Tuesday, 31 July 2012

New Opel Insignia SuperSport chassis now in more variants

  • Forward wheel drive Insignias get ride and handling enhancing SuperSport chassis
  • Two more Insignia powertrains available with chassis package
  • HiPerStruts, Brembo brakes and OPC level tuning are included

    Opel is for the first time making its high performance SuperSport chassis available in its forward wheel drive mid-size Insignia cars. Two gasoline and diesel powered Insignias with forward wheel drive (FWD) will now benefit from a chassis package that consists of HiPerStruts (High Performance Struts), Brembo brakes and is tuned in line with OPC (Opel Performance Center) settings. This chassis combination was previously only available in the sporty Insignia OPC model and every other all wheel drive Insignia variant, which are always equipped with traction and stability enhancing electronically controlled Limited Slip Differentials (e-LSD) to distribute torque as required. Now the chassis can also be ordered in combination with the FWD variants of the 2.0 CDTI 118 kW/160 hp diesel and the 2.0 l turbocharged gasoline engine with 162 kW/220 hp. Together with the FlexRide system which offers three modes (Standard, Tour and Sport), adapting the car’s damping, as well as its steering and throttle parameters at the push of a button, the SuperSport chassis option costs 2,930 euro (rrp. Germany including VAT).

    The SuperSport chassis package benefits from HiPerStruts (High Performance Struts) on the front suspension, which are combined with highly effective Brembo brakes. These brakes consist of large, 355 x 32 mm, cross drilled discs, four piston, high strength aluminum calipers and high performance brake pads. Specially developed Co-Cast floating discs consist of a cast iron brake rotor and an aluminum disc bell.

    The HiPerStrut suspension which was first used in the high performance Insignia OPC marks a significant evolution of the regular Insignia’s MacPherson strut front suspension. It improves grip in wet or dry conditions and allows more power to be applied during cornering.

    While the suspension uses the same fixing points as in other Insignias, the kingpin inclination angle has been reduced from 13 to 9 degrees, therefore shortening the spindle length by 23 millimetres to 44 millimetres. Each of these reductions allows drivers to better exploit the Insignia power potential. The reduced kingpin angle means less camber loss, which allows the front tires to retain more contact with the road during cornering, therefore delaying the onset of understeer. The shorter spindle length significantly reduces torque steer reactions and improves resistance to steering kickback through rutted bends.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

GM Developing Wireless Pedestrian Detection Technology

  • Wi-Fi Direct connectivity in vehicles could help increase driver awareness
  • Efforts build on GM’s Vehicle-to-Vehicle and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure technology                

    General Motors researchers are developing a promising driver assistance feature potentially capable of detecting pedestrians and bicyclists on congested streets or in poor visibility conditions before the driver notices them.
    The feature relies on Wi-Fi Direct, the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) wireless standard that allows devices like some smartphones to communicate directly with each other rather than through a shared access point like a cell phone tower.
    GM researchers have determined Wi-Fi Direct can be integrated with other sensor based object detection and driver alert systems already available on production vehicles to help detect pedestrians and bicyclists carrying smartphones equipped with Wi-Fi Direct.
    The automaker also is looking to develop a complementary app for Wi-Fi Direct capable smartphones that can be downloaded by frequent road users such as “bike messenger” or “construction worker” that will help Wi-Fi Direct equipped vehicles identify them.
    Wireless pedestrian detection is part of GM’s ongoing development of Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) and Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication systems that could provide advance warning about hazards such as slowed or stalled vehicles, slippery roads or intersections and stop signs.

    “This new wireless capability could warn drivers about pedestrians who might be stepping into the roadway from behind a parked vehicle, or bicyclists who are riding in the car’s blind spot,” said Nady Boules, GM Global R&D director of the Electrical and Control Systems Research Lab. “Wi-Fi Direct has the potential to become an integral part of the comprehensive driver assistance systems we offer on many of our Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, GMC, Opel and Vauxhall vehicles.”
    By eliminating the intermediate step required to reach a cell phone tower, Wi-Fi Direct allows devices to connect in approximately one second compared to conventional wireless systems that typically need seven or eight seconds to acquire location information and connect.
    Wi-Fi Direct’s fast connections offer a distinct advantage in vehicle applications,” said Donald Grimm, GM Global R&D senior researcher of perception and vehicle control systems. “The quicker a vehicle can detect other Wi-Fi Direct users, the greater the potential for collision avoidance.”
    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,280 pedestrians and 618 bicyclists lost their lives in collisions with motor vehicles in 2010. Both totals were down by as much as 25 percent since 1995, consistent with overall traffic fatalities. GM’s potential use of Wi-Fi Direct is one way the automaker is working to help further reduce the number of traffic fatalities.
    The Wi-Fi Alliance, the global industry association in charge of certifying wireless standards, claims Wi-Fi Direct devices can reach each other at a maximum distance of 656 feet or more than two football fields away. In addition to aiding pedestrian detection, this range could enable secure transfers of files such as MP3s or digital address book information between a home computer and the user’s Wi-Fi Direct equipped vehicle infotainment or navigation system.
    “As we move toward becoming a more connected society, having a self aware connected car will be increasingly important,” said Thilo Koslowski, vice president of automotive industry analysis at Gartner Inc., a leading information technology research and advisory company.Not only can Wi-Fi Direct help vehicles seamlessly communicate with other consumer devices, it can also augment Vehicle-to-Infrastructure communications as well, which could lead to better traffic management and fewer accidents.”

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

New Opel Insignia now runs on cost effective LPG

  • Insignia 1.4 Turbo LPG ecoFLEX with 103 kW/140 hp and 200 Nm
  • LPG technology in four or five door sedan as well as Sports Tourer
  • Complete solution ex works with two year manufacturer warranty
  • Opel extends offer of LPG models

The Opel Insignia is now also available with a 1.4 turbocharged LPG ecoFLEX engine designed to run on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). All three body styles of the award winning Opel flagship - the sedan, hatchback and Sports Tourer station wagon - can now be ordered with LPG propulsion ex works. The new Insignia LPG ecoFLEX variant achieves an output of 103 kW/140 hp, only uses 7.6 liters on 100 km (124 g/km CO2 emissions) and starts at 28,150 euro (rrp. in Germany for four-door sedan including VAT). Compared to the 1.4 l turbocharged gasoline sedan (5.7 l/100 km), the four door LPG variant is almost 40 percent cheaper to be filled up at the gas station (based on an average price for high octane gasoline of € 1.53 euro vs. € 0.70 for LPG). 

For the LPG variant, Opel engineers strengthened the engine valves and valve seat-inserts and optimized the engine control unit. All body styles with LPG have a six speed manual transmission. The LPG tank which has a usable filling volume of 42 liters is perfectly integrated in the spare wheel housing, ensuring that the whole trunk space of the Insignia is freely accessible. In that way the Insignia’s high level of flexibility is maintained. With a single tank of fuel, the Insignia achieves a maximum range of up to 500 kilometers; if the gasoline tank is used in addition a range of up to 1,700 kilometers can even be reached (applicable to notchback/hatchback). The fuel cap for the LPG tank is right next to the cap for the gasoline tank. Opel gives its customers access to fuel nozzle adaptors to enable trouble free refueling throughout Europe.

The driver can easily alternate between the LPG and gasoline propulsion mode with a switch in the instrument panel. An LED display is illuminated when the car operates with LPG; as soon as the vehicle is in the gasoline mode the light is off. The fuel tank gauge is particularly user friendly: both LPG and gasoline reserves are displayed in the same gauge.

LPG Ex works installation: Generous on space, safe and under warranty
So far customers have been able to choose from several different models that can run on LPG. They include the Corsa (three and five door), the Meriva and Astra (five door and Sports Tourer). The Opel LPG portfolio is being expanded with the three Insignia body styles. The LPG system installation ex works has major advantages compared to other retrofit solutions. Safety was a top priority during development of these models. For example, the Opel safety checklist includes specific crash tests for the gas tank and other components which are housed in collision proof areas and are perfectly integrated into the safety structure of the vehicle. 

Opel Insignia LPG gas tank
Insignia’s gas tank is perfectly integrated in the spare wheel housing (LPG). This ensures that the load compartment is spacious and not restricted. Switches and displays are well integrated in the instrument panel. In summary: customers can be sure that their LPG vehicle is equipped with state-of-the art technology ex works which is of the high quality customers can expect from the Opel brand. All this comes complete with durability, manufacturer warranty and maximum safety. Like all the other Opel LPG models, the Insignia LPG is assembled at the Opel Special Vehicles GmbH (OSV), an Opel subsidiary with expertise in special vehicle lines and modifications based in Rüsselsheim.

LPG: Environmentally friendly, cost effective and universally available
LPG propulsion is gaining in popularity in Germany and Europe. This is hardly surprising as the LPG price at the pumps is around half of the gasoline price. Until the year 2018, the German authorities are granting a fixed tax break for LPG fuel. However, not only does the car owner see the  financial rewards but there are also environmental benefits as LPG vehicles emit up to 15 percent less carbon-dioxide than cars with a conventional powertrain. In Germany, this fuel is available at around 6,500 or 45 percent of all gas stations. Europe wide there are more 35,000 in total.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

New Opel ADAM - Just Unique

·         Engineered and produced in Germany - Opel’s first fashionable urban car
·         Bold design visualizes individuality and dynamics
·         Three different “mood” worlds set stage for virtually unlimited combinations
·         ADAM introduces premium technologies to Fashion LED A segment
·         Unique infotainment system brings smartphone integration into the car  

         With the new ADAM, Opel is entering the Fashion LED A-segment with a chic, small, urban car. The Opel ADAM combines bold, powerful design with potential for almost unlimited personalization, making each ADAM totally unique. It also provides premium technologies from upper segments, including a new onboard infotainment system which integrates the owner’s smartphone in the car (Android and Apple iOS) and thereby makes internet-based applications available in the cabin.

Me     Almost 3.70 meters in length (1.72 meters width excl. mirrors), the agile three-door is perfect for urban environments. Inside its cabin, the Opel ADAM offers seating for four people who will benefit from its premium-inspired atmosphere and a high degree of roominess unusual for a small car. In the A-segment, Opel already offers the Agila which impresses with its practical strengths. Now the new sporty and elegant ADAM targets especially trendy urban customers who are looking for a car that expresses their personal style. Experts predict the lifestyle orientated sub segment to grow steadily over the next years. 


          Opel ADAM will initially be offered with three efficient gasoline engines (1.2 l 51kW/70 hp, 1.4 l 64 kW/87 hp and 1.4 l 74/100 hp) combined with a five-speed manual transmission. All powertrains are available with an ecoFLEX technology pack including fuel-saving Start/Stop technology. Later on, a new generation small gasoline engine will make its premiere in the ADAM, featuring direct injection turbocharging for further enhanced efficiency and performance. This new engine will be combined with a completely new generation six-speed manual transmission.

           Customize: “Almost unlimited” choices

          ADAM innovates and introduces a totally new trim approach. Rather than having the well-known trim hierarchies, customers can choose from three different highly individualized trim moods or worlds: JAM is unconventional, fashionable and colorful, GLAM offers a more elegant, refined and sophisticated setting and SLAM appeals to those with energetic and sporty attitudes. ADAM JAM, ADAM GLAM and ADAM SLAM: these three “mood” worlds set the stage for a virtually unlimited potential for personalization with a wide choice of exterior colors, three roof colors, different interior colors, decors and various headliners including an LED lit “starlight” roof trim - and other premium inspired distinctive design elements. 

Mark Adams, Opel Vice President, Design explains: “No other car in this segment can be personalized as much as the Opel ADAM because we are offering virtually unlimited exterior/interior color, fabric, decor and kit combination possibilities. It’s unlikely our customers will see another car like theirs.”

Select: Bold exterior with iconic silhouette and premium inspired interior

        ADAM introduces Opel’s award-winning philosophy of “sculptural artistry meets German precision” to the Fashion LED A-segment. And unlike other rivals, ADAM bucks the trend of retro-based design with a modern and bold look.

          ADAM’s striking and unique “floating” roof which is visually disconnected from the body allows a perfect execution of a two-tone color combination. The car’s name badge is – unlike with most other cars – placed at the end of the chrome “signature” window molding on the rear pillar, which adds to its unique appeal. In the wide front grille, the ADAM has the new wing-shaped chrome bar with the embossed 

         Opel emblem as introduced in the new Astra line-up. On the flanks there are design cues such as the blade shape in the lower door and the characteristic crisp “shock wave” around the door handles known from the Astra GTC. The headlamps feature wing shaped Daytime Running Lights (DRL) typical for Opel. For the first time in the A-segment, both the headlamps and the taillights are available with energy saving LED technology.

          The interior design delivers what its upmarket exterior promises: style and premium inspired ambience in a remarkably spacious environment for a small car. With sculpted, harmonious surfaces and graceful flowing lines just like its bigger brand brothers Astra, Meriva and Insignia, the ADAM rounds off Opel´s brand promise in its latest and smallest declination. The round, chronograph-style instruments and chrome bezeled switches convey an aura of sporty precision.

Connect: With upscale equipment including smartphone integration

            ADAM is the first car with Opel’s all new state-of-the-art infotainment system that not only brings its owner’s smartphone capabilities to the vehicle but also adds further value to them, offering even more convenience and flexibility than a conventional system. The new system is exclusive to the A-segment because it not only offers smartphone connectivity for Apple iOS software but is also compatible with Android operating systems.


      New infotainment system makes selected smartphone content including internet based applications such as GPS navigation available in the cabin. It collects the content and displays it on the 7" inch, high resolution and full color touch screen which also provides quick and intuitive access to various user friendly control functions via five easy to navigate menus.

           In addition, new media sources such as MP3 players, iPodsTM and tablets can be brought to the ADAM thanks to BluetoothTM and USB connectivity. There is a plug-in outlet for music devices that do not use USB or BluetoothTM connections. ADAM owners who wish to enjoy a video or personalized slide show, can do so when the car is stationary.


Activate: Upscale advanced technologies for the first time in the A-segment

     ADAM introduces many upscale and innovative technologies into the A-segment that can usually only be found in higher segments. For the first time it makes the new generation Advanced Park Assist (APA II) available. Drivers engage the system with a button on the dashboard and it tells them when they pass a parallel parking space large enough to accommodate the car. The system then automatically steers them into the parking space, with the driver just controlling the brake, clutch and gears. It always comes in combination with Side Blind Spot Alert (SBSA) which also uses ultrasonic sensors. Another first in the A-segment is the heated steering wheel which adds another premium touch to ADAM’s cabin.

Ride: Agile and crisp chassis with ESP standard on all ADAMS

        ADAM’s bold stance is further emphasized by its broad footprint (front track: 1485 mm/ rear track: 1478 mm). Its chassis with a wheelbase of 2311 mm is geared towards maximum active safety and comfort. MacPherson struts with a sub-frame have been fitted to the front axle. The rear axle of the ADAM features a torsion beam compound crank design. Wheel sizes range from 15” to 18”, and cars that are specified with 17” or 18“ rims come standard with a more responsive Sports chassis and steering feeling. The ADAM’s Electrical Power Steering (EPS) includes a dedicated CITY mode which at the flick of a switch increases power assistance at lower speeds - particularly useful for maneuvering. The comprehensive ESP of the latest generation is also standard in all ADAMS and comes complete with many useful sub-functions such as Hill Start Assist.

          A high level of passive safety is ensured by an ultra-rigid passenger cell mainly made from high-strength steel. This is complemented by front, side and head curtain airbags as well as Dual Seat Belt Pre-tensioners at the front seats which offer additional knee and leg protection. Other safety features include two sets of ISOFIX points plus top tethers in order to easily and safely attach child seats on the 50:50 split foldable rear bench.

          The new Opel ADAM will be available to order after its official world premiere at the Paris Motor Show (September 29 – October 14, 2012). First cars will hit the showrooms in January 2013. 

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Sporty Switch version for Opel Corsa Color Edition line-up

·         Striking and sporty features
·         Unique design - black hood stripes contrast with body colored stripes on black roof
·         Also available with new 1.4 liter turbo 88kW/120 hp gasoline ecoFLEX engine 

The Opel Corsa range is being complemented with the new Color Edition Switch pack aimed at customers who want their Corsa to have sporty, stylish and unique design features. Available for the three and five door body style, the Switch pack adds striking black stripes to the Corsa engine hood and the tailgate, giving the car a very individual and stylish touch. On the roof, the body color contrasts as stripes against the rest of the roof which is painted in black. 

Customers can chose from three optional exterior body colors: Casablanca White, Magma Red and Sunny Melon. The contemporary look is further enhanced with black mirror caps and 17” black wheels which come as standard. Other premium kit ex works includes alloy sport pedals, sports seats, a multi-function leather steering wheel, dark tinted windows and a chrome effect exhaust tail pipe. Like all Corsa Color Edition variants, the Switch version features a sports chassis as standard. Prices start at 15,095 euro (RRP Germany incl. VAT) with the 1.2 liter 51 kW/70 hp gasoline engine. In addition to the broad and already successful Corsa engine line-up, Switch customers can now opt for the new 1.4 liter turbo ecoFLEX (88 kW/120 hp) which comes standard with fuel saving Start/Stop technology. This engine will be also offered across the rest of the Corsa range starting this summer.

As with all new members of the Corsa family, the infotainment offer of the Color Edition models has been enhanced:  All CD radios now come complete with mp3 technology as standard and advanced versions also offer USB connectivity. 

For those who wish to go even further upmarket, there is a broad spectrum of innovative extras not offered by competitors such as the unique Flex-Fix integrated bicycle carrier and the Advanced Forward Lighting system (AFL). Other options include a Hill Start Assist (HSA) and a Park Assistant. 

Popular Color Edition: New Switch pack with sporty and stylish features

The new Switch pack was created as part of the highly successful Color Edition offer which gives sporty and individual accents to the Corsa family. Latest available figures (January to June 2012) show that at least 18 percent of all three door Corsas sold in Europe were Color Edition variants, confirming that there is strong demand for these special versions.

Powerful and efficient 1.4 turbo engine offered with Corsa Switch

As with the recently launched Corsa All Black / All White variants, the Color Edition Switch can also be purchased with the 1.4 l turbocharged gasoline ecoFLEX engine (88 kW/120 hp) which will be also available in the rest of the Corsa line-up this summer. Thanks to its Start/Stop technology, the 1.4 liter turbo engine with the Color Edition Switch only consumes 5.5 l/100 km, equivalent to 129 g/km CO2. The 120 hp powerhouse delivers maximum torque of 175 Nm between 1,750 and 4,800 rpm, enabling a top speed of 195 km/h. Acceleration from standstill to 100 km/h takes 10.3 seconds. These figures refer to both the three and the five door versions.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

New Opel Astra J GTC wins Red Dot Design Award

Compact Coupé scores points for striking design and Panoramic Windscreen

The new Opel Astra J GTC has been given the prestigious Red Dot Design Award by a panel of international judges in this year’s product design category. The compact coupé which just had its market launch a couple of months ago is widely recognized for being sporty, efficient and packed full of innovative technologies with captivating design. 

The 30 judges on the red dot award panel praised the Astra J GTC for “scoring points with its striking and sporty design”. The judges also remarked that the “panoramic windscreen that stretches all the way to the middle of the roof without a transverse spar ensures that all passengers benefit from maximum driving fun”. 

We are very proud to have won this award. This is further proof that our Opel design philosophy of ‘sculptural artistry meets German precision’ has enormous potential. It is also evidence that customers and industry experts alike appreciate its value in how it helps communicate our brand values," says Mark Adams, Vice President of Opel/Vauxhall Design.

Around 1,800 companies and designers from 58 nations took part in this year’s “red dot award: product design” contest. The competitors entered 4,515 products in 19 different categories creating a very tough competitive field but where the Astra GTC came out on top.
This year’s prize for the compact coupé is just the latest in a long string of “red dot awards” handed given to Opel designed vehicles. Previous winners include the Astra Sports Tourer, the Opel Flextreme GT/E Concept, the Insignia, the Opel GT and past Astra generation models. 

The Red Dot Award dates back to 1955 but has since grown into one of the biggest and most prestigious design competitions of the world.

Heavenly views thanks to panoramic windscreen
Customers who opt for the panoramic windscreen in the new Astra J GTC can treat themselves to heavenly views and cinematic vistas. In addition, the exclusive features give the dynamic look of the sporty compact coupé a further luxurious note on the outside. The large front windscreen stretches all the way to the middle of the car roof and gives the driver and the passengers an extraordinary visual, space and driving experience. In addition, the exclusive features give the dynamic look of the sporty compact coupé a further luxurious note on the outside. In the event of very powerful sun rays, a roller blind can be lowered inside the cabin which sits under the panoramic glass. The device which is continuously variable can be easily adjusted and then may be attached with a turning handle. The solar protection comes complete with an integrated sun visor which even in its opened state disappears behind the rear roof component.