Citroen UK has expanded its Berlingo light van range with the launch of a factory-built dual fuel model and is evaluating a higher-riding ‘enhanced 2WD’ version to potential customers of light vans with increased traction.

Due to its low emissions, the new dual-fuel 600i LX model attracts the maximum Powershift government subsidy and is exempt from the London Congestion Charge.

It retails at £10,495 ($US19,560) plus VAT and delivery (before deducting the Powershift grant) and is powered by a 1.4 litre, 75hp engine, which runs on petrol or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Citroen UK expects that local authorities and other operators who have to work in environmentally sensitive areas, where some form of congestion charging is or will soon be in place, will provide much of the demand for the new dual fuel model, which has a 36 litre LPG tank in addition to the standard 60 litre petrol tank.

The LPG tank holds enough gas for around 250 miles of operation, and is mounted under the load area.

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The pre-production, right hand drive ‘enhanced 2WD capability’ Berlingo has been imported to assess its suitability to match the requirements of operators in public utilities, agriculture, forestry and other sectors where some off-road capability is required of a light van.

With the benefits of higher ground clearance and improved traction the enhanced 2WD Berlingo model is claimed to offer improved off-road capability without the higher price, weight and running costs associated with a four wheel drive vehicle.

The drivetrain incorporates a limited slip differential with torque transfer capability between the two front driving wheels which is claimed to provide this version with greatly improved off-road performance.

The van also has up to 40mm of extra ground clearance achieved by up-rated, heavy duty suspension and larger 15in diameter, wider section wheels, with reinforced centres, shod with Michelin 185/65 R15 mud and snow tyres.

To protect the underbody in off-road situations the van also has a heavy duty metal skid plate over the sump and two large, longitudinal metal plates to protect other underbody components such as brake and fuel lines.

If the enhanced 2WD Berlingo van is added to the UK range, it is likely to have the 2.0HDi 90hp diesel engine and be available only in 600kg payload format.