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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

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.



If Mercedes can achieve 30+% why couldn't Opel/GM do as well?


Because - it's Opel/GM we're talking about!


“If Mercedes can achieve 30+% why couldn't Opel/GM do as well?”

Because, in line with their “Increasing profit margin per vehicle” strategy, the technologies used here by Opel/GM are actually quite old; they were developed 25+ years ago but directly withheld from consumers by kinky automakers (who were in bed with oil and lawyers).

The necessary metals, turbos, injectors, microprocessors and inflated PR have been available for DECADES, but lawyers (the oldest profession) were always ready to quash any class action lawsuits.


ToppaTom, do you realize how ignorant you sound? What microprocessors were available 30 years ago? What injectors? My 1984 Honda Civic had a carburetor. My 1984 IBM PC wouldn't have enough processing power to control the ash tray lights in my current VW Passat, much less the variable valve timing and turbo gate controls that enable my car to have 200 HP and 30 MPG Hwy with no turbo lag.

And thanks for that gratuitous slam against lawyers. I hope you've never been in a car accident. Remember if you have, you likely owe your survival to the pressure lawyers put on car manufacturers to stop making cars that killed their drivers and passengers.

Now learn how to express yourself without bigotry before you post again.


Dollarded...don't you think that all mid-size cars could do 60 to 100 mpg today with an adequate concerted effort by manufacturers. All required technologies are there.

A 2000 lbs 5-passenger light weight PHEV with a light weight 1.0 L (or so) light weight high efficiency genset, an up-to-date 10 to 20 KWh battery pack and up-to-date e-ancillaries with solar roof panels could probably break the 100 mph point in most weather conditions.

Such cars will be built soon in China, India, Japan and Korea but importation will be delayed for years for many well known reasons.


@Dollared -- Right on. Early in my career, I worked on the Apollo (moon shot) guidance system. My cell phone which probably cost about $100 to manufacture has 500,000 times the memory of the Apollo guidance computer. A few years ago, I was working on some transmission designs and felt bad that I had not thought of the dual clutch transmission. Well, it turns out that I am not old enough (and I am probably older than most on the forum). It was invented in the 1930's but microprocessor control was required to make it practical. Most things required a convergence of the right technologies at the right price.

@ HarveyD -- your dream car is available now made by GM in the US as the Volt or by Opel in Germany as the Ampere. Except that it does not have the PV cells which generate about 3/4 of a kWh per day per square meter of area if you had the car mounted on a gimbals so that it would track the sun.


Hi Harvey, I certainly share your frustration but I don't blame conspiracies (too much - after all, oil companies are eeeeeviiiilllll and they have really undermined our country). I am elated that we now have what we have - mid-size vehicle efficiency will double from 2005 from 2015, and that is great. The reality is that now we need to fight tooth and nail to tax vehicles by weight, and for a substantial gas tax. Until we do, Europe's cars will be more efficient, especially in the family vehicle segments.


The ignorance is yours Dollared.

That was sarcasm - and not even elegantly subtle.

Do you actually think;
"technologies used here by Opel/GM are actually quite old; they were developed 25+ years ago but directly withheld from consumers by kinky automakers (who were in bed with oil and lawyers)." makes any sense?

Think before you post.


Actually, if that was sarcasm, it was pretty subtle. Sounded to me like you were making a statement of fact.


I'm hoping it's been designed to be eAssist compatible

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