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Opel to Debut New Astra at Frankfurt; Improved Fuel Consumption Across the Line-up

The Astra (left) and Ampera (right). Click to enlarge.

Opel will debut the new Astra at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show; the company will also showcase the Ampera, Opel’s implementation of the Voltec extended range electric vehicle architecture. The Ampera made its global debut in march at the Geneva Motor Show. (Earlier post.)

The Astra powertrain line-up features eight engines with high specific power outputs (from 70 kW/95 hp to 132 kW/180 hp), low fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions. All engines meet the Euro 5 emission norms. Most come standard with six-speed manual transmissions, although five speeds are standard on the naturally-aspirated 1.4 and 1.6-liter gasoline and the 1.3 turbo diesel. A six-speed automatic transmission is available as an option with the 1.6, 1.4 Turbo and 1.6 Turbo gasoline engines and with the 2.0 turbo diesel motor.

GM Exploring Keeping Opel
Negotiations over GM’s sale of Opel to Magna or RHJ have stalled, with the German government favoring the Magna bid and GM preferring that of RHJ, according to an update report in the Detroit News.
GM is also exploring ways to retain ownership of Opel, as first reported in the Wall Street Journal.
A sale to RHJ would also keep Opel within GM’s sphere of operations and make it possible for an eventual repurchase.

The Astra’s line up of powertrains with manual transmission cuts fuel consumption and CO2 emissions overall by more than 12% compared with the current generation. The average fuel consumption of the four diesel engines ranging from 70 kW (95 hp) to 118 kW (160 hp), which are expected to represent almost half of the new Astra cars sold in Europe at launch, is 4.6 L/100 km (51.1 mpg US).

The average fuel consumption of the gasoline line-up is 6.1 L/100 km (38.6 mpg US). Continuing Opel’s strategy of downsizing, a new 103 kW (140 hp) 1.4 Turbo gasoline engine replaces the current 1.8 liter variant, improving fuel efficiency by nearly 18%.

Our strategy is to offer a complete Astra range with fuel efficient engines at an accessible price, rather than focusing all attention on one single, spectacular, yet expensive, low CO2 version. With this we are continuing to provide real-life fuel consumption reduction while preserving a great fun-to-drive experience.

—Carl-Peter Forster, Chairman of Opel’s Supervisory Board

Diesel. The CDTI turbo diesel line-up includes 1.3-, 1.7- and 2.0-liter units, all common-rail with multiple fuel injection ranging in power from 70 kW/95 hp to 118 kW/160 hp. All engines are equipped with a particulate filter as standard. Even the 2.0 CDTI with 118 kW/160 hp only requires 4.9 L/100 km (48 mpg US) on average and emits no more than 129 g/km CO2.

A first ecoFLEX generation with CO2 emissions of 109 g/km and an average fuel consumption of 4.2 L/100 km (56 mpg US) will be added to the range in spring 2010.

Gasoline. The gasoline range comprises naturally-aspirated and turbocharged 1.4 and 1.6-liter engines, giving a power bandwidth from 74 kW/100 hp to 132 kW/180 hp. The 74kW/100hp entry level version in the gasoline line-up emits consumes 5.5 L/100 km (42.8 mpg US) and 129 g/km CO2. This makes it the most fuel efficient gasoline compact on the market, according to Opel.

Highlighting Opel’s continued strategy of reducing CO2 emissions through engine capacity downsizing, an all-new 1.4-liter Turbo engine will join the line-up, producing 103 kW/140 hp and some 200 N·m of torque available between 1,850 and 4,900 rpm. This engine replaces the naturally aspirated 1.8-liter unit (140 hp/175 N·m) from the current range with similar output yet featuring 15% more torque with fuel consumption of 5.9 L/100km (39.9 mpg US), for nearly 18% improvement.

The Ampera. Equipped with a 16 kWh Li-ion battery pack, the five-door, four-seat hatchback has a battery-powered range of up to 60 km (37 miles) (MVEG cycle). An on-board gasoline/E85-fueled engine-generator extends the Ampera’s range to more than 500 km (311 miles). Opel has announced production of the Ampera for late 2011.



Now Opel is no longer part of GM, I must assume each will finalize the development of the Ampera/Volt in isolation. It will be interesting to see the differences between the Ampera and Volt once they go on sale.

This makes it the most fuel efficient gasoline compact on the market, according to Opel

Not counting a few hybrids.... (which technically are still gasoline cars)


GM, with more $$B from the recovery program, may not have to sell Opel. Moving part of Opel to China, Russia or India may be a way to make it profitable. That may be what one of the lead potential buyer intended to do.

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