Opel Launches Broad LPG ecoFLEX Range; GM Having Detailed Final Talks with Magna and RHJI on Offers for Opel
|Opel’s LPG range. Click to enlarge.|
Opel is now offering five dual-fuel LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas)-powered Corsa, Meriva, Astra station wagon and Zafira models with a wide performance range, expanding its line of ecoFLEX models with alternative propulsion. The Opel LPG models can run on gasoline or LPG—the switch happens automatically, but can also be made by pressing a button.
In addition to the standard gasoline tank, these models also feature an LPG tank located either in the spare-wheel well (Corsa, Meriva, Astra station wagon) or under the vehicle floor (Zafira), ensuring storage space and load volume remain unchanged. Instead of the spare wheel, a tire repair set is on board for emergencies.
Opel says that vehicles fitted with an LPG engine ex-works have advantages over retrofit solutions for the customer. The powertrain is specifically designed for operation with LPG, and special valves and valve-seat inserts are among the elements that ensure durability. The vehicles all went through extensive endurance tests, and the LPG tank and all components were subjected to crash tests and meet all safety standards. The vehicles cost an extra €2,200 (US$3,100) compared to the gasoline variants—lower than for retrofit solutions.
Vehicle operating range can be significantly increased by using both tanks. For example, the LPG Astra station wagon can cover up to around 1,300 kilometers (808 miles) without stopping to refuel. CO2 emissions during LPG operation are 10 - 13% lower than in gasoline mode.
Opel offers a two-year manufacturer’s warranty; Inspection intervals and costs are comparable to those of conventionally-powered models.
LPG is the most popular alternative fuel in the world and is already used in more than 13 million vehicles. In Europe, there are more than 25,500 filling stations that sell LPG, with more than 5,000 of those in Germany. The largest markets for Opel’s new LPG range are Italy, France and Germany.
|The new Opel LPG models (Power and CO2 figures are preliminary)|
|Corsa 1.2 LPG ecoFLEX||57 kW (78 hp)||127 g/km|
|Corsa 1.4 LPG ecoFLEX||64 kW (87 hp)||129 g/km|
|Meriva 1.4 LPG ecoFLEX||64 kW (87 hp)||129 g/km|
|Astra Station Wagon 1.6 LPG ecoFLEX||82 kW (108 hp)||142 g/km|
|Zafira 1.8 LPG ecoFLEX||100 kW (136 hp)||159 g/km|
Status of Sale of Opel. On Wednesday, General Motors presented its preliminary findings on the offers on the table for Opel to the German Automotive Task Force and the Opel Trust Board, and said it continues detailed talks with two.
We had a good and thoughtful discussion around the key operating metrics and key issues associated with the three final offers we received on Monday evening. We have agreed to continue detailed talks with both Magna and RHJI to secure Opel’s future.—John Smith, GM’s chief negotiator for the sale of Opel