Friday, 15 June 2018

Rüsselsheim Research and Development Center Plays Key Role in Groupe PSA Global Engineering Network

Rüsselsheim TechDay


  • Top Groupe PSA technologies meet the art of German engineering
  • New Opel models based on two modular multi-energy platforms
  • Platforms allow an individual layout according to the independent identity of each brand
  • Electrification of product portfolio is at the core of PACE! strategic plan
  • Responsibility for development of Groupe PSA light commercial vehicles and next generation four-cylinder petrol engines
  • 15 Centers of Competence in Rüsselsheim – from hydrogen fuel cells to seat development

Welcome to Rüsselsheim: Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller greets the expert audience at the Rüsselsheim Tech Day.

With Peugeot, Citroën, DS Automobiles, Opel and Vauxhall all under the roof of Groupe PSA, a European champion has been created. The group is now pooling its strengths, creating synergies and releasing the full potential of its brands. In the process, state-of-the-art Groupe PSA technologies meet the art of German engineering. Together, this results in a new level of quality. Groupe PSA thus harbours ambitious goals, such as leadership in the reduction of CO2 emissions.



The Engineering Center in Rüsselsheim takes on an important role within Group PSA. It brings typical Opel strengths to the global development network, including experience in sporty chassis designed for high speeds on the German “Autobahn”, US market federalisation and AGR ergonomic seats certified by “Aktion Gesunder Rücken”. Opel is a tradition-rich German brand, which has always democratised cutting-edge technologies. For Opel, the Engineering Center in Rüsselsheim guarantees the combination of German engineering, precision and innovations that customers can afford.

“We want to build first-class automobiles and also excite our customers through compelling quality,” said Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller. “As we announced at the presentation of our PACE! strategic plan in November 2017, we will develop all new Opel/Vauxhall vehicles in Rüsselsheim in future. Furthermore, the Engineering Center will play a key role in the implementation of Groupe PSA’s growth strategy.”

Modular multi-energy platforms: For efficient variety of models

Currently the keyword in the automobile business is efficiency. In order to manufacture efficient, economic and climate-friendly cars, the base design is key. This is why all passenger cars and most light commercial vehicles (LCVs) of Groupe PSA are currently derived from two multi-energy modular platforms – the Common Modular Platform (CMP) and the Efficient Modular Platform (EMP2). A modular platform consists primarily of the floor assembly, the chassis and various powertrains, as well as the base electric/electronic architecture. The platform is therefore the decisive factor for cost-efficient automobile manufacturing and represents 60 % of the material costs. The Groupe PSA platforms are complemented with modules for engines, seats, restraints, cockpits and infotainment systems that can be used in various carlines.

“Thanks to the jointly used platforms, we will – depending on the programmes – save between 20 %  and 50 % of the development costs of every new Opel/Vauxhall model compared to its predecessor,” said Lohscheller.

Cost saver: New Opel models will be based on two modular multi-energy platforms, here the Common Modular Platform (CMP) for vehicles in the B and C market segments.

Different variants for various segments and international markets can be developed on these modular platforms: four and five-door sedans and hatchbacks, station wagons, vans, sport utility vehicles (SUV), convertibles and coupés are possible. The Groupe PSA platform dedicated to vehicles in the B and C segments is called CMP. New Opel Corsa, which will make its world premiere next year, is currently being developed on this very compact platform. Opel Grandland X SUV and the family-friendly Opel Combo Life leisure activity vehicle (LAV) are based on the EMP2 – which is used for the passenger car C and D segments.

Multi-energy platform: New Opel models will be based on two modular multi-energy platforms, here the Efficient Modular Platform (EMP2) for the passenger car C and D segments.

In addition, EMP2 also provides each individual Groupe PSA brand with the option of personalising each car to perfectly match the respective brand character. This flexibility ensures that an Opel model is distinctively different to the Peugeot, Citroën or DS Automobiles model based on the same platform.

“Hardware, software, the choice of modules, different set-ups, calibration – all this helps us create a brand-specific character for each and every car. It also permits us to safeguard and further develop the Opel DNA and make sure that an Opel drives like an Opel,” said Christian Müller, Managing Director Engineering.

State-of-the-art powertrains for lowest CO2 emissions

Opel goes electric. The electrification of the Opel product portfolio is at the core of the PACE! strategic plan. One of the main goals of this plan is to meet the 95-gramme CO2 limit of the EU by 2020. Groupe PSA is looking to take over a leading role on low CO2 emissions – not only because it has been mandated by the authorities but also because the customers expect it. The Opel model range is therefore quickly transitioning to the efficient, flexible and electrified platforms of the Groupe PSA. By 2024, all Opel/Vauxhall passenger cars will be based on these so-called multi-energy platforms. The new CMP is the basis both for conventional propulsion systems as well as for a generation of electric vehicles (from urban to SUV). In addition, EMP2 is the basis for the next generation of plug-in hybrid vehicles (SUV, CUV, mid-range and high-end vehicles). These platforms enable a flexible adaptation to the development of the powertrain mix according to future market demands.

Opel will already have four electrified model lines on the market by 2020, including the Opel Ampera-e, Opel Grandland X SUV as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and the next Opel Corsa generation with a battery electric vehicle (BEV). Moving forward, all European passenger car lines will be electrified, either with a battery electric or plug-in hybrid variant, alongside models powered by highly efficient combustion engines. Opel/Vauxhall will thus become a leader in emissions reduction and be a fully electrified European passenger car brand by 2024. The electrification of the light commercial vehicle portfolio will begin in 2020 to meet customer needs and future requirements of urban areas.

The engineering team in Rüsselsheim is currently making a major contribution to the development of the electric version of the new Opel Corsa generation, a battery-powered variant. Opel can draw on a wealth of experience with its two electric cars Opel Ampera (premiere Geneva Motor Show 2009) and Opel Ampera-e (Paris 2016). 

The Opel Ampera-e fully suitable for everyday use set standards with its range of up to 520 kilometres according to the New European Driving Cycle. 

Be it hardware, software, battery-pack or manufacturing, Rüsselsheim’s expertise in all these areas is highly valued by Groupe PSA. The new Opel Corsa, including the electric variant, will be built in the Spanish plant in Zaragoza.

Research & development for the entire Groupe PSA in Rüsselsheim

The Opel Engineering Center is taking over a key role within Groupe PSA. It brings typical Opel strengths to the company’s global research and development networks. Amongst others, this includes the experience with sporty chassis designed for the high speeds permitted on the German “Autobahn” along with US market federalisation and the AGR-certified (Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V.) ergonomic seats. The Rüsselsheim Engineering Center will continue to ensure the connection between German engineering, precision and affordable innovations for the Opel brand. As already announced during the presentation of the PACE! plan on November 9, 2017, all new Opel/Vauxhall vehicles will be developed in Rüsselsheim. At the same time, the Rüsselsheim Engineering Center shows that it will play an integral part in supporting Groupe PSA’s growth strategy.

The engineering team in Rüsselsheim also leads the development of Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) of Groupe PSA that are built on a dedicated LCV platform. This global responsibility includes the development of an LCV platform and modules from advanced development to production maturity. The development priorities also include the networking and electrification of light commercial vehicles along with automated driving. Leading the development in Rüsselsheim is a key component of the Opel/Vauxhall LCV offensive. The all-new Opel Combo is already making its debut this year, the next generation Opel Vivaro will follow in 2019.

Moreover, the Rüsselsheim Engineering Center will take on the global responsibility for the development of the next generation of high-efficiency petrol engines for all Groupe PSA brands. The next generation of four-cylinder engines will be optimised for operation in combination with electric motors and will be used in the drive train of hybrid systems. Market introduction will begin in 2022. The new generation of engines is designated for use in all Groupe PSA brands in China, Europe and North America, meeting the future emissions standards of these markets. The power units feature state-of-the-art technologies such as direct injection, turbocharging and variable valve control. The engines are thus highly efficient and will deliver low fuel consumption and low CO2 values.

Another focal point is the continuous advancement of all existing models along with the development of future vehicles and powertrains. For example, this includes the refinement of the Small Gasoline Engine (SGE) and the Mid-size Diesel Engine (MDE) families that are available in the Opel Astra and Opel Insignia and ensuring that these units meet the applicable emissions standards.

Furthermore, Groupe PSA has currently established 15 Centers of Competence in Rüsselsheim. The development teams from France and Germany defined development areas (R&D) within a short period of time in order to unleash the full potential for the entire group. The abilities of the various competence teams complement each other in a global network – to the benefit of all five group brands (Opel, Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroën and DS Automobiles). These so-called Centers of Competence enable universal technical standards and optimal realisation within Groupe PSA around the globe.

Opel is now playing to some of the typical company strengths within Groupe PSA. Outstanding seats and sharp shifting of manual transmissions, for example, are just two of the fundamental virtues of every Opel/Vauxhall model. Furthermore, the Opel engineers have extensive experience in fuel cell development and in the area of test automation. They will also bring a wealth of knowledge in US market federalisation to the table and make this available to Groupe PSA. In total, 15 of these dedicated areas have now been brought together in the Centers of Competence to date:

Future technologies:
  • Hydrogen & fuel cells
  • Alternative fuels

Vehicle development:
  • Seats
  • ADAS: parking, active safety, danger alert
  • Restraint systems
  • Manual transmission systems
  • Geometry, dimensions and tolerances
  • Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)
  • Vehicle fuel function
  • Vehicle material engineering (for many areas)
  • US market federalisation (vehicle and powertrain)

  • Test automation
  • Software industrialisation
  • Automation of quality checks
  • 3D print of assembly tools

Rüsselsheim Engineering Center Develops Next Four-Cylinder Petrol Engine Generation for Groupe PSA

  • Innovative four-cylinder petrol engine family for highest efficiency and low emissions
  • Market-introduction as of 2022 in China, Europe and North America
  • Optimised for use with electric motors in hybrid systems
  • Global responsibility for new engine family adds to earlier announced competencies in Rüsselsheim

The Rüsselsheim Engineering Center will take on the global responsibility for the development of the next-generation of high-efficiency petrol engines for all Groupe PSA brands (Peugeot, Citroën, DS Automobiles, Opel and Vauxhall). The next generation of four-cylinder engines will be optimised for operation in combination with electric motors and will be used in the drive train of hybrid systems. Market-introduction will begin in 2022.

The new generation of engines is designated for use in all Groupe PSA brands in China, Europe and North America, meeting the future emission standards of these markets. The power units feature state-of-the-art technologies such as direct-injection, turbocharging and variable valve control. The engines are thus highly efficient and will deliver low fuel consumption and low CO2 values.

“Rüsselsheim already had global responsibility for engine development when we were still part of GM. With the development of the new generation of four-cylinder petrol engines, we can exploit one of our key competencies. The economic direct-injection, in combination with hybrid technology, will consolidate the strong position of Groupe PSA in lowering CO2 emissions,” said Opel’s Managing Director Engineering, Christian Müller.

The Rüsselsheim Engineering Center has decades of experience in the construction of efficient petrol engines. The engineers are now developing the new engine generation on the basis of the current Groupe PSA four-cylinder PureTech units. These all-aluminium engine, which have a displacement of 1.6 litres, already convince with a high level of efficiency and direct throttle response – virtues that the successor generation will build upon.

The upcoming four-cylinder units form the second petrol engine family of Groupe PSA from 2022 alongside the well-known three-cylinder PureTech turbo engine that only recently won the “Engine of the Year” award for the fourth time in a row. In addition to the responsibility for the new engine family, the engineering team in Rüsselsheim also leads the development of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) for the entire group. This includes the development of LCV platforms and modules from advanced development to production maturity. Furthermore, Groupe PSA has currently established 15 Centers of Competence in Rüsselsheim – from hydrogen & fuel cell to seat development.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

New Everyday Hero: Prices for Opel Combo Life Start at €19,995

  • Order books open: Innovative leisure activity van all daily tasks
  • All in: Numerous ultra-modern driver assistance systems as standard
  • Clean performance: All petrol and diesel units already meet Euro 6d-TEMP standard
  • Extremely flexible: Available with long or short wheelbase with five or seven seats
  • Always good for a surprise: Perfect for young explorer

On sale now: The innovative Opel Combo Life offers lots of interior space, flexibility and numerous advanced technologies for a starting price of 19,995 euros including VAT in Germany.

The new everyday hero is in the starting blocks and the order books for the innovative Opel Combo Life are now open. It offers plenty of space thanks to a completely new architecture, flexible configuration optionally as a short (4.4 meters) or XL version (4.75 meters) both with either five or seven seats and robust, Opel-typical design. Full of character, a real space wonder and a true friend that not only families will love. The new Opel Combo Life offers a feel-good atmosphere with an unrivalled number of ultra-modern technologies for this segment. Even for an attractive entry-level price of €19,995 the all-rounder has driver assistance systems such as Forward collision alert with pedestrian detection and Automatic Emergency Braking[1], Lane Keep Assist, Hill Start Assist, Intelligent Speed Adaptation and Speed Limiter along with Driver Drowsiness Alerts and Speed Sign recognition. Elsewhere, features such as the comfort driver and front passenger seats or tinted heat-absorbing glazing increase the well-being of the occupants of the entry-level version.

Flexible, stylish, environmentally friendly: New Opel Combo Life is powered by Euro 6d-TEMP engines.

For prices starting at €23,450 the Opel Combo Life is available in the Edition trim. This then includes further equipment features such as the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible Multimedia Radio with eight-inch colour touchscreen, air-conditioning and heated steering wheel as standard.

Typically Opel: Centre console of the new Combo Life is clearly influenced by the brand’s German DNA.

“The new Opel Combo Life, which is available to order now, is perfect for any situation. A real everyday hero,” said Peter Küspert, Managing Director Sales and Marketing Opel Automobile GmbH. “Our newcomer impresses with maximum flexibility, a high level of comfort, ultra-modern driver assistance and infotainment systems along with numerous clever solutions. And all this is available for an entry-level price below €20,000. We are once again democratising innovations with the new Combo Life.”

The portfolio of lively and frugal petrol and diesel engines (Fuel consumption[2]: urban 6.7-4.5 l/100 km, extra-urban 5.1-3.8 l/100 km, combined 5.7-4.1 l/100 km, 130-108 g/km CO2) deliver the matching driving performance. They already meet the stringent Euro 6d-TEMP emissions standard that comes into force for all new registrations in September 2019. The units will be combined with modern five and six-speed manual transmission. In addition, a segment first, especially low-friction eight-speed automatic with Quickshift technology will also be available. It can be ordered in combination with the 1.5-litre, 96 kW/130 hp top-of-the-range diesel that delivers maximum torque of 300 Nm (Fuel consumption2: urban 4.8-4.6 l/100 km, extra-urban 4.3-4.1 l/100 km, combined 4.5-4.3 l/100 km, 118-113 g/km CO2).

Elsewhere, the new Opel Combo Life raises the bar with regards to safety and comfort. It is fitted with technologies and driver assistance systems well-known from the compact or SUV segment such as, Rear View Camera with 180° bird’s-eye view, Head up display and IntelliGrip electronic traction control that ensure outstanding traction and stable handling no matter whether the Combo Life is driving on mud, sand, wet roads or snow. One of the newcomers to the Opel portfolio of assistance systems is Flank Guard[3]. It supports drivers when turning at low speeds. And on top of that the new Opel Combo Life is also pleasant on the eye thanks to bold proportions giving a strong and robust appearance.

Comfortable, flexible, practical – and extremely clever

Apart from the unusual amount of technologies and assistance systems for a car in this segment, the Opel Combo Life will also delight families and traders with a lot of space and maximum flexibility while also maintaining a high level of comfort. Both the standard and the longer version of the 1.8-metre high van are available with either five or seven seats. The five-seat, standard length version has a minimum luggage volume of 597 litres[4]. People requiring even more space can obviously also opt for the long wheelbase with a minimum luggage volume of 850 litres3. The newcomer also displays true transporter qualities with the seats folded down. The luggage volume of the standard version more than triples to 2,126 litres[5] while the long version can carry up to 2,693 litres5.

All aboard: With up to 2,693 litres of versatile storage space, new Opel Combo Life can accommodate a huge variety of passengers, creatures and objects.

Furthermore, the developers have also thought about how to transport long items. Therefore, the front passenger seat folds flush with the rear seats, extending the length of the loading area so that even surfboards can be transported. The designers also ensured that the annoying gap sometimes left between luggage and tailgate can be utilised thanks to the optional opening window integrated in the tailgate (standard on Opel Combo Life INNOVATION). Those in need of even more space and even more storage possibilities or those who want to tow a trailer (trailer load up to 1,500 kg) can obviously also attach a trailer via the optional fixed or removable towing hook.

The second row seating setup of both variants also caters for individual preferences. Customers will be able to choose between the standard second row bench with 60/40 split or alternatively three individual seats, which can be folded conveniently from the boot[6]. In both cases, each seating position has its own Isofix child seat bracket as standard allowing for three child seats to be fitted next to each other.

Fit for fun: Unusually for a car in this class, New Opel Combo Life can accommodate three children in their safety seats in the second row.

Furthermore, each seat has a top tether anchor point designed to lessen forward movement of the forward facing child seat in the event of a frontal collision and thus reduce the risk of injury. Meanwhile, easy access to the passenger compartment is guaranteed by the large sliding doors.

Sky’s the limit: Occupants of the new Opel Combo Life will get stars in their eyes with the optional panoramic roof, which also features a shelf illuminated by LED lighting in the ceiling.

The panoramic roof (standard for Opel Combo Life Innovation) permits passenger to savour starry nights or lap up the warm rays of the sun. When the sun is too strong for the occupants’ liking, an electric sunblind, activated though a switch in the overhead console, can be closed, providing total protection. When open, the panoramic roof also improves the feeling of space even further while simultaneously creating a pleasant and light ambience. When ordered with the panoramic roof, the Opel Combo Life comes with overhead storage running down the centre of the vehicle with LED lighting as standard. Furthermore, in this configuration the newcomer is also fitted with a large 36-litre storage box mounted above the hat tray in the boot. This enables for some of the space normally not utilised when not packing up to the roof is used sensibly – without impeding the view of following traffic through the rear view mirror. The driver and front seat passenger can find further useful storage possibilities in the central console, the door pockets and an upper and lower glove box.

Last, but not least the numerous connectivity possibilities ensure outstanding entertainment. Opel Combo Life offers Opel-typical modern Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible infotainment systems with up to eight-inch capacitive colour touchscreen along with USB ports in the front and second to charge tablets and smartphones. A 230V power socket in the front footwell even allows one passenger to plug in a laptop. Furthermore, compatible smartphones can also be charged wirelessly via the inductive charging pad.

 1] Works automatically above 5 km/h and below 85 km/h. From 0 to 30 km/h the deceleration metric to reduce the impact speed of the collision is 0.9 g. From 30 to 85 km/h the system brakes to the speed by a maximum of 22 km/h. After this threshold, the driver needs to brake himself to reduce the speed even further.
[2] WLTP measurements converted to NEDC values for comparison
[3] active below 10km/h
[4] Measured until the top of the back seat.
[5] Measured up to the roof.
[6] Available from 2019.