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GM Introduces Two New 1.7-Liter Diesels for Opel

The new 1.7-liter diesel.

GM is applying two new 1.7-liter diesel engines in the new edition Opel Astra. Following Opel’s downsizing strategy, the latest generation common-rail turbo-diesel engines are relatively compact, yet with their high power output per liter and power reserves they boast higher fuel economy and low emissions. These bring the total number of diesels available in the bestselling Astra line to six.

Coupled with six-speed manual transmissions as standard, the new 1.7-liter CDTI ECOTEC unit with 81 kW/110 hp produces 140g of CO2 per kilometer, and the 92 kW/125 hp version 146 g/km. Fuel consumption is an average 5.2/5.4 liters per 100 kilometers (44/45 mpg US).

The engines develop torque of 260 Nm (192 lb-ft) and 280 Nm (207 lb-ft) at 2,300 rpm, respectively.

Both new 1.7 CDTI units in the third-generation Astra feature common-rail direct injection, four-valve technology with swirl control and cooled exhaust gas recirculation with electropneumatic bypass flap control. The cooled EGR system lowers the temperature of the exhaust gas before recirculation further than in a conventional EGR system, thereby achieving an even greater reduction in NOx. (Earlier post.)

However, the constant use of cooled exhaust gas results in the engine taking longer to reach optimal combustion temperatures, possibly resulting in incomplete combustion and an increase in emissions.

The bypass channel can send exhaust gases directly back to the combustion chambers when the engine temperature is low. This helps the engine warm faster, reducing the time for incomplete combustion.

In line with Opel’s downsizing strategy, the compact turbocharged engines have a 79 mm bore and 86 mm stroke, which create a displacement of 1,686 cubic centimeters. The cylinder head is made from light alloy and the engine block from gray cast iron. Its 16 valves are activated directly by two overhead camshafts via flat-base tappets; maximum injection pressure is 1,800 bar. A turbocharger with variable vane technology ensures quick response times.

The diesel engines come with a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter as standard.



Doesn't the 1.9 Liter, golf TDI get better gas milage and more horse power?


Six diesel engine options just on the Astra... and in N.America we have um... none.

Mk 5 Golf (don't call me rabbit)is 109hp 1.9litre or 140hp 2.0litre PD units.

Interesting that Toyota have also opted for the 175hp 2.2D4-D for their top of the range Auris (don't call me corolla) T180, rather than follow the trend of using high output 2.0-2.5 petrol units.


Amazing that GM won't even consider bringing Opels to the US. I rented a few Opels during my European vacations and was quite happy with them. They are much better than anything GM offers in the US.


Great! More fuel efficient, clean diesels we can't buy. Lutz- the the fix to all GM's CO2 problems lies right under your nose: Opel.

Don't try to tell us meeting 30% CO2 reductions will cost us an additional $6000 per vehicle. Plopping these and other clean-diesels in your entire line-up today shouldn't cost us more than ~$1,500 per vehicle.

Like Arnold says: get off your butts!


Here's a novel idea: how about a Saturn Astra 1.7 CDTI ECOTEC!

Lutz, make them and we will buy!

fred dzlsabe


They kinda do...theyre called Saabs.


To Opel diesel:

Welcome little diesel. Please come to our country and stay as long as you like. You are among friends here!


I can tell you what's going to happen. Honda will bring their Diesels to the US eventually and GM will lose even more market shares.


If this isn't Lev II/Tier 2 bin 5 compliant, you won't see it here. Sorry, folks. We've put a higher priority on reducing smog and particulate emissions rather than actual fuel efficiency. If California and the EPA loosened the NOx restrictions just a little, we'd likely get these engines here.

I don't blame GM. I blame the emissions regulations.

The only engine the Astera will get here is a 1.8L four.

Rafael Seidl

@ hybrid+E85, fred dszlabe -

Opels are now called Saturns in the US. Saabs are in a very different price and luxury range.

It'll be interesting to see if GM ever decides to bring diesel engines to passenger cars in the US market. The cost premium of the engine plus T2B5 emissions control equipment is quite high considering that unlike in Europe, a gallon of diesel fuel is more expensive in the US than gasoline.

My guess is that they will wait and see how well DCX, BMW and VW fare with with their clean diesel offerings. Even then, the Astra would almost certainly not be the first Saturn to be offered with a diesel option. Time pressures means they're importing those fully built with gasoline engines and, GM will lose money on each one. Presumably, that's just a stopgap measure until they are certain of demand levels and can justify re-tooling a factory in the US.

Stan Peterson

Thank the CARBites for why these diesels are not available in America. They simply don't meet the environmental T2B5 regulations.

Add another thousand dollars worth of diesel cleanup equipment and go hat in hand to petition to get a waiver on AD-Blue which no one has yet, YOU CAN'T SELL THEM HERE!

Blame the enviro greens, if you must blame someone, for stopping the merely good, for the impossible (as yet), best.

I prefer to wait for the clean diesels meeting the T2B5 regulations.

I would certainly bust some CARBite bureacrats balls for not getting with the program and allowing urea SCR clean up technology to be used, that meets T2B5. The object is to have clean diesels leading to clean atmosphere. Screw the bureaucrat empire building.


Is this over the Euro cycle? Do they adjust for the energy content of the fuel like the EPA does?

Rafael Seidl

@Stan -

it's actually the EPA that sets Tier 2. Bin 5 just happens to coincide with CARB LEV II and is also the one each carmaker has to meet on average for his total sales. Both EPA and CARB have been reluctant to permit SCR but EPA has recently released a statement describing their thinking prior to formal rulemaking. Apparently, subject to a number of achievable conditions, they will allow SCR after all sometime this year. CARB is widely expected to as well.

@yesplease -

European law requires fuel consumption to be indicated in L/100km plus the fuel grade used, based on the NEDC cycle. There is no conversion to gasoline equivalent for diesel results, nor is there any need for one. Manufacturers must also indicate CO2 emissions in g/km. These have long been directly measured as part of the certification process anyhow.


So the stated mileage is probably quite a bit off compared to EPA combined cycle... Thanks for the info Rafael!

Bob Bastard

"Opels are now called Saturns in the US. Saabs are in a very different price and luxury range." Raphael, the Saturn Astra will be replacing the Ion which will be discontinued in 08, and as far as I know, is the only re badged Opel in the Saturn lineup. I could (hopefully) be wrong about that, however. Interestingly enough, they seem to be expecting to sell substantially fewer Astras than they did Ions. I'm assuming they don't think North American consumers will find it appealing. Personally, if I could buy a diesel Astra, I would do it yesterday. I might even consider a gasoline Saturn Astra, if I can get it with a manual or automated manual transmission.

Bob Bastard

I was wrong, I just went to the Saturn website and realized the Sky is also a re badged Opel. I hadn't realized that the Astra's are all hatchback/wagon type cars now. It looks like a nice, but very practical vehicle. Maybe for shits and giggles this fall, I'll go to my local GM dealer and tell them I would like to test drive a diesel one. "Sorry, the Astra doesn't have that option. But you should check out the new Suburban. It's now available with a 600hp 9.2 liter Duramax. Unfortunately, its only available in a two door model. We had to do away with the back doors to accommodate the exhaust stacks."


I wouldn't buy a Saturn Astra. From what I saw in a magazine review the 140hp 1.8L gasoline engine was doing around the low 20's in the city and high 20's on the highway with manual and auto.



I noticed that said engine lacks variable valve timing and some of the other fuel-saving bells and whistles you'd find on a larger Corolla. Thats when _I_ get angry at GM engineers and marketing when they can't sell a hatchback that gets over 30mpg highway!


I visited Vancouver Autoshow last week and have seen Saturn Astra, coming to showrooms in Q4 (Canada). It is good looking 3 and 5 door hatch, with good proportions (not very tall) and slick aerodynamics. The engine is VVT 140 hp 1.8l. It will come with very competitive package: all independent suspension, front and back disc brakes with ABS, 6 airbags – all standard. 3 door will have stiffened suspension and alloy 17 inch wheels standard, 18 inch optional. 5 speed manual standard, and unfortunately only 4 speed automatics. I do not remember exact fuel consumption numbers, but they are good.

Looks like a good move for GM. I believe sales will be good.

Rafael Seidl

@ yesplease -

to get a rough-and-ready comparison of fuel cost per mile, look up the fuel consumption of the models you want to compare on Opel´s web site:

a MPG (US) = 235.21/b L/100km
c $/mile = d $/gal / x MPG

Use fuel cost data from your neck of the woods.

Then calculate the ratio of the $/mile figures you compute for the two models to more or less cancel out the effect of the fact that the numbers are based on the NEDC driving cycle.

e = c(diesel)/c(gasoline) * 100%

If the engine variants you´re comparing are reasonable, you should end up with e in the 60-80% range. This, however, only covers fuel cost per mile. The total picture needs to include depreciation, cost of AdBlue additive (if applicable), insurance, taxes, maintenance etc.

Chances are, the break-even point in terms of annual mileage for a relatively small car like the Astra will lie much higher in the US than in Europe, because of market externalities like fuel taxes and the cost of meeting emissions regs.

@ Bob Bastard -

the Saturn Aura and Opel/Vauxhall Vectra are both based on GM´s epsilon platform. The Outlook CUV is sold as the Opel Antara in Germany but actually made in Korea. So while not perfectly accurate, my statement referred to Bob Lutz´ recent decision that GM europe will assume global responsibility for the enegineering of all future mid-sized GM passenger cars. Holden in Australia will be responsible for RWD sedans, Daewoo/Chevrolet for subcompacts. Only big trucks and SUVs will be engineered in the US.

Bob Bastard

@Rafael, thats interesting, thanks for the info. Does Lutz's statement refer to all GM passenger cars, including for example, the Chevy Impala and Malibu, and all the Pontiac and Buick sedans? If true, that is interesting, although not necessarily surprising. I know an engineer that worked for GM in Detroit, and from what he told me, there wasn't much engineering taking place, at least in his group. Most of it was contracted out, and the GM engineers' job was simply supervise the contractors processes.

Joey Mercer

Sitting on the fence until the new Passat diesel hits here in the U.S.


If you need a frugal and clean car, take the Vauxhall/Opel Astra 1.6 Turbo patrol.
But please, forget the dirty Diesel.

Alex Woodrow

Well, over here in Europe we actually have a 1.9 diesel in the Astra as well. Its currently 120 and 150ps in the Astra, which with the new 1.7 getting 125ps will mean the lower power one is redundant. Expect to see the 150ps become the base 1.9 and a 1.9 with 200ps within 12-18 months. Not that clean though, but certainly a lot cleaner than just 5 years ago.

Cheryl Ho

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If you would like to know more on COAL to Syngas to DME developments, join us at upcoming North Asia DME / Methanol conference in Beijing, 27-28 June 2007, St Regis Hotel. The conference covers key areas which include:

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National Development Reform Commission NDRC
Ministry of Energy for Mongolia

Production of DME/ Methanol through biomass
gasification could potentially be commercialized
Shandong University completed Pilot plant in Jinan and
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Advances in conversion technologies are readily
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By: Kogas, Lurgi and Haldor Topsoe

Available project finance supports the investments
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For more information:

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