Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Opel brings Telemetry to its new Astra J OPC

  • Opel is first car manufacturer to make preselected vehicle data available
  • Unique OPC Power App has debut in new Astra OPC (206 kW/280 hp)
  • Numerous applications: from engine boost pressure to lap time for tech savvy OPC fan

Opel shares its passion for technology with its customers by becoming the first ever car manufacturer to make preselected data from the CAN bus (Controller Area Network) directly available on an iPhone where it can be displayed or analyzed further. The CAN bus is the central system that unifies and connects all the electronic control units in the vehicle.  
Apple smartphone users can now download the OPC PowerApp an application or App from the AppStore for just 0.79 euro, enabling them to access to CAN bus data. This innovative application has its world debut in the Astra OPC with its 206 kW / 280 hp output - the sporty spearhead of Opel’s compact car portfolio.  

The CAN bus bundles the signals from the different vehicle areas. So far, only highly specialized work shops were able to access this information using specialist software. Now however, Opel is now giving car enthusiasts the chance to receive selected, performance-related data by offering the OPC PowerApp. This opens up a whole new world to drive enthusiasts who want the latest technology.  

The fun offered by the OPC PowerApp does not just end when the engine is switched off. Not only are up to sixty different data, including engine boost pressure, throttle position, lateral acceleration or engine torque, readily available in real time on the iPhone but they can also be stored and later compared with friends. A lap time recorder connected to GPS data appeals to racing fans, for example those who use the legendary Nürburgring track and want to analyze and improve their performances on the Nordschleife stretch.

In this way, braking points and section speeds can be analyzed. However, in addition the G-forces can be measured inside specific bends. 
In order to get the most out of the wealth of functions offered by the OPC PowerApp a black box or smart phone controller that can be ordered by customers and is installed behind the interior panels. It can be installed ex works or easily retrofitted on request by Opel dealerships. The module is directly connected to the CAN bus of the vehicle and transmits its data with a frequency of 30 Hertz to the iPhone which is equivalent to real time. An optionally available FlexDock iPhone cradle can also be installed to offer even better access and visibility of the PowerApp data. In that sense, the mobile phone acts as an additional instrument inside the cabin, recording all the data.  

Seven different display modes complete with the OPC logo and colors are available to the user including an analog instrument, a G-force meter, a digital display and over / under steer indicator, a bar chart, a line graph and a map. The OPC PowerApp works on iPhones (starting at the third generation), iPad 2 and iPod Touch and will also be available for Android systems by early 2013.

Monday, 14 May 2012

New Generation 1.6 Turbo engines family from Opel

New Generation 1.6 Turbo begins powertrain renewal at Opel

  • 1.6 liter Spark Ignition Direct Injection Turbo engine with Start/Stop system
  • 13 percent less CO2 and fuel consumption than predecessor
  • High-torque concept maximizes refinement
  • Three all new engine families within 12 months

Opel is fundamentally renewing its engine range. Three completely new gasoline and diesel families are replacing the core of the current portfolio. The aim is to take an industry lead, not just with fuel consumption and emissions but 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. The emphasis was on torque with the engineers achieving up to 187.5 Nm per liter of displacement – a benchmark for gasoline engines produced in high volume. Maximum torque is up to 300 Nm and is already available at 1,700 rpm. Peak power of up to 200 hp 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 percent.

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 J OPC will be powered by the latest version of this engine offering an output of 206kW/280 hp.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

New Opel Astra J OPC Engine - King of Torque

Turbocharged Direct Injection 2.0 liter engine with 280 hp and 400 Nm of torque

The strongest four cylinder gasoline engine on the European market in terms of highest specific torque comes from Opel.

The turbocharged, direct injection, 1998 cm3, all aluminum unit in the Astra OPC not only has a maximum power output of 280 hp; with 200.2 Nm per liter, it has higher specific torque than any of its rivals, more even than super sports cars. The maximum torque of 400 Nm is developed at 2,450 rpm, stretching all the way to just under 5,000 rpm in a very wide plateau which ensures that the Astra OPC can deliver high performance in a variety of situations.

The Opel engineers carried out far reaching changes on the existing turbocharged direct injection 2.0 liter gasoline unit used in the Insignia, giving it a more sporty edge and adding extra power to it. A completely new state of the art engine air intake system was developed in order to feed as much air to the turbocharger as possible. The turbocharger itself was further improved to withstand more charge air pressure and therefore the durability of the charger was increased accordingly by using new components. The build-up of pressure starts as early as around 1,400 rpm; gas pedal movements thus result in immediate and powerful propulsion. The maximum charge pressure has been increased to 1.5 bar – that represents a 25 percent increase compared to the one previously used in the Insignia.

A powerful car like the Astra OPC needs a powerful sound track that appeals to the emotional side of the high performance car enthusiast. That is why sound engineering played an important role in the development of the car. The engineers wanted to deliver the robust and masculine exterior sound typical of all Astra OPCs. 

They also wanted to re-create the jet noise like sound on the interior which OPC fans will remember from the last Astra when the driver accelerates from the mid to high rpm range. This is especially noticeable when changing up from third into fourth gear under acceleration.

12 percent fuel saving
The Astra OPC that comes with Start/Stop technology as a standard, consumes 8.1 liters per 100 kilometers, a CO2 value of 189 g/km. These are highly competitive figures in the high performance segment. Compared to the previous model (221 g/km, 9.2 l/km), CO2 emissions and fuel consumption are now 14 percent/12 percent lower. The new high performance coupe can sprint from standstill to 100 km/h in just six-point-zero seconds.

Before the modified Astra OPC engine could go into production, it was subjected to a series of challenging tests. Then it was put to an endurance test of 10,000 kilometers in the Opel Astra OPC on the Nordschleife segment of the Nürburgring race track under racing conditions which equivalent of 180,000 kilometers on normal roads.

Friday, 11 May 2012

New Opel Astra J OPC - Exclusive High Performance chassis for closer road contact

  • Maximum traction with multi-plate limited slip differential
  • Specially lowered high-performance chassis and FlexRide with HiPerStruts
  • Chassis dynamics control with ramp and roll control sub-modes

Opel has designed a high performance chassis package geared especially towards lateral dynamics and superb handling qualities for its new Astra OPC to complement its powerful 206 kW/280 hp, 400 Nm engine. The chassis which is equipped with dampers made by ZF Sachs benefits from several decisive elements that all enhance the car’s driving dynamics: high performance struts (HiPerStruts) on the front suspension, the mechatronic FlexRide chassis system, a mechanical limited slip differential and Brembo brakes. The chassis has been further sharpened with 19” alloy wheels as standard together with tires of the 245/40 ZR type. 

Limited slip differential for more stability
In order to convert the power of the new Astra into efficient propulsion, the front axle is equipped with a mechanical multi-plate limited slip differential. When one of the front wheels spins, the two multi-plate packs inside the differential work like clutches and subject the drive to a clearly defined resistance. This locking effect (50 percent maximum) depends on the ramp angle with which the plate packs are pressed together and which consequently determines how pressure is applied to the multi-plate clutch depending on the amount of torque. The shallower the ramp angle is, the more sensitive the system is. In the case of the Astra OPC, a ramp angle of 45 degrees was chosen for acceleration. In the case of deceleration, in other words when brakes are applied or pressure is taking off the accelerator pedal, the plates of the clutch are separated again and thus allow the ABS to work on the front wheels.

OPC tuned FlexRide suspension satisfies many sporty driving styles
The mechatronic FlexRide chassis which has been especially tuned and enhanced to OPC needs lets the driver choose between three different driving modes, with each mode offering a unique and specific experience of high performance driving. The Standard mode delivers all-round performance while comfort is preserved at all times for everyday drive situations. Even in this mode, the Astra OPC performs brilliantly in bends, shines with its responsive steering and minimal body tilt. At the touch of a button, the Sport mode stiffens the chassis suspension, increases agility by reducing body roll and makes the steering more direct. Meanwhile, the OPC mode creates the ultimate driving experience: steering becomes even more direct than in the Sport mode, the throttle more responsive and the chassis setting is geared towards delivering maximum performance. The instrument panel lights up red to signal that the car is in the OPC mode.
Chassis dynamics control with ramp and roll control sub modes 
For best possible ride control, the ramp control sub-mode further adjusts the damping, ensuring that the wheels are in contact with the road constantly when travelling over bumps at high speed. This means the vehicle experiences a soft landing even when the springs on the struts rebound on an uneven road surface. Meanwhile, the roll control sub-mode reduces side tilt further so that the vehicle lies flat in the road so that agility is maximized.
Compared to the turbocharged 1.6 Astra GTC (132 kW/180hp), the OPC engineers stiffened  the standard springs by around thirty percent and lowered the vehicle by a further ten millimeters, thus bringing the car even closer to the road. In order to give the driver an even more agile and responsive drive, the bushings and the rear axle were also made stiffer.
ESP can be deactivated for extra sporty driving
Like the FlexRide, the ESP stability control also offers three different modes depending on how challenging and sporty one wants to drive. The preset standard setting, which has been optimized for OPC use, ensures maximum ride safety in everyday situations without the driver losing control over the car. The Competitive mode raises the threshold at which the automatic systems intervene. However, when the vehicle is in a borderline dangerous situation it will be stabilized by the brake system. In the ESP-off mode, when the ESP button is pressed down for more than five seconds, the ESP system can be completely deactivated