Saturday, 21 January 2012

New Opel’s ecoFlex LPG models

  • Astra 5 door, Astra Sports Tourer, Meriva now available with 1.4 Turbo LPG engines
  • Corsa 1.2 LPG on sale since summer 2011
  • LPG debut of Zafira Tourer and Insignia in autumn 2012
  • Up to 40% lower fuel costs and up to 15% lower emissions than comparable gasoline engines
1.4 Opel ECOTEC Turbo LPG Bi-Fuel engine
Opel is expanding and enhancing its Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) offer. The Astra 5 door hatchback, the Astra Sports Tourer and the Meriva can now be ordered with the new, powerful yet economical 1.4 Turbo LPG ecoFlex engine.

The engine that can operate in LPG and gasoline mode packs a punch and is available in two power versions: 103 kW/140hp with 200 Nm of torque in the Astra 5 door and Sports Tourer and 88 kW/120hp with 175 Nm in the Meriva. CO2 emissions of the Euro 5 certified engine in LPG mode are as low as 124 g/km for the Meriva, 129 g/km for the Astra 5 door and 132 g/km for the Astra Sports Tourer in the combined cycle.

Opel Astra Sports Tourer with LPG gas tank
The entry price for the Astra 5 door 1.4 Turbo LPG ecoFLEX is 22.670 Euro, for the Astra Sports Tourer LPG 23.770 and for the Meriva LPG version prices start at 22.240 Euro (all recommended retail prices in Germany, including VAT).
Their debut comes after the Corsa LPG 1.2 ecoFLEX 3 and 5 door models had their launch in June 2011, marking the start of the new generation of Opel LPG vehicles. The Corsa 1.2 LPG three door version delivers 61kW/83 hp in LPG mode yet only emits 110 g/km CO2.
In the autumn of 2012, Opel’s ecoFLEX spectrum will be further expanded when the 1.4 Turbo LPG ecoFLEX versions of the Zafira Tourer and the Insignia are released.

LPG is part of Opel’s portfolio of alternative propulsion systems that also includes CNG models (Compressed Natural Gas: Zafira 1.6 Turbo, Zafira Tourer 1.6 CNG Turbo and Combo 1.4 CNG Turbo) as well as electric vehicles such as the revolutionary Opel Ampera with range extender. The Ampera is the first electric vehicle that can go anywhere anytime and was just nominated as a finalist for the “Car of the Year 2012” award.
LPG owners can make fuel cost savings of up to 40%. In certain countries, such as Germany, there are significant tax incentives for LPG vehicle owners. LPG customers can expect up to 15% lower CO2 emissions in LPG mode than their gasoline counterparts. In addition, the new Euro 5 standard models, Opel offers a complete LPG solution ex works, ensuring that the LPG ecoFLEX models are delivered in high Opel quality and with the full manufacturer warranty. Since 2009, Opel has been producing LPG vehicles. Around 61,000 vehicles have been sold across Europe with around 80% in Italy alone.
Opel Corsa 1.2 LPG gas fueling
All Opel LPG models offer the full functionality of a gasoline engine combined with the specific advantages of LPG. That is because an LPG tank is installed in addition to a gasoline tank. This means LPG vehicles have considerably lower fuel bills and increased operating range: without range anxiety. For example, the total operating range of the Astra 5-door 1.4 Turbo LPG ecoFLEX featuring a 56 liter gasoline tank and a 49 liter LPG tank is more than 1,400 kilometers.

Environmentally friendly innovations
For its latest generation of LPG engines, Opel has carried out a significant optimization of the engine and LPG unit software so that both elements communicate better with one another. The engine can alternate easily between the LPG and the gasoline modes and adjust according to which type of fuel is being used. This means that the engine runs more efficiently and CO2 emissions are kept to a minimum.

Easy to use LPG switch
The Corsa, Astra and Meriva LPG models all feature a new, easy to reach Gasoline/LPG switch centrally located in the instrument panel, making the switch over between the LPG and gasoline mode easier than ever. Operation modes (LPG to gasoline and vice versa) are switched automatically or can be chosen manually. A light is illuminated inside the switch when the vehicle is in LPG mode. As soon as the car switches into gasoline usage the light is switched off. This innovation will also be offered in the Zafira Tourer and Insignia LPG variants for 2012.

LPG tank storage solution
Opel’s customized LPG system has a practical storage solution for the LPG gas. It has been optimally integrated in the spare-wheel housing. This ensures that the passenger and load compartments are spacious and are not restricted. Tire repair kits are offered as standard on board all LPG vehicles.

Opel’s current LPG ecoFLEX range
LPG ecoFLEX model
Fuel mode
Output (kW/hp)
Top speed
(l/100 km)
CO2 emissions
Astra 5 door
1.4 Turbo
Astra Sports Tourer 1.4 Turbo
Meriva 1.4 Turbo
Corsa 1.2
3 door
61/83 vs.63/85
Corsa 1.2
5 door
61/83 vs.63/85
7.1 / 5.6

Opel Meriva MPV with LPG gas tank

Opel Meriva MPV LPG gas fueling
Opel Meriva MPV 1.4 Turbo LPG

New Opel Zafira Tourer 1.6 CNG Turbo

  • 1.6 liter CNG Turbo ecoFLEX with 110 kW/150 hp, only 129g/km CO2
  • 530 kilometers CNG range with full 7 seat configuration
  • Innovative light weight gas tank system now enables 25 kg CNG capacity

Shortly after the Zafira Tourer’s world premiere at the 64th Frankfurt Motor Show, Opel is broadening the spectrum of its new compact monocab with highly efficient and environmentally friendly alternative propulsion. In January 2012, the new natural gas ecoFLEX version with a best-in-class CNG range of up to 530 km – well beyond the 500 km mark - will be added to the powertrain portfolio of Opel’s flexibility master. Like the previous model, the Zafira Tourer features Opel’s MonovalentPlus system and has a 14 liter gasoline reserve, giving it an extra 150 km range. 

Opel Zafira Tourer 1.6 CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) Turbo ecoFLEX has 110 kW/150 hp, 210 Nm of torque and reaches a top speed of 200 km/h. The vehicle only uses 4.7 kilograms (7.2 m3) of natural gas per 100 kilometers in the combined cycle which is at least 6% better than the predecessor Zafira CNG model. CO2 emissions were reduced to 129 g/km (predecessor: 139 g/km), thereby fulfilling the Euro 5 norm. However, the 1.6 liter engine can also run on biogas or a mixture of natural gas and biogas. In the case of 100% biogas propulsion, the carbon foot print is almost zero. 

The extended CNG range of the seven-seat vehicle represents an improvement of around 25% on its predecessor. These enhancements have been mainly achieved with a new light weight gas tank system providing an increased CNG capacity of now 25 kg (predecessor: 21 kg) and an optimization of the drivetrain. 

Prices for the Zafira Tourer CNG version, which can already be ordered, start at 27,950 Euro (recommended retail price in Germany, including VAT). CNG vehicles like the new Zafira Tourer offer significantly lower running costs than their gasoline counterparts. For example, in Germany CNG is 50% cheaper than gasoline

Cutting edge gas storage solution

Opel engineers increased the volume of the gas tanks to 25 kilograms from previously 21 kilograms. This has helped to boost the operative range in the CNG mode by around 25% to 530 km. Rather than using conventional steel gas cylinders, the engineers opted for state-of-the art composite material including carbon fiber. The use of this lightweight material resulted in a weight saving of 85 kilograms.

Another important innovation that has further increased the range is the use of electronic pressure regulators rather than mechanical ones, as it was the case in the Zafira CNG predecessor model. The electronic regulators ensure that when the gas cylinders are almost empty, even small remaining reserves can be efficiently exploited. In the seven seat configuration, the Zafira Tourer CNG has a clear advantage over its competitors in terms of operating range.

MonovalentPlus concept for maximum efficiency and everyday suitability

Opel was the first manufacturer to optimize engines for the use of natural gas by employing the clever MonovalentPlus system. Under the tried and tested concept the engine has been optimized to use CNG but the vehicle also holds a 14 liter auxiliary gasoline tank. When the CNG tanks are empty, the vehicle automatically starts utilizing the gasoline reserves.
On the engine side, the optimization includes several measures: as natural gas has an anti-knock resistance of up to 130 octane, compression can be increased, yielding greater efficiency. The increase in the compression ratio is also supported by a piston specially designed for use with natural gas. The cylinder selective sequential injection, with an injection block and four injectors for natural gas and gasoline, also permits precision control of the injection timing and quantity. This reduces harmful emissions, leading in turn to especially clean exhaust gases. 

Opel Zafira: The flagship CNG vehicle

Since launching its first CNG vehicle in 2001, Opel has sold more than 70,000 CNG powered vehicles throughout Europe, including the Zafira, the Astra Caravan and the Combo. More than two-thirds of total CNG sales are for the Zafira. This makes the Zafira the undisputed bestseller and flagship of Opel’s CNG offering. Opel has consistently been in the top three manufacturers in terms of total European sales in the CNG segment.

While the Opel Zafira 1.6 Turbo CNG version is still available, the new Opel Zafira Tourer 1.6 CNG Turbo ecoFLEX takes the Opel CNG offer up-market. The new Opel Zafira Tourer offers a perfect blend of functionality and comfort. It brings the Insignia values to the monocab segment – premium qualities, innovative technologies, sculptural and dynamic design. With an extensively redesigned Flex7 seating system, the new Zafira Tourer now sets novel standards in interior flexibility and atmosphere.

Friday, 20 January 2012

!NEW! Irmscher Insignia Cross Four / Opel Insignia Country Tourer

Rumored All-Road version of Opel Insignia Sports Tourer. At many sites, these official looking images presents as the Opel Irmscher Insignia Cross Four. The VW Passat Alltrack and Peugeot 508 RXH rival is equipped with big protective chassis covers and also with plastic forms on bumpers. FlexRide chassis should be height adjustable. For this All-Road vesion are possible two engines - 2.0 CDTI 118 kW/160hp or 2.0 Bi-Turbo CDTI 143 kW/195hp.

Irmscher Insignia ST Cross Four LIVE at Geneva 2012

Irmscher Insignia ST Cross Four

15.4. 2013 UPDATE: Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann today confirm in interview for german magazine Bild new All-road version of Opel Insignia Sports Tourer 4x4 called Country Tourer.  New All-road version will be revealed this year with upcoming Opel Insignia  facelift.

30.6. 2013 UPDATE: First official teaser of the new Opel Insignia Country Tourer.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Opel Insignia 2012 - Exclusive sequential Double Turbo technology

  • New 2.0 CDTI BiTurbo with unique Twin intercooler system
  • Front and All wheel drive
  • Agile, responsive and fluid power delivery: 143 kW/195 hp, 400 Nm torque
  • Fuel consumption, emissions as low as 4.9 l/100 km (129 g/km CO2)
  • SuperSport chassis with HiPerStrut on all Insignia AWD
  • New, Radar based driver assistance systems further boost safety                     

    As of January 2012, Opel crowns the diesel offering with a new, dynamic yet highly efficient BiTurbo engine. The 2.0 liter CDTI power unit not only delivers 143 kW/195 hp and 400 Nm of torque; fuel consumption starts as low as 4.9 liters per 100 kilometers (129 g/km CO2).

    The Insignia BiTurbo is this one of the most fuel efficient mid size cars.
    The highlight of the four cylinder common rail engine is the sequential double turbo system with two charging stages. This technology has so far been limited to a few higher priced brands. However, Opel is now making it accessible to a wider segment of customers. Buyers have the option to combine the new engine with front or all-wheel drive (AWD). The Insignia 2.0 BiTurbo CDTI is available in all body styles starting at 33,405 Euro.
    In spring 2012, there will be more innovations in the Opel Insignia range. Every AWD variant can be ordered with a SuperSport chassis featuring the front suspension from the Insignia OPC (Opel Performance Center) with high performance struts (HiPerStrut). This gives their driving dynamics an even sharper edge. In addition, new Radar based driver assistance systems further enhance active safety in the Insignia.        

    Intelligent BiTurbo technology boosts performance and cuts fuel consumption
    The new 2.0 BiTurbo CDTI engine with 143 kW/195 hp and 400 Nm of torque is designed to deliver especially agile, responsive and fluid performance under acceleration. The Insignia BiTurbo accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 8.7 seconds and has a top speed of 230 km/h. Fuel consumption and emissions however remain extremely low. The front wheel drive notchback versions only use 4.9 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (129 g CO2/km). All versions with manual transmission are equipped with Start/Stop, making the Insignia one of the most fuel efficient mid size cars.
    “In this class of power and torque, six cylinder diesel engines with around three liter displacements are the usual choice. With our BiTurbo technology smaller engines produce even more output while enabling 30 percent lower fuel consumption and emissions,” says Insignia chief engineer, Volker Scharf. “This is a very good example of successful ‘downsizing’ by Opel.”

    Sequential charging puts an end to turbo lag
    In the Insignia’s innovative BiTurbo system two turbochargers of different sizes work either separately or together. Among its competitors, Opel is the only manufacturer in the mid-size car segment to offer this sophisticated sequential turbocharging system in a diesel engine. The smaller turbocharger accelerates especially quickly at low engine speeds. This means the accelerator pedal responds without delay and the undesired “turbo lag” effect is prevented. Starting at 1500 rpm, the driver can already draw on 350 Nm - the average torque figure for powerful mid size class diesels.
    In the mid range of rpm both turbochargers operate together, with the larger turbocharger pre-compressing the intake air, before it is fully compressed in the smaller one. A bypass valve is controlled continuously to pass on part of the exhaust gases to the larger turbo. As a result, the driver continues to enjoy powerful acceleration. At higher rpm (from around 3000 rpm) all the gases flow directly to the larger turbocharger, maintaining the fluid power delivery at higher speeds.

    The main focus in the development in the 2.0 CDTI BiTurbo engine was to ensure a rapid build up of charge air pressure in the low rpm range, while giving the accelerator added responsiveness in the mid rpm range. The engine air is ideally adjusted according to the rpm range and the needs of the two turbochargers of different size. At low rpms an additional, water cooled intercooler that is exclusively linked to the small turbocharger ensures that the small volume of air passes in a short and direct path to the combustion chamber. In the mid rpm range, the bigger and more powerful turbocharger becomes increasingly involved. Its larger stream of air is cooled by the bigger, conventional intercooler. Opel is the first car brand to use such a “Twin Cooler system”.

    Opel has further optimized its engine efficiency by employing its innovative Cleantech technology which controls the combustion process via a closed loop electronic circuit. Sensors fitted to the glow plugs measure the pressure 130,000 times per minute, ensuring that the engine always operates in the optimum window of maximum performance, as well as minimum fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. 

    The third generation Common Rail direct injection system which runs at pressures of up to 2,000 bar, passes on fuel to ultra precise, piezoelectrically activated nozzles which deliver up to eight injections per work cycle. This provides a very precise combustion process with minimized noise and emissions.
    With the new top of the line 2.0 CDTI BiTurbo, the Opel Insignia range now boasts a spectrum of four common-rail direct injection turbo diesels with power outputs ranging from 81 kW/110 hp to 143 kW/195 hp.

    SuperSport Chassis with  available for all Insignia 4x4
    Another major innovation for all four-wheel drive versions of the Insignia is the optionally available SuperSport chassis. This technology which was previously confined to the sporty top of the line OPC model (Opel Performance Center) will be available to a wider scope of customers in spring 2012. The package comprises the mechatronic FlexRide system complete with electronically adaptive damping system, a high performance Brembo brake system and the HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) front wheel suspension known from the 325 hp Insignia OPC which further optimizes handling and steering precision.

    New Radar based driver assistance systems further enhance safety
    Not only performance enhancing features have been given a sharper edge: active safety has also received a significant boost thanks to a new radar system located behind the front grille. Insignia customers can now opt for the Radar-based Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). The new system maintains the selected speed during cruising, yet automatically adjusts the vehicle speed according to traffic conditions to secure a pre set safety distance with vehicles ahead. Further functionalities are available in conjunction with the radar system: The Following Distance Indication (FDI) informs the driver visually about the distance to the car ahead; the Forward Collision Alert (FCA) provides a visual and an audible signal to warn the driver of an imminent collision with the car ahead; and the Collision Imminent Braking (CIB) automatically decelerates the vehicle if the risk of a collision is detected.

    Opel Insignia Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Opel Insignia Model Year 2012

  • Economical: 1.4 Turbo ecoFLEX 103 kW/140 hp thriftiest gasoline engine
  • Ecological: Start/Stop system available for many engine variants
  • Powerful: 2.0 Turbo with 185 kW/250 hp delivers 400 Nm of torque
  • Added value: SD Card Navi 900 system, 2nd generation Front camera, Exclusive Nappa leather interior
  • More Safety: Forward Collision Alert (FCA)  
    New gasoline engine with 103 kW/140 hp stands for fuel economy
    Opel Insignia 1.4 Turbo ECOTEC
    The newly developed 1.4 turbo ecoFLEX gasoline engine is the product of uncompromising “downsizing”. Together with with six-speed manual transmission, Start/Stop technology, power steering, aerodynamic underbody paneling and size 225/50 R 17 low rolling resistance tires, it is the most economical gasoline engine in the entire mid-size class segment. 

  • All together, these measures reduce the 1.4 turbo fuel consumption – compared with the previous 1.8-liter version, also with 103 kW/140 hp – by two liters in the sedan to 5.7 liters per 100 kilometers. CO2 emissions are reduced by 45 grams to 134 grams per kilometer – in both cases a reduction of more than 25 percent. At the same time, the torque delivered by the most economical gasoline engine in its class was increased by almost 15 percent to 200 Nm.
    With this performance potential the Insignia 1.4 turbo ecoFLEX can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in just 10.9 seconds, reaching a maximum speed of 205 km/h. Opel’s top model is available with this propulsion variant as a sedan or as a Sports Tourer and – with 5.9 liters per 100 km and 139 g/km CO2 – it also sets standards in the station wagon segment.

    2.0 Turbo 4x4: More power and torque with reduced consumption
    The two liter turbo with direct injection in combination with the state of the art 4x4 all wheel drive goes into the new model year with 30 hp higher output. It is available with six speed manual transmission or automatic transmission. Improved engine delivers 185 kW/250 hp and maximum torque of 400 Nm (previously 350 Nm). This powerful drivetrain with manual transmission can sprint from zero to 100 km/h in just 7.5 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h.
    The 2 liter turbo unit is impressive proof that increased output and reduced fuel consumption can go hand in hand. Thanks to extensive measures like the Start/Stop system and low rolling resistance tires, Opel engineers were able to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions to 8.4 l/100 km and 197 g/km respectively (previously: 8.9 l/100 km, 209 g/km CO2).
    With this increase in power and torque and the even more dynamic characteristics – with simultaneous reduction in fuel consumption – the  Insignia 2.0 turbo 4x4 convinces with a top performance in the premium mid-size class segment.

    Opel Start/Stop system with many engine variants
    Not just the two units already mentioned benefit from the Opel Start/Stop system. The 162 kW/220 hp 2.0 turbo with front wheel drive and six speed manual transmission will soon be available with the intelligent fuel saving technology – including aerodynamic underbody paneling and rolling resistance optimized tires.

    New Infotainment systems

    Navi 900 - SD card
    Opel Insignia cockpit with Navi 900
    The new infotainment systems Navi 600 and Navi 900 Europa are far superior to the CD or DVD based predecessor versions in terms of the scope of features offered. All of the map material is stored on SD cards, and the maps can be adapted to suit individual customer needs. In addition to the default points of interest (POIs), further POIs can be downloaded and stored on the device. The driver can select single points and store these in the address book as individual POIs. Another practical feature: as well as the fastest and shortest routes, the navigation system also allows the selection of the most economical, i.e. lowest fuel consumption routes. The Navi 900 Europa system also offers a voice recognition and log book function – the latter with the option of separating private and business trips. An additional POI announcement informs the driver of points of interest in the direct proximity by audible signal, text or popup. As of the equipment variant “Edition”, an especially high quality Infinity sound system is also available.

    Opel Front camera with additional functions
    Improved Opel Eye Front Camera
    Forward Colision Alert (FCA)
    The Opel Insignia also offers further optimizations in the model year 2012 in terms of safety. The new Opel front camera, used for traffic sign recognition and lane departure warning to date, now also has the Following Distance Indication which constantly measures the distance to the car ahead in seconds. It is activated automatically from a speed of 40 km/h and helps the driver to avoid rear-end collisions and possible fines for tailgating. The Forward Collision Alert provides a visual signal on the instrument cluster and an audible alarm to warn the driver of an imminent collision with the car ahead. Additionally, the optionally available front camera in conjunction with AFL+ serves as a High Beam Assist.                                                          

    Premium equipment: Exclusive Nappa leather “Indian Night” 
    Opel Insignia - premium Nappa leather Indian Night interior

    The model year 2012 Insignia also offers enhanced comfort and additional elegance. It is available on request with premium Nappa leather finish “Indian Night” which is distinguished by a combination of high-quality black leather with contrasting stitching in an elegant Cognac tone. The exterior look is refined by the new dark metallic lacquer “Luxor”, which, depending on the light, has blue-violet color reflections. The sporty, elegant silhouette of the Opel Insignia will be rounded off in the coming months by a selection of new alloy wheels with striking rim designs.

    Opel Insignia in Luxor metallic color


    Thursday, 12 January 2012

    DEKRA Report 2012: Astra and Insignia Get Top Marks for Quality

    • Opel Astra J with fewest faults is overall winner
    • Third successive victory for Opel
    • Insignia scores best result for mid-size cars again

    The Opel Astra is the vehicle with the fewest faults according to the results of the “DEKRA Used Car Report 2012”. With an index of 96.9 percent, the Opel Astra achieved the top result of all tested cars in the category “best individual ranking”. This success gives Opel its third victory in three successive years. In the previous two years, Opel already had two winners – the Corsa (2010) and the Insignia (2011).

    This time the Opel Insignia was narrowly beaten by the Astra and comes second in the “best individual car” ranking. However, the Insignia scored a fault index of 96.0, giving it the best result in the mid-size segment. Competitor models were beaten by a considerable margin. “The fact that our brand has the best car in the DEKRA report for three years in a row is further proof of the high quality of our vehicles,” said Alain Visser,
    Opel/Vauxhall Vice President Sales, Marketing and Aftersales Europe.“We are committed to delivering reliability, one of our core values at Opel.”
    DEKRA Used Car Report 2012 - Opel Astra J
    DEKRA generates its annual used car report by conducting precise assessments in eight vehicle classes and three kilometer reading ranges. The report is based on data from 15 million inspections made on 230 different models. DEKRA only considers typical faults associated with used cars such as corrosion of the exhaust system or play in the suspension so that an accurate judgment about the longevity and durability of the vehicles can be made. Faults that are mainly associated with servicing such as the usual wear and tear on tires or windscreen wiper blades are not taken into account.

    DEKRA Used Car Report 2012 - Opel Insignia
    DEKRA is one of the world’s leading organizations in terms of expertise in the areas of safety, quality and the environment. The company has 24,000 employees and is active in more than 50 countries.