An enquiring email arrived in the Autocar inbox the other day, from a reader of the mag. One John Carter, operator of a fleet of 50 or so company cars with an average CO2 output of 147g/km (“and falling”, he says), wondered what the overall average CO2 figure for the Autocar long-term test fleet was. Or indeed is.

Good question. And finally, a few days later, once we’d got some important magazine-making tasks out of the way, we have an answer. Now, bear in mind that our long-term fleet is in a regular, if not constant, state of flux, with new arrivals arriving and old favourites departing pretty much on a weekly basis. But as of this morning, the average figure is…drum roll, please… 175g/km. Which, as an overall average, is, I suppose, about average.

Actually, considering some of the tasty hardware we’ve got out in the car park right now, that’s not too bad at all. Currently sitting on top of the table, unsurprisingly, is the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster (312g/km), with our Lexus IS-F (270g/km) trailing in second, ahead of editor Hallett’s brand new 911 Carrera 4S (247g/km – read all about it in next week’s mag).

At the other end of the scale our 1.0-litre automatic iQ2 (99g/km) brings up the eco-friendly rear, with the recently acquired Honda Insight (105g/km) next in line for Autocar’s very own green motoring award. And the Hyundai i10 (119g/km) should please the eco-activists too.

Of more interest, perhaps, are the motors of note occupying commendably low positions on the Autocar emissions table, particularly the immensely entertaining Alpina D3 Touring (145g/km) and Audi’s wholly impressive TT TDI (139g/km).

Of course had our Land Rover Defender 110 XS (291g/km) still been around then things might have looked a little different, although that would have been offset, to an extent, by the Fiat Bravo 1.6 Dynamic Eco (119g/km) that left at around the same time. But as I said, it’s a moveable feast, and one we’ll be keeping half an eye on in the future.

Talking of moveable feasts, as it currently stands the EU’s target for the average CO2 emissions from new cars is 130g/km by 2012. There’s no word yet if that will also apply to motoring magazines’ long-term test fleets, but if it does then a judicious selective process on our part shouldn’t make the process too painful.

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