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Opel introducing new 1.6L SIDI engine with start-stop system; 3 new engine generations over next 12 months part of major turnaround plan
14 May 2012
|Opel’s first new engine for a revamped portfolio is a turbocharged 1598 cc, four-cylinder gasoline unit with direct injection and Start/Stop. Click to enlarge.|
Opel is fundamentally renewing its engine range over the next 12 months with the launch of three completely new gasoline and diesel families intended to replace the core of the current portfolio. GM Opel’s aim is to take an industry lead, not just with fuel consumption and emissions but also with specific torque and noise reduction.
The first new engine to be introduced is a turbocharged 1598 cc, four-cylinder gasoline unit with direct injection and Start/Stop. The new SIDI (spark ignition direct injection) ECOTEC engine will be available in various power outputs and across several car lines. Production at the Szentgotthardt plant in Hungary will begin in late 2012.
Smooth acceleration, strong pulling power, low noise levels and low fuel consumption were the main focus of the engine development. The emphasis was on torque with the engineers achieving up to 187.5 N·m (138 lb-ft) per liter of displacement—a benchmark for gasoline engines produced in high volume, according to GM. Maximum torque is up to 300 N·m (221 lb-ft) and is already available at 1,700 rpm. Peak power of up to 200 hp (149 kW) is reached at 4,700 rpm. Compared to the predecessor 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine, fuel consumption and CO2 have been cut by 13%.
Our new 1.6 liter direct-injection engine is a real giant in terms of torque. Power builds up very smoothly and quietly—director of gasoline engines, Thomas Johnen
The first Opel engine with spark ignition direct injection technology, the 114kW/155 hp “2.2 ECOTEC direct”, made its debut in Opel’s Signum and Vectra in 2003, succeeded by the Zafira. In 2007, the GT offered the first turbocharged gasoline engine with direct injection from Opel, a 2.0 liter unit with 194kW/264 hp. One year later this engine was introduced in the Insignia and was available in the Opel flagship in two variants: 162 kW/220 hp and 184kW/250 hp. The new Astra OPC will be powered by the latest version of this engine offering an output of 206kW/280 hp.
The announcement of the new engine came in conjunction with an extraordinary all-employee meeting, at which Opel/Vauxhall CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke provided a rough outline of a plan for returning Opel/Vauxhall to profitability as quickly as possible. In addition to the powertrain initiative with three new engine generations, main elements of the plan include:
Model initiative: Opel/Vauxhall will have invested about €11 billion (US$14 billion) in a comprehensive new model campaign through 2014. This year alone, the company introduces six new models, including the subcompact SUV Mokka, a new Astra version, a completely new convertible and the Adam, Opel/Vauxhall’s new urban vehicle. The Adam will be built at the Eisenach plant, making it the only model in that segment built in Germany.
Environment initiative: Opel/Vauxhall wants to expand its position as a manufacturer of alternative propulsions.
Export initiative: Opel wants to enter new markets, including Australia, North Africa, South America and the Middle East.
Quality and customer satisfaction initiative: Opel/Vauxhall has launched a number of initiatives intended to make the company one of the industry leaders in quality both in products and customer service.
New Brand Strategy: Opel/Vauxhall is working on a new brand strategy that is geared toward both traditional and attainable potential customers.
Increasing profit margin per vehicle: Opel/Vauxhall has launched several initiatives to increase its contribution margins. This, in particular, includes a thorough review of the material costs. Opel/Vauxhall also wants to reduce the manufacturing complexity of its cars.
New alliances: Opel/Vauxhall is open to beneficial partnerships such as the one that GM recently made with PSA Peugeot Citroën.
Production Strategy: Opel/Vauxhall is upgrading its manufacturing plants. The first example of that will be seen in conjunction with the allocation of the next Astra generation. "Given the forecasted market volumes, it would not be viable to produce in more than two plants. If we run these two plants with three shifts, the production costs for the next Astra generation will be significantly below the costs of building the current Astra. Opel/Vauxhall is planning on investing more than €300 million (US$385 million) in the two future Astra plants.
Studying production of Chevrolet models in Europe.
The full growth plan will be presented to the Opel Supervisory Board in June.
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