Monday, 26 March 2012

Opel Ampera Wins Rally Monte Carlo

  • Four Ampera electric vehicles among the top 10 in rally for alternative propulsion
  • French team Darniche/Lambert successful against some 130 competitors
  • Debuting Ampera succeed in durability and fuel consumption tests
Opel Ampera won Rally Monte Carlo for alternative propulsion
After winning the “Car of the Year 2012” award, the Opel Ampera has now also won the 13. International Monte Carlo Rally for electric cars and alternative propulsion in which it competed for the first time. Four Ampera ranked among the top 10 vehicles. The French duo Bernard Darniche and Joseph Lambert managed to beat the entire competitive field. On Sunday, the final day of the contest, the revolutionary electric vehicle reached the finish line in the capital of the Côte d’Azur principality. Some 130 competitors from about 30 manufacturers took part, among them seven Ampera, including one private Ampera team. The other contenders included a Renault Fluence Z.E., a Tesla Roadster sports car, a Mitsubishi I-MiEV and a Peugeot Ion. Apart from the overall victory, the Ampera teams with Charlotte Berton and Olivier Sussot ranked third, Jean-Claude Andruet and Patrick Lienne came in 7th and Hanns Werner Wirth and Daniel Riesen finished 8th, completing the fantastic result.

Opel Ampera on Rally Monte Carlo - German Team
“The Ampera’s success in this versatility contest under very challenging conditions proves its impressive balance between durability and fuel efficiency. This underscores our leadership role in the field of alternative propulsion,” says Opel’s Director E-mobility, Enno Fuchs. The “Rallye Monte-Carlo Des Énergies Nouvelles” took place for the 13th time and has established itself as the oldest motorsport event for vehicles with alternative propulsion. The Monte Carlo Automobile Club has organized the competition since 1995.

Endurance test for alternative propulsion
The rally started in the three towns of Annecy-le-Vieux, Clermont Ferrand and Lugano for 550 kilometers via Digne-les-Bains, the capital of the French district (département) Alpes-de-Haute-Provence to Monaco. On the second day, the teams had to complete a distance of 272 kilometers, leading them through Monaco and the original route of the Monte Carlo Rally through the French Maritime Alps. In these two days the teams were subjected to regularity tests and had to prove their driving skills by pushing their vehicles to the limit.

Apart from the regularity tests, the focus lay with fuel consumption. With the help of a ratio derived from vehicle weight, CO2 emissions, the energy density of the fuel and its consumption, the organizers were able to calculate a comparison value and draw up an overall ranking. “The sophisticated technology of the Ampera was always reliable and enabled our tremendous success,” says the French rally co-pilot, Joseph Lambert who celebrated the victory with driver Bernhard Darniche. Darniche already won the legendary Monte Carlo Rally in 1979 and has more than 10 times been successful in winning the special stage over the famous Col de Turini.

Opel Ampera on Rally Monte Carlo - French Team
The Opel Ampera is the first electric vehicle that can go anywhere anytime. A 16 kWh lithium ion battery powers the 111kW/150 hp electric motor. Depending on the style of driving and road conditions, distance of between 40 and 80 kilometers can be covered in the purely battery-operated mode, completely free of emissions. The wheels of the Ampera are always powered electrically. In extended-range mode, which activates whenever the battery has reached its minimum state of charge, the gasoline engine drives a generator that supplies the electric drive unit. The range extender enables an operating radius of 500 kilometers. On the road, the Ampera’s electric propulsion system provides instant torque of 370 Nm enabling zero to 100 km/h acceleration in around nine seconds and a top speed of 161 km/h.

Opel Ampera on Rally Monte Carlo - German Team

Friday, 23 March 2012

Opel Adaptive Full LED Matrix lighting system - Bright as day

Technology does not stand still and therefore we do not rest on the laurels of AFL +. The next light system is already in the wings or fully integrated into our prototype. The fact that we are the first, we have also confirmed the selected journalists who were experienced in the past two weeks, the new technology on public roads.
The Revolution: The so called matrix LED light beam system is standard. Due to the intensity and distribution of light at night you have the feeling of driving in daylight. Now you might think: high beam than standard ? Since the other road users have to laugh at nothing. Far from it. With the new lighting technology, the beam will always be set free of glare and automatically adjusted depending on the traffic situation. The LED matrix light works namely in conjunction with the Opel front camera. When the sensors detect the camera or oncoming vehicles ahead, individual LEDs selectively disable and hide the other road users automatically. The environment will remain lit. As a director of automotive lighting technology, I can confirm that until now had to give way at any single validation an oncoming vehicle flasher, because the driver had the feeling dazzled, too.The system worked very beginning of the series development phase proper and trouble free.
The Benefits: The intelligent LED matrix light we make night driving safer, more relaxed and comfortable. Pedestrians, animals and other objects are detected much earlier. In each light segment there are four light sources, resulting AFL 16 different possible combinations per headlight. The transitions between the 256 different attitudes are fluid.

Since we only use LED lamps, energy efficiency is significantly higher than for HID (Xenon) or halogen lamps. In plain language: The new lighting system consumes only half the energy of conventional bulbs. The light matrix concept is introduced in the coming years to expand to the Opel model lines.

   For comparison: Active high beam blinded the front car.

The trick: LED Matrix lights allows the front car to let go in a 'dark tunnel', although the high beam is activated.

The same example with oncoming traffic: High beam blinds the oncoming car.

Thanks to the Matrix LEDs, the oncoming traffic pass undazzled.

But thanks to 'Opel Eye' camera is car recognized and the driver in front of the active despite high beams is not blinded.

The LED Matrix light emit very bright and cold beams, and the front car here certainly disturb...

Přidat popisek

Thursday, 22 March 2012

LEDs in headlamps offer high differentiation potential for automakers

  • Light color even closer to daylight
  • Strong increase in LED signal functions in headlamps
  • In future, it will be possible to implement intelligent lighting functions without mechanisms

Hella Adaptive Full LED headlamp prototype in Opel Signum
Article of 22.03.2007
March 2007. These days, LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are used as light sources at the vehicle rear and, increasingly, also at the vehicle front, for signal functions. In the coming years, this trend will grow considerably. The first full LED headlamps, which will generate low beam and high beam, will be on the market in 2007 and 2008. They open up new, far reaching styling options and therefore great differentiation potential for automakers. At Hella, the next LED headlamp generation is already being developed: from about 2012, freely addressable LED arrays (assemblies) will make new, active lighting functions possible.
Extremely long service life (up to 10,000 hours), a high level of reliability, low package space, rapid switch-on behavior and, depending on the function, up to 80 percent less power consumption: these advantages have now secured LEDs a firm position on the vehicle rear. Consistently, these advantages are being used especially in the case of central high mounted stop lamps, but also more and more in combination rear lamps. For at least six years, LEDs have been offered which generate white light. The first applications in the front-end area are the position light and daytime running light. The rapid development of their performance now makes them usable for low beam and high beam as well.
In relation to this, the light color of the white LEDs (color temperature approx. 5,500 kelvin) approaches that of daylight (approx. 6,000 kelvin) considerably more than xenon light (approx. 4,000 kelvin). This fits in with what humans are used to seeing. Car drivers do not tire as quickly and are more relaxed when driving. In addition, the white LEDs are also a convincing choice thanks to their fast response time, and it is possible to cover two functions (such as position light and daytime running light) using a single light source. Their luminous efficiency is increasing rapidly: while today it is over 40 lm/W, there are already prototypes in research institutes with approximately 130 lm/W (in comparison with xenon light: approx. 90 lm/W, halogen light 20 lm/W).

LED headlamps have a modular design
As high luminous power is required for low beam and high beam, Hella chooses multi-chip LEDs for the LED headlamp. Special chip arrangements and housing geometries make it possible to generate the cut off line without additional mechanical shading. This allows compact headlamp systems to be realized. The light distribution is designed in an almost modular manner:
  • A symmetrical basic light distribution with large dispersion provides homogeneous illumination of the close range in front of the vehicle.
  • In the central area close to the cut off line, a field with high illuminance overlaps this basic light distribution and generates the range of the low beam on the left hand side of the road (oncoming traffic).
  • The long range asymmetrical "light finger" on the right hand side of the road provides the necessary long range orientation for the driver.
  • The addition of further optical modules makes it possible to realize AFS lighting functions, such as town, country, motorway and adverse weather light. Triggering takes place by means of electronic control units which then switch on or switch off further light sources according to the current driving situation.

The different light distributions are generated by means of different optical modules that are matched to each other. Variation possibilities with regard to the arrangement and number of the modules open up new, far reaching styling options and therefore great potential for differentiation for automakers.

LED low beam is close to the Xenon values
Thus, the full LED headlamp prototype from Hella has been realized in an Opel Signum using different transmissive optical elements. Six optical units generate the low beam. Three further units are added for the high beam, a special module is sufficient for the cornering light. Daytime running light/position light and direction indicator with LEDs complete the full LED headlamp, which, in the case of low beam, is already very close to the Xenon values. With reference to the number of LEDs and their performance, these and other prototypes are designed in such a way that luminous power similar to a Xenon headlamp can be achieved in 2008. With regard to this, the Hella lighting specialists take into consideration the continuously increasing performance of white LEDs which is to be expected by then. 

Hella Adaptive Full LED headlamp in Opel Signum

LED - Array
Hella is working with LED arrays (assemblies) as light sources for future headlamps. They consist of several individually addressable LED chips which are arranged in accordance with a predefined pattern onto a carrier substrate. The individual chips are triggered by means of pulse width modulation. This allows, on the one hand, the switching on and switching off of individual LED chips and therefore the generation of different cut off line geometries, on the other hand, it also allows an intensity modulation in the light distribution. In addition to the implementation of AFS lighting functions without mechanisms, LED arrays make possible, in conjunction with forward looking vehicle sensor technology and intelligent triggering electronics, the realization of active lighting functions such as marker light or glare free high beam. 

Approval situation for LEDs in headlamps:
In the USA, headlamps with LEDs for the main lighting functions are already permitted according to the SAE standards valid there. In Europe, or in the scope of application of the ECE regulations, corresponding approval can be expected by 2008. Signal functions in the headlamp (direction indicator, side marker light, position light and daytime running light, as well as cornering light) with LEDs are today permitted both in the ECE and SAE scope of application.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

SPY: Opel Astra J Facelift

In the fall 2012, the Opel Astra J receive a minor facelift. In addition to new colors and upholstery, there will be slight adjustments to front and rear. Supposedly the index to the front and rear can be improved. The motors will be a new 1.4, 1.6 and 2.0 liter petrol engines. The new 1.6 liter turbo direct-injection engine is just under 200 hp  power.

A new supposedly very efficient - 1.6 liter CDTI turbodiesel engine will also move into the range of the Astra J.

Opel Astra J gets the 195 hp BiTurbo diesel engine, which not only powerful, but also to be efficient. Moreover, coming from the Opel Zafira Tourer known assistance systems deployed, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Advanced Park Assist, Side Blind Spot Alert and Rear Park Camera.

At the same time, the Astra J sedan will debut with a length of 4.67 meters and 1.48 meters high.


The new seven speed dual-clutch transmission will debut in 2014 in the next generation Opel Corsa.

The new Opel Astra J GSi will be available as 5 door hatchback in November 2012 with 220 hp 2.0 liter petrol and 195 hp 2.0 BiTurbo diesel engines.

Opel Astra J GSi interior

Monday, 19 March 2012

Opel Ampera Debuts At Rally Monte Carlo

For the first time in its history, Opel is providing its award-winning electric cars for the prestigious international Rally Monte Carlo. Six electric Opel Ampera will make their debut in the “Alternative Energy” version of the rally which commences in Annecy-le-Vieux, Clermont-Ferrand and Lugano on March 22 and finishes three days later in the capital of Monaco, Monte Carlo. In order to take part, competing vehicles must have a maximum of 115g/km CO2 emissions. The main aim of the rally is to cover a certain distance, maintain a constant speed and use as little energy as possible. Some 150 vehicles are expected to take part this year.

By entering its electric vehicles with range extending capabilities in the international rally, Opel is once again showing that it is a global leader in the field of e-mobility. “Spectators will have the chance to see our electric cars in action under the challenging conditions the rally has to offer.” says Enno Fuchs, Opel’s Director E-Mobility.

The Opel Ampera is the first electric vehicle that can go anywhere anytime. A 16 kWh lithium ion battery powers the 111kW/150 hp electric motor. Depending on the style of driving and road conditions, distance of between 40 and 80 kilometers can be covered in the purely battery-operated mode, completely free of emissions. The wheels of the Ampera are always powered electrically. In extended-range mode, which activates whenever the battery has reached its minimum state of charge, the gasoline engine drives a generator that supplies the electric drive unit. The range extender enables an operating radius of 500 kilometers. On the road, the Ampera’s Voltec electric propulsion system provides instant torque of 370 Nm enabling zero to 100 km/h acceleration in around nine seconds and a top speed of 161 km/h.

Friday, 9 March 2012

New Opel Astra J OPC

NEW Opel Astra J OPC – Most Powerful Astra Ever

·        Sporty high performance version of Astra GTC with two liter turbo engine
·         206 kW/280 hp, 400 Nm and top speed of 250 km/h
·         Exclusive performance chassis with limited slip differential and Brembo brakes
·         Lightweight high-performance bucket seats with prestigious “AGR” health seal.
The new Opel Astra J GTC is being given a sharper edge: at the Geneva motor show on March 6, 2012, its high performance OPC version (Opel Performance Center) has its world premiere. From spring 2012, the new car crowns Opel’s the racy compact coupé offer. The Astra OPC is powered by a 2.0 liter Direct Injection turbo gasoline engine, with 206 kW/280 hp output and maximum torque of 400 Nm. This power house ensures that the Astra OPC can reach a top speed of 250 km/h. Never before has an Astra been so fast.

The turbocharged four-cylinder engine ensures that the Astra OPC is now the most powerful member of Opel’s compact segment. Both the induction tract and the exhaust system were optimized to get the most out of the engine. The high-performance chassis was also adapted to the power plant. In line with the finest OPC traditions, the car was put through its paces and polished on the Northern Loop (“Nordschleife”) of the Nürburgring race track in Germany. All OPC cars are tested in the “Green Hell” – the nickname given by the British racing driver Jackie Stewart to this part of the track. Not just driving dynamics are pushed to the limit on the world famous race track. No OPC model can be sold to the customer without first passing a 10,000 kilometer endurance test on the Nürburgring. That is equivalent to 180,000 kilometers of driving in normal conditions. Under these extreme conditions the durability of new components can be guaranteed.

High Performance: FlexRide chassis, HiPerStruts and Brembo brakes 
The Astra OPC chassis is geared especially towards lateral dynamics and superb handling qualities. The high tech front-wheel suspension, HiPerStruts (High Performance Struts) of the Astra GTC is the decisive ingredient.
The standard mode puts the vehicle in a high comfort setting, while the special sport mode adds a notable extra in agility. The OPC setting places drivers in a third dimension: steering is more direct, the gas pedal speaks clearly and the chassis turns on to maximum handling.
However, the OPC model goes one major step further: it has been fitted with a mechanical limited slip differential on the front axle. This gives the OPC even more stability and better handling, in other words the car has more grip when exiting bends at high speeds – even in wet conditions. “We have devised a great package that will convince even the most experienced sports drivers – not just on the Nürburgring,” the motorsport legend, Joachim Winkelhock, explains. The high performance brake system on the front axle made by the prestigious manufacturer, Brembo, ensures good deceleration stats and maximum stability, even in moments of intense pressure.

Aggressive Design: High Performance Astra Flexes Its Muscles

 The exclusive body work of the Astra OPC is an expression of pure passion for power and speed. The Astra GTC with its racy edge has so far been the most emotional expression of Opel’s design language but the OPC version flexes its muscles. The OPC is given extra sportiness with a set of specially sculpted front and rear bumpers, side skirts, an aerodynamic roof spoiler and two exhaust tail pipes in a trapeze shape. 20” forged alloy wheels are available and give the Astra OPC a bold appearance.

High-tech Weight Saving Material in Seats

The interior of the new Astra has the typical OPC features such as a leather flat-bottom sports steering wheel with a 360 millimeter diameter and a sporty dashboard. The driver and his co-pilot will be able to benefit from a new high-performance bucket seat with stateof-the art technology that makes its debut in the compact sports coupe segment. The new front seats increase the sporty and dynamic driving experience while providing a lower seating position and enhanced side support.
 OPC engineers used an organic injection molded sheet in the performance seat shell, resulting in a weight saving of 45 percent compared to a conventional shell. The sheet is filled with a composite material of polyamide and fiber glass. The new high performance seat boasts up to 18 different settings. In addition, pneumatically adjustable cushions are available for the flanks of the performance seat. They fit around every body shape and give support from the side at the push of a button. Customers can choose from a fabric/morrocana combination and two other leather covers.

Opel is the first car manufacturer to offer high-performance seats certified by the independent healthy back experts, AGR (“Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V.”), starting in 2003 with the Signum. The AGR only approves seats with its quality seal that meet its high ergonomic standards. In order to be honored with the AGR seal, the seat has to fulfill a list of ten criteria. They include four-way lordosis support and that the seatback contours adapt exactly to the natural curvature of the spine. The new Astra OPC continues this tradition and brings the only AGR certified seat to the compact sports coupé segment.

OPC: Performance and pure passion
The Opel Performance Center (OPC), responsible for the sporty accents in the Opel model line-up since 1999, is a decisive element in the brand’s profile. It embodies a high level of emotionality and passion for striking design, top-class technology and extraordinary driving dynamics. The vehicles with “OPC” in the model name are positioned as the emotional spearheads of the respective model lines. Current OPC models include the Corsa, 141 kW/192 hp (154 kW/210 hp as Nürburgring-Edition) as well as the Insignia OPC, which is available as a four or five-door sedan and Sports Tourer. The 2.8 liter V6 turbo gasoline engine (239 kW/325 hp) is the most powerful Opel production engine in history. For the “Unlimited” version of the Insignia OPC, maximum speed goes up to 270 km/h (depending on trim and transmission variant).

11. June 2012 UPDATE: Autoexpress UK wrote: ...this is the best VXR model that Vauxhall has ever produced – and a genuine contender for a place at the top of this class.