French manufacturer, Citroën, has produced an engine that saves fuel and releases less greenhouse gases by automatically switching off and starting up when the vehicle comes to a stop.

French manufacturer, Citroën, has produced an engine that saves fuel and releases less greenhouse gases by automatically switching off and starting up when the vehicle comes to a stop.

The Stop and Start system will first be used in the C3 compact car, with the first batch expected to be completed in early November. The C3 will come equipped with a Sensodrive electronically controlled manual gearbox.

When the vehicle stops, the engine slips into standby mode and instantly starts up when the brake pedal is released, allowing the vehicle to pull away.

Citroën claims that rather than increasing fuel consumption, its fuel-saving system reduced fuel consumption by ten per cent for city driving, 15 per cent in peak traffic and six per cent in a combined cycle compared to the standard 1,4-litre diesel engine.

Carbon dioxide emissions are lower too as the system forms part of PSA's strategy to lessen the greenhouse effect by reducing fuel consumption and carbon dioxide levels.

This system will gradually be extended to other Citroën models, as well to vehicles in the Peugeot range. There are also plans to further develop Citroën's HDi diesel engines.