driving ranges are achieveable – the Sandero 1.4 LPG, for example, can travel up to 1,200km (750 miles) on a combined fill of both petrol and gas.

Safety features on the LPG gas system include a non-return valve, an 80% tank-fill limiter, fuel flow limiter, solenoid and shut-off valve. Servicing intervals are the same as for petrol-only engines (every 30,000km/20,000 miles or two years) with additional maintenance of LPG-specific items.

Renault has been making E100 flexfuel engines since 2004, initially in Brazil. Its 1.6-litre dual-fuel petrol/E85 engine (frst sold here in the UK in the Megane at the end of 2007) has sodium-filled valves which are extremely resistant to high temperatures, optimised cylinder head cooling and oil jet-cooled pistons. Performance is identical to the equivalent petrol engine, the automaker said.

The new 1.2 16V petrol engine for the Logan line emits just 139g of CO2/km and has an EU combined cycle fuel consumption of 5.9 litres/100km.

Work to lower idle speed to 650rpm (from 750rpm) gives an urban fuel consumption gain of 2-3%. It is the first Renault engine to run with such a low idle speed.

Servicing intervals every are 30,000km (20,000 miles) or two years.