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GM’s Opel Introduces New Corsa and Astra ecoFLEX Models

The Opel Astra 1.7 CDTI ecoFLEX.

In Europe, GM Opel is introducing two new ecoFLEX (earlier post) diesel variants of the Corsa and Astra for model year 2009: the Corsa 1.3 CDTI ecoFLEX and the Astra 1.7 CDTI ecoFLEX.

The Corsa 1.3 CDTI version has a fuel consumption rating of 4.1 L/100km (57.4 mpg US), with CO2 emissions of 109 g/km. The Astra 1.7 CDTI version has a fuel consumption rating of 4.5 L/100km(51.3 mpg US) with CO2 emissions of 119 g/km. Both cars are fitted with a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter as standard.

With improved engine control and lower vehicle weight, Opel reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of the Corsa 1.3 CDTI ecoFLEX by around 9%. On the Corsa, the calibration of the 1.3 CDTI engine is optimized and adapted to a longer transmission gear ratio.

To improve its aerodynamics, the car is lowered by 20 mm, air intakes are optimized and wheels are fitted with newly designed, more effective wheel caps. The Corsa ecoFLEX is also equipped with special roll resistance optimized smaller tires: 175/70 instead of 185/70, fitted to lighter—flow formed—14” steel wheels.

Engineers paid extra attention to the weight reduction, shaving off 45 kg (99 lbs). The optimized wheels and tires, for instance, allowed to reduce weight by 7.2 kg (15.9 lbs) alone.

The Corsa ecoFLEX is available with five-speed manual transmission as a three-door model in the equipment variants Corsa and Edition. Its performance figures are similar to its predecessor: 55 kW/75 hp output, maximum torque of 170 Nm (125 lb-ft) and a top speed of 168 kph (104 mph).

The new Astra 1.7 CDTI ecoFLEX is available as five-door, three-door and station wagon models which come with a six-speed manual transmission. The 1.7 CDTI common-rail diesel has maximum output of 81 kW/110 hp, torque of 260 Nm (192 lb-ft) at 2000 rpm and a top speed of 188 kph (117 mph).

GM engineers modified the Astra 1.7 CDTI with a longer axle ratio, optimized the engine management system and reduced the engine idle speed. The curb mass of the new Astra ecoFLEX has been reduced by 30 kg.

Moreover, engineers improved aerodynamics by lowering the chassis, optimizing the front air intake and including a drag reducing lower engine compartment panel. They also reduced the power steering pump idle speed and fitted low rolling resistance 15-inch tires (16-inch optional).

The two cars will be available before the end of 2008. In summer 2009, Opel also will introduce the ecoFLEX version of the new top model Insignia.



So the Astra achieves 51.3 mpg (US), whereas the older Astra ECO4 from 8 years ago managed 53.3 mpg. I'm currently averaging 58 mpg (US) in mine.



WAHHHH! We can't meet CAFE standards they are too extreme! "We can't engineer cars that get more than 35 mpg in the US." But an 8 year old Astra gets 58 mpg? Of course this is simple incompetence not a conspiracy with the oil companies, right? US car companies don't need to average 35 mpg until 2020:

US House Reaches Compromise on CAFE Standards
1 December 2007
Under a compromise agreement struck by leaders of the US House of Representatives, the energy bill that is heading to the floor for a vote next week will include language that raises the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards to 35 mpg by 2020, but maintains a distinction between passenger cars and light-duty trucks.

The agreement, said Rep. John D. Dingell (D-MI), Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, in a statement released Friday, will also expand incentives for production of vehicles that run on biofuels.

Earlier this year, the Senate passed a bill with CAFE provisions calling for 35 mpg by 2020, and the elimination of the distinction between cars and trucks. The House subsequently struggled between a version of the Senate bill (Markey), and a counterproposal (Hill-Terry) that maintained separate standards for cars and light trucks, and established a minimum of 32 mpg and a maximum of 35 mpg combined standard for 2022. (Earlier post.)

December 1, 2007

the dodge caravan and chevy uplander are not trucks!


First, EURO emissions are not as strict as EPA (less stringent NOx control = better MPG). Second, the EURO test cycle upon which the fuel economy numbers are based is less aggressive than the FTP (less agressive = better MPG). Overall, it would still get 40+ in the US cycle with US emissions. Third, fuel is much more expensive in Europe, hence consumers are willing to pay a few thousand dollar premium for diesel technology.

So, the technology is there to make cars which easily meet CAFE targets. The question is, are consumers in the US willing to pay for it?


>> So, the technology is there to make cars which easily meet CAFE targets. The question is, are consumers in the US willing to pay for it? <<

As Toyota with its sold out Prius/Camry Hybrid line, Honda with its sold out Civic Hybrid and Ford with its sold out Escape Hybrid line can attest - yes people will pay for significantly better fuel efficiency for a variety of reasons. But John, you're right, no US manufacturer is going to take the risk to find out - even though they are already making these engines for europe.

As long as Honda doesn't blow the Accord Diesel implementation (by focusing on power) like they did with its Hybrid implementation (by focusing on increased power) and focus on efficiency like they should, they won't be able to make Diesel Accords fast enough when start selling them for the 2010 model year.


>> So, the technology is there to make cars which easily meet CAFE targets. The question is, are consumers in the US willing to pay for it? <<

Yes that is the question...or is this the question..How can the technology we have be held back until we can figure out how to make the consumer pay and pay and pay.


"How can the technology we have be held back until we can figure out how to make the consumer pay and pay and pay."
You cannot really think it is remotely possible that ALL Japanese, German, Korean, English, Italian and American auto makers are trying to hold back some high MPG diesel technology.
What a miraculous monopoly. Ludicrous.
Does conspiracy theory have no requirements whatsoever for rational thought?
Think, at least a little, before you post. Or wait until you graduate from grade school. Take pity on those of us who read this stuff.


Regarding the cost issue that has been brought up, the ECO4 cost the same as the ordinary model on which it was based (ie around £12,000), while a Prius at the same time costed around £18,000.

As for real-life fuel economy, the experience of many people over here in the UK is that for some reason it is much easier to achieve close to the official mpg rating in a diesel vehicle compared to a gasoline vehicle.


GM needs to make cars that can be sold anywhere, all these nifty diesels in europe that we cant have.. the politicians also need to do their part.. there are probably lots of silly restrictions in place.

That 1.3l engine sounds very weak at 75hp..


"You cannot really think it is remotely possible that ALL Japanese, German, Korean, English, Italian and American auto makers are trying to hold back some high MPG diesel technology."

You are right Tom, I should not post on this site any more. I was wrong to think we have technology availiable that would allow us to get to and from work
without using oil, I was wrong to think we should be spending more tax money on bike paths in our towns. I could on and on and on about how wrong I've been. Thank you for setting me straight. I will refrain from posting my views. I look forward to reading your educated words of wisdom in the future.
One last note before I go Tom. The quote at the top of
this post came from you not me. You took my post and added your words to present a platform you could use to criticize.


The reason cars with these engines dont exist here(or in Canada or Mexico) is because of the worlds most rigorous emission standards rammed down our throats by unelected and unaccountable CARB. It was just two years ago that 15ppm sulpher diesel fuel became law, but the ignition quality(cetane)rating of this fuel still hovers at a miserable maybe 40. Manufacturers are trying to meet "silk purse" regs with "sows ear" fuel. And yes, theres plenty of greed, politics and whining involved also.

stas peterson

These euro diesels still pollute too much. The technology to meet T2B5 has been developed, but the costs and complexities are still too high. And these vehicles don't yet have it. When they do, they will come to the USA. That is only a few months distant, IMHO.

So grow up. It's not a conspiracy. Every auto manufacturer in the world did not get together and decide not to give you clean diesels.

If your so all fired anxious to choke, gag, and breath diesel stink, go run behind a bus for several blocks. Americans and their laws say that we as a Nation are unwilling to do so.

Or you can go to a Euro city and enjoy gagging and choking, where no one passes realistic emissions laws.


Did you read or comprehend a single word dbag? I never mentioned any "conspiracy", only that maybe these regs would be more easily met with improved fuel. That has been my experience with many diesel vehicles. Search out higher cetane bioD and ULSD and guess what? Much rarer stuck EGRs and CELs. A better, cleaner-running diesel fleet is something I think most of us support.

Last time I was in dozens of Eurocities was 03 and never really noticed any outrageous "diesel stink". The dense "smog" in California, LA, SF and esp. Kern county was truly gagging and choking.

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