Saturday, 30 May 2015

!NEW! Opel Engine Offensive: Topping-out Ceremony for new Powertrain Center

  • Seven-storey testing and engineering building for the powertrains of the future
  • 210 million euro investment in Rüsselsheim running according to plan
  • GM’s leading powertrain developer Dan Nicholson emphasizes global responsibility

Topping-out ceremony of the new powertrain center in Rüsselsheim: Foreman Sascha Göbel, Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, GM Vice President Global Powertrain Dan Nicholson, Head of the Works Council Dr. Wolfgang Schäfer-Klug, Vice President GM Powertrain Engineering Europe Christian Müller and the Lord Mayor of Rüsselsheim Patrick Burghardt (from left to right)
Opel is investing in the powertrains of the future. 210 million euro have been allocated to the new, ultra-modern powertrain center currently being built in Rüsselsheim where efficient drive systems will be developed and tested. Construction is going exactly to plan: The topping-out ceremony took place today, the center will be inaugurated in 2017.

Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann and Head of Works Council Dr. Wolfgang Schäfer-Klug were joined at the topping out ceremony by GM’s highest powertrain developer Dan Nicholson, Vice President Global Powertrain. Rüsselsheims lord mayor Patrick Burghardt was also among the guests when Sascha Göbel, the representative of the responsible construction company read out the traditional topping-out address.

The topping-out wreath was pulled to the top of the new Opel powertrain center in Rüsselsheim. Foreman Sascha Göbel (right) read out the topping-out address assisted by his colleague Florian Kunz.
Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann emphasized the importance of this investment for the future of the brand. “We take our responsibility for the climate and environment seriously and are on track to meeting the CO2 target set for 2020. The new powertrain center will make our work even more efficient. It will not only strengthen Rüsselsheim but also the entire GM development network and it ensures that Opel will remain at the forefront of clean propulsion.”

“The powertrain center is an extremely important strategic company investment. GM decided on building this center in Rüsselsheim for a very good reason – this is where responsibility for small and medium-sized gasoline engines lies. It recognizes the performance and the know-how of our highly qualified Opel engineers,” added Dan Nicholson.

Head of Work Council Dr. Wolfgang Schäfer-Klug added: “The negotiations on the Opel collective agreement were the basis for the decision to invest in the new powertrain center here in Rüsselsheim. It secures and extends employment in the development center. I am therefore particularly happy to be at the topping-out ceremony of the building today.”

“The new powertrain center will further strengthen the outstanding importance of the International Technical Development Center for the Rüsselsheim site and Opel’s considerable research and development competence. But also beyond this, Rüsselsheim is synonymous for innovative technologies and forward-looking concepts,” said Patrick Burghardt, lord mayor of Rüsselsheim.

Apart from the workshop and office building, the new building complex will have three wings with test benches and a technical center. The total building surface area is around 36,000 square meters. Amongst others, the new center will also house 43 newest-generation performance test benches.

The groundbreaking ceremony took place last summer and since then the construction has grown in 180,000 accident-free working hours.

The new complex is part of the investments of 230 million euro investments in new testing and engineering facilities at the International Technical Development Center and at the test center in Rodgau-Dudenhofen. The lion’s share of that, 210 million euro, is being invested in the Rüsselsheim site. The complex will cover an area of around 13,000 square meters south of the railroad tracks and west of Portal 45 in Rüsselsheim, parallel to the Rugbyring. This is the largest building investment in Rüsselsheim since the opening of the new production plant in 2002.

The site is embedded in the global engineering network of the GM Powertrain Organization. Due to internationally synchronized test methods and software, findings can be optimally analyzed and implemented. 

Thursday, 28 May 2015

!NEW! Small, Sensible, Standard Setting – New Opel KARL

  • Sensible: All Opel virtues and qualities for only euro 9,500
  • Appealing: Surprisingly mature exterior and interior design for the mini-car segment
  • Spirited: Latest generation three-cylinder, one-liter engine for refined and efficient drive
  • Exceptional: Safety and comfort-enhancing features from higher segments
  • Outstanding: New generation IntelliLink and Opel OnStar available soon

New Opel KARL will be available from 9,500  euro (RRP including VAT in Germany)
Small but spacious, a dazzling appearance and above all entirely sensible – this is what buyers can expect from Opel’s all-new entry-level model which will be delivered to clients from June 2015. Its name: simply KARL. The mini car, available from euro 9,500 (RRP including VAT in Germany), was designed from a white sheet of paper and celebrated its debut on the big stage at the Geneva Motor Show. For this attractive price, customers can expect a 3.68-meter long, 1.48-meter high appealing five-door car with space for up to five people and numerous safety and comfort technologies that are unrivalled in its segment. KARL will also be available with the latest in automotive connectivity soon. From fall 2015, it will be possible to order it with both the new generation IntelliLink infotainment system and Opel OnStar – the personal connectivity and service assistant – which together make KARL the best connected and the most caring car in the segment. Under its hood, Opel’s new entry-level model has a tailor-made, completely new, one-liter, naturally-aspirated three-cylinder gasoline engine with fuel consumption and CO2 emission levels that can be as low as 4.3 liters per 100 kilometer and 99 grams per kilometer in the combined cycle respectively. From the summer of 2015, KARL, the sensible entry-level model, ADAM, the individualization champion and Corsa, the well-known all-rounder, will give Opel its strongest mini and small car portfolio ever – and the youngest on the market. They leave nothing to be desired.

New Opel KARL - Five-door mini car

”Short, crisp and full of character – the name KARL reflects its strengths,” explained Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann. “It is a grown-up car and will appeal to heart and intellect. KARL offers typical Opel quality and virtues starting with the high-tech, quiet one-liter, three-cylinder engine and by no means ends with numerous safety and comfort features that are unique in this segment. The Opel KARL is the ideal car for price-conscious customers looking to combine everyday suitability with comfort and modern technologies.”

New Opel KARL - Spacious interior for up to five people

Opel KARL was also developed with functionality and versatility in mind. Sitting on a 2.385 mm-long wheelbase and tipping the scales at 939 kg, its five-door body offers plenty of room for up to five people. The driver seat and the steering column are height-adjustable (both as from Enjoy) and two ISOFIX child seats fitted in the rear. The asymmetrical (40:60) split foldable rear seat back (optional with Enjoy, standard with Cosmo) enables amply flexible loading space: With the rear seat backs folded down, KARL offers 1,013 liters of stowage up to its roof. The lightweight KARL also features Opel-engineered, best in class ride and handling. The front suspension has side-load compensation springs, double bonded ride bushings and a high structural stiffness to improve handling performance and minimize NVH (noise, vibration and harshness). Additional ride-improving measures have been implemented for the rear suspension. The V-section tubular type torsion beam is mounted in front of the rear wheels allowing the roll-rate and roll-steer characteristics to be perfectly aligned with engine power and vehicle weight. Furthermore, rear shocks are vertically mounted behind the rear wheels to provide a good shock leverage ratio and efficient damping performance and the vertical dual-path mount provides better ride and NVH performance. The tailored steering also adds to the impressive ride and handling – no matter whether in standard or City mode.

Efficient: New Opel 1.0 ECOTEC three-cylinder engine

This comfortable and nifty package is propelled by the latest generation in Opel powertrain technology. The new 1.0 ECOTEC with 55 kW/75 hp, an ultra-modern one-liter, all-aluminum, three-cylinder gasoline engine from the same family as the highly praised 1.0 liter turbocharged engine available for Corsa and ADAM impresses with outstanding running smoothness and efficiency. The engineers paid close attention to reducing vibrations during the development phase with a low-resonance construction for the block, a split oil pan, the noise protected integration of the exhaust manifold in the cylinder head and a sound absorbing cam cover all contributing to the engines excellent manners. Opel KARL is therefore exceptionally quiet and refined for a car of this segment and price category.

New Opel 1.0 ECOTEC 
When equipped with the optional ecoFlex package, consisting of an aerodynamically optimized front spoiler lip and roof spoiler as well as low-rolling resistance tires, Opel KARL only consumes 4.3 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers and emits just 99 g/km CO2. Drivers can regulate the power perfectly via the modern, soft five-speed transmission, ensuring that Opel’s new entry-level model ticks all of the relevant boxes in the extremely competitive mini-car segment.

Technologies and features that melt mini-car owners’ hearts

Elsewhere, Opel KARL is fitted with numerous safety and comfort features that customers do not expect in this price category. Apart from standard anti-lock brake system (ABS), traction control (TCPlus), stability control (ESPPlus) and the Hill Start Assist (HSA), which prevents the car from rolling back or forth when starting on a slope, Opel KARL can be equipped with a further safety feature highlight in the Lane Departure Warning (LDW). By means of Opel Eye front camera sensors, which scan the road, it alerts drivers with an acoustic signal and a blinking yellow icon on the instrument panel when they unintentionally stray out of their lane. A cornering light function integrated in the fog lights ensures that turning maneuvers are safer for the driver and other road users. The standard safety equipment also comprises no less than six airbags and a Pedal Release System (PRS).

New Opel KARL - Traction control, City mode and Lane Departure Warning buttons
On the comfort side, Opel KARL has good manners as well. Taking care of its driver in cold days, it optionally features a heated leather steering wheel along with heated front seats that ensure cozy warmth in the winter. The City mode (standard from Enjoy) of the standard speed-dependent power steering reduces steering effort and facilitates tight maneuvers at the push of a button as already implemented for the Opel ADAM and Corsa. Elsewhere, Park Assist prevents unwanted bumps when parking by issuing an acoustic warning from approaching obstacles when reversing. Cruise control with speed limiter ensures driving at legal speeds, which is extremely helpful in complicated urban traffic or in residential areas with a 30 km/h speed limit. In addition, summer days are made even more enjoyable by the optional electric sunroof.

Lifesaving and entertaining connectivity unrivaled in the segment

As early as this fall, it will be possible to order Opel KARL with a new generation, super-connected IntelliLink infotainment system and the Opel OnStar connected service. With these, Opel’s new entry-level model will set new standards for connectivity in the mini-car segment.

Opel OnStar will offer subscribers a wide array of services. If, for example, an airbag deploys, Opel OnStar’s center will be alerted automatically. An advisor will then contact the vehicle to determine whether help is required and, if there is no answer, emergency responders will be immediately sent to the exact location of the vehicle. However, this is just one of the services and functionalities offered by Opel OnStar. The driver and the passengers can call on OnStar 24/7 and 365 days a year for roadside assistance and other remote connection services, knowing that they will be connected to an advisor who speaks their language. Furthermore, Opel OnStar will provide KARL with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, capable of connecting up to seven devices.  

New Opel KARL -  IntelliLink  infotainment system
In its Cosmo trim level, Opel KARL already includes the R300 BT radio, Aux-in and USB ports as well as Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming. It can be combined with DAB+ (Digital Audio Broadcasting), substantially increasing program choice and sound quality. Also orderable as of this fall, the new generation IntelliLink system will empower Opel KARL users to bring the connected world of smartphones and several apps into the cabin using Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

New Opel KARL - Navigation
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay give Opel KARL owners a smart and simple way to access select smartphone features through the IntelliLink infotainment system. These features include navigation, hands-free text messaging, access to contact lists, and entertainment apps for news or music. Many features can be controlled via commands through a steering wheel button, meaning drivers spend more time with eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

New Opel KARL - Apple CarPlay
The IntelliLink home page gives access to five major functions: make phone calls (Phone), listen to music (Audio), look at photos and videos (Gallery), change settings such as the language of the system for instance (Settings) or use phone integration.

Sharp lines with character

Opel KARL’s design makes it a mature and characterful mini car. Its fascia displays a playful friendly but witty attitude. It features a wide and low proportioned single trapezoid grill with the brand bar that has been designed to cradle the Opel logo. The brand bar is lean and includes ‘winglets’ that link the eye to the intriguing eagle-eye shaped headlamps embracing the front grill. The signature ‘blade’ body side, dynamically sweeping upwards, is indicated on the doors and reflects Opel’s sculptured, precise design philosophy. The two sharp lines running through the door handles emphasize the dynamic high-quality character. Large headlights and taillights add to the vibrant appearance, creating an overall design that shows exceptional attention to detail for a vehicle in this class. Opel KARL is available in ten different colors ranging from ‘Mystic Violet’ to ‘Fresh Green Lime’. Furthermore, various designs are available for rims of 14 to 16 inches.

New Opel KARL in Fresh Green Lime color
On the inside, Opel KARL offers a roomy interior and driver-focused cockpit providing the driver and passenger with a feeling of space, quality and love for detail previously only known from cars from higher segments. Clever storage possibilities such as the additional storage are above the regular glove box or the enlarged front door pockets that can hold a standard one-liter PET bottle reinforce the efficient utilization of interior space. Opel KARL all offers full rear windows that can be rolled down – another rarity in this price category.

New Opel KARL - Heated leather steering wheel and heated front seats as option

Comprehensive package

With its typical Opel design, lively and well-tempered engine, almost countless safety features and technologies along with the standard-setting connectivity and infotainment technology Opel KARL shows that it is a fully-fledged member of the Opel family and that it offers a sensible and convincing package for a price of euro 9,500.

!NEW! Opel is Leader for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

  • New Opel Astra K will be first in class to offer compatibility with both solutions
  • Phone integration in other Opel models to be announced soon

Simple handling: A “Projection” icon on the infotainment touch-screen is visible when a phone is not connected, then changes to indicate either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto (whichever is applicable) when a compatible phone is connected via USB.
As of this summer, Opel will begin offering phone integration featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto across its model range.

Starting with the new-generation Astra, which will make its world premiere at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (September 17 to 27), Opel will roll-out Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in its mini, small, compact and midsize models during model year 2016.

“Phone integration is a smart and simple way to use your smartphone in your car,” says Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann. “We are offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone integration across the range, at the most attractive prices on the market. These applications, in addition to Opel OnStar, our personal connectivity and service assistant, show again how we are playing a leading role in enabling customers to connect with their cars.”

Opel’s new generation IntelliLink infotainment concept gives owners a smart and simple way to access both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. R 4.0 IntelliLink will be compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone integration at the beginning of the 2016 model year, with Android Auto compatibility on Touch R 700 and Navi 900 IntelliLink systems scheduled to arrive in the course of 2016.

Phone integration: Opel will roll-out Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in its mini, small, compact and midsize models starting in September.
Each system builds off of the features smartphone users rely on most. Android Auto is built around Google Maps, Google Now and the ability to talk to Google, as well as a growing audio and messaging app ecosystem that includes WhatsApp, Skype, Google Play Music, Spotify, and podcast players. A full list of supported apps is available at

Apple CarPlay takes the iPhone features you’d want to access while driving and puts them on the vehicle’s display in a smart, simple manner. That allows drivers to make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music right from the touchscreen or by voice via Siri. Apple CarPlay supported apps include Phone, Messages, Maps, Music and compatible third party apps. A full list of those apps can be found at

Using either application in a compatible Opel is simple. A “Projection” icon on the infotainment touch-screen is visible when a phone is not connected, then changes to indicate either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto (whichever is applicable) when a compatible phone is connected via USB. Android Auto requires a phone running Android Lollipop 5.0 operating system or above, while Apple CarPlay requires an iPhone 5 or later.

Compatible apps need to be downloaded to a phone before using. Apple and Google’s privacy statements and terms of use apply. Data plan rates may also apply.

As of the 2016 model year, the Opel Meriva, Mokka, current Astra J GTC, current Astra J sedan, Zafira Tourer and Cascada with Navi 650 or CD600/Navi 950 IntelliLink infotainment systems will offer an embedded app for AUPEO! Personal Radio.

Opel infotainment systems available with
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the course of 2016
R 4.0 IntelliLink Touch R700/Navi 900 IntelliLink
Opel ADAM New Opel Astra K
Opel Corsa E Opel Insignia
New Opel Astra K

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

!NEW! GM Powertrain Europe creating additional jobs and bringing more high-tech equipment to Turin

Dan Ammann, General Motors President visits GMPT-E site, celebrating 10th anniversary

To mark the 10th anniversary of the foundation of GM Powertrain Europe Turin, GM President Dan Ammann (right) visited the engineering site and announced plans to strengthen the collaboration with the Politecnico di Torino. He was welcomed by Pierpaolo Antonioli, GMPT-E Managing Director.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the foundation of GM Powertrain Europe Turin, GM President Dan Ammann visited the engineering site and announced plans to strengthen the collaboration with the Politecnico di Torino, further expanding the engineering development center.

The letter of intent signed today with the Politecnico and the Regione Piemonte reinforces the research collaboration with the university through the growth of projects carried out by Politecnico and GMPT-E Turin as well as a project for the expansion of the area of GMPT-E in the campus of Politecnico named “Cittadella Politecnica”. The new area will measure approximately 2,500 square meters and construction is expected to start at the beginning of 2016. This new building will be fully dedicated to highly specialized labs, offices and powerful computational machines.

GM Powertrain Europe Turin announced plans to strengthen the collaboration with the Politechnico di Torino. From left: GMPT-E Managing Director Pierpaolo Antonioli, GM President Dan Ammann, Vice President Global Powertrain Dan Nicholson and Vice President Powertrain Europe Christian Müller.
Founded in 2005, GM Powertrain Europe is the center of innovation and development for diesel engines and related electronic control of GM globally and designs propulsion systems for Opel/Vauxhall, Chevrolet, and other GM brands. From design to the study of virtual components or tests on the engine benches – everything takes place in the laboratories and test cells of GM Powertrain Europe in Turin.

The site has grown rapidly since its foundation a decade ago: from a temporary office in 2005 to a state-of-the-art facility in the Politecnico campus. The workforce has also grown from the initial 60 people to approximately 650, expressing a highly qualified and international employment with more than 15 nationalities represented, mostly engineers. In 2015, GM plans to create an additional 60 jobs.  

With its state-of-the-art equipment, GM Powertrain Europe Turin represents a strategic asset for GM globally. In Europe, the engineering center provides Opel vehicles with premium diesel technology, like the 1.6 CDTI engine, the quietest diesel in its class that has earned the nickname ‘Whisper Diesel’.

In North America, GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado will be equipped with the new 2.8 liter diesel engine starting from the second half of 2015. These will be the only diesel in the midsize segment, promising excellent fuel economy and torque for maximum towing capability. Diesel engines of the future which are designed in Turin all share common characteristics: high-tech solutions offering moderate fuel consumption and CO2 emissions also thanks to the control system that is completely developed in-house.

“The Turin engineering center and our entire team here plays an important role in our efforts to lead the industry in product and technology” said Ammann. “The team has developed world-class modern diesel engines providing our customers with outstanding performance and efficiency in a fun-to-drive experience.”

“The growth of GMPT-E has demonstrated the importance of the relationship between the industry and the academia. A full generation of young and brilliant engineers took the opportunity to build their future and their career in one of the largest automotive companies. Their energy and strength helped GM to develop a solid diesel line up,” added Pierpaolo Antonioli, GMPT-E Managing Director.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

!NEW! Opel Astra K: Camouflage is the First Step to Success

  • Traditional trickery: 30 years of camouflaging and trickery at Opel
  • From ‘Fishies’ to ‘Cube’: 3D effect makes debut in fourth generation camouflage foil
  • Cover-up better than naked truth: Interior camouflage increasingly important

Fourth generation camouflage foil: Between 60 and 70 sheets of foil are required to completely cover up a compact class car like the new Opel Astra K.

It is a never ending contest: the battle between carmakers and the spy photographers. The one side will do anything in its power to hide their newest creations from the outside world for as long as possible, whereas the other side develops increasingly creative techniques to get a shot of their motorized prey and to get the first photograph of a prototype. For 30 years, Opel has been developing new camouflage foils and artificial add-on components to lead the automotive paparazzi astray. The latest coup of the cover-up team is, amongst others, being used for the new Opel Astra K: The black and white ‘Cube’ camouflage foil. Opel hopes to keep the design and the interior of the newly-developed Astra a secret until the first photographs are released in the upcoming weeks. The new Opel Astra K will be on show in all its beauty for the first time and celebrate its world premiere at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt in September.

Traditional trickery: 30 years of camouflaging and trickery at Opel
The experts have paid special attention to protecting the newly designed fascia, the grille with the distinctive Opel Blitz and the rear from curious eyes. If camouflage expert Andreas Kubis had his way, the new Astra would be covered up completely. However, Astra prototypes can only be distorted to a degree that still allows engineers and test drivers to deliver realistic results for the following production vehicle. And obviously a TÜV safety inspector has to clear the camouflaged vehicle before it is allowed to take to the road. That makes certain things easier for Kubis to accept, the lights for example. “The turn indicators have to be visible from the side,” explains Kubis. Nonetheless, ideally the precise contour of the lights should remain hidden as it is one of the recognition factors and characteristic for every Opel.

For 30 years: Opel has been developing new camouflage foils and artificial add-on components to lead the automotive astray
Kubis, a certified technical manager, has successfully being trying to stay a step ahead of spy photographers since 2012. The 3D effects of ‘Cube’, already frustrating preying eyes during the development phase of the Corsa, only indicate the contours of the new Astra, make them become blurred and confuse onlookers. Between 60 and 70 sheets of foil are required to completely cover up a compact class car like the new Opel Astra. It is stone chip, temperature and UV-resistant. Temperatures ranging from minus 40 degrees to plus 80 degrees Celsius are not a problem. After all, the test drivers in Arjeplog in northern Sweden need to rely on the camouflage in the most adverse weather conditions.

For the first time ever, the experts used an additional special privacy foil for the instruments, center console and infotainment system of the band new Opel Astra K prototype. “The material is well-known from laptops and mobile phones. It prevents the contents of the screen being visible from the side,” explains Kubis. Plastic enclosures and foam flesh simulate the shape of the instruments, whereas the privacy foil can even take on the most powerful zoom lenses.

From Fishies via Wirries to Cube – four generations of camouflage foil

‘Cube’ is already the fourth generation of camouflage foil used by Opel. “Looking back, it is plain to see how colleagues adapted current trends in body construction and turned them into a match camouflage philosophy,” describes Kubis. At the beginning, it was only about covering the rough edges and concealing the headlights behind yellow and red tape. The demands on camouflaging grew continuously as camera technology improved. At the end of the 1980s, camouflaging reached a new level with the front and rear ends also disappearing under tape. “Even the windows were partially covered to obscure characteristic window lines,” says Kubis. The first Opel camouflage foil, with fish-shaped hashes called ‘Fishies’, was used on the Corsa C in 1999. A team of up to three people needed several days to apply the foil to the car back then. Gradually, the camouflage experts padded the foil with plastic and foam components, distorting the vehicle completely. The ‘Flimmies’ pattern, used amongst others for the Astra J in 2009, saw the time required to cover a car shrink to two days per vehicle. But each check had to be applied individually and painstakingly removed later. Screen printing technology used for the third-generation ‘Wirries’, used from 2011 to 2013, saved the experts up to a day of work. The foil could be applied in one piece and removed if required.

Test drivers rule: Camouflage is part of the job

Opel has been camouflaging the interior of its new cars since 2008 and obviously there has been developments in this sector too. In the past, hand-stitched artificial leather covers with Velcro were used to cover the instrument panel and the dashboard. These days the experts rely on a much lighter mesh fabric known from backpacks which allows for the individual components to be covered separately. Air vents, the handbrake and other important buttons such as the hazard light button need to remain uncovered when on the road. A special lamination seals up the rear and side windows while at the same time allowing the driver to see out. To this day, test drivers and engineers follow a simple rule, especially when parking the car: cover up the instruments and protect the interior from preying eyes.

Camouflage is good but a trick is sometimes better

New Opel ADAM S - Prototype with ‘Driver training’ lettering.
When looking to the animal kingdom it becomes apparent that camouflage is good, but a trick can be (even) better. The new Opel ADAM S with its eye-catching wheels and the distinctive spoiler posed a real challenge for Kubis and his team. “We didn’t want to make the first prototype even more attention-grabbing. That is why we didn’t camouflage the Opel ADAM S. Instead, we make it look like a training car,” says Kubis. The lettering ‘Driver training’ and some sporty black and yellow stripes did the trick and the paparazzi lost interest. The battle was won – at least until the next round.

New Opel ADAM S - Prototype with ‘Driver training’ lettering.

Monday, 18 May 2015

New Milestone in Figueruelas: 12 Million Opel Vehicles Produced

  • A fifth generation Opel Corsa is the milestone car
  • Figueruelas, cornerstone of the Aragón economy
  • Milestone coincides with GM’s celebrations of 500 million manufactured cars

Proud employees: Red Opel Corsa is the 12 millionth car produced in Zaragoza.
A new milestone has been set in the General Motors España plant in Figueruelas: The 12 millionth unit rolled of the production line, a fifth generation Opel Corsa Color Edition. The Corsa, Opel’s perennial bestseller, mainly targets a young audience and to date 10 million units have been manufactured in the Zaragoza plant in its almost 33 years of age making it a key player in reaching this production milestone.

Celebrating 12 million cars from Zaragoza: Antonio Cobo, Managing Director of GM Spain, and Francisco Esteban Gil, production employee from the press shop.
“Today is a day for celebrations, but also of gratitude. I would like to say 12 million thanks here today. One for each of the Corsa, Kadett, Astra, Tigra, Combo, Meriva and Mokka, that, during the last three decades, have promoted quality made in Spain not only throughout Europe but also beyond. I would also like to say thank you to each of the customers that put their trust in us,” said Antonio Cobo, Managing Director of GM España.

Antonio Cobo, Managing Director of GM Spain, gave a speech at the event in Zaragoza.
The attractive fifth generation Opel Corsa offers a modern appearance and a refined driving experience, with a new chassis and an optimized steering, combining German engineering with emotional design, superior connectivity and an unrivalled price/performance ratio. The new generation of gasoline engines and the thoroughly improved turbo diesel engines, ensure a new level of comfort along with lively performance combined with minimum consumption and reduced emissions.

The car that represents the 12 millionth unit is a five-door Opel Corsa Color Edition, equipped with an efficient new three cylinder 1.0 Turbo engine with 115 Hp. The magma red Corsa with a black roof is intended for the German market and comes with extensive connectivity features. The IntelliLink infotainment system brings the world smartphones to the car. Furthermore, the Corsa can look to the latest advances in active safety and driver assistance systems.

The anniversary car rolled off the production line this morning, driven by employee number 12,000: Francisco Esteban Gil Cañete. Cañete, an hourly production employee from the press shop has been with the company since 1989.

Since its inauguration in 1982, the GM España factory in Figueruelas has been a cornerstone of the economy in Aragón. Its economic value – the number of employees and automotive supply industry park that has been created in the direct vicinity – are vital for the region. Both General Motors and Opel have placed a lot of faith in the Spanish plant in terms of continuous investments that currently exceed euro 4.5 billion, nearly half of the total investment coming in the last ten years.

Its impact on the creation of direct and indirect employment is immense. In addition to the more than 5,000 employees of GM España, a further 28,000 people are employed by the almost 300 suppliers located in Aragón.

The Figueruelas plant is an essential part of the Opel strategy to return to profitability and of the new product offensive that will see the introduction of 27 new models and 17 new engines by 2018.

This new milestone reached by the Aragón plant coincides with the celebration of the 500 million cars produced by the Opel parent company, General Motors, of which more than 68 million have been Opels and 3.7 million of these having been sold in Spain. In total, General Motors has sold nearly 4 million automobiles of many of its brands in Spain.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

!NEW! First in Compact Class: New Opel Astra with IntelliLux LED Matrix Light

  • Bright future: New light generation IntelliLux LED in Opel bestseller from autumn
  • Light as day at night: LED Matrix system offers constant, glare-free high beams
  • Highest efficiency: More intensive and longer lasting than conventional headlamps

Opel IntelliLux LED on: Consisting of 16 LED segments – eight on each side of the vehicle – the new LED Matrix system automatically and constantly adapts the length and distribution of the light beam to every traffic situation.
The intelligent lighting system of the future will make its premiere in the new Opel Astra generation at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt (September 17 to 27, 2015). With the new Astra, the ground-breaking Full-LED Matrix Light IntelliLux that enables driving with glare-free high beams will be available in the compact class for the first time, making top-of-the-range lighting technology accessible to the largest audience ever. After having introduced Bi-Xenon adaptive lighting in the current generation Astra, Opel again takes on a pioneering role in lighting technology with its next compact bestseller.

Opel IntelliLux LED off: Consisting of 16 LED segments – eight on each side of the vehicle – the new LED Matrix system automatically and constantly adapts the length and distribution of the light beam to every traffic situation.
“We are democratizing technology by making innovations affordable and bringing them to high volume vehicles. Our new LED Matrix Light, IntelliLux, is a perfect example. With the introduction of this lighting technology to the Compact Vehicle Class, Opel is the first automaker to offer this highly efficient and high performance lighting system in this segment. Our integration of the LED Technology provides outstanding night time performance enhancing safety for the driver and those around them,” says Charlie Klein, Vice President Vehicle Engineering at Opel.

Bright as day: High beam lighting for driver without dazzling other road users

After having already made Bi-Xenon adaptive lighting more affordable and available in most of its models, including the current Astra, of which more than 200,000 have been sold with the system, engineers at Opel’s International Technical Development Center in Rüsselsheim turned their attention to developing, enhancing and fine-tuning the lighting system of the new generation. After years of preparation Opel’s new, patented IntelliLux Full-LED is now ready to go into production. To date, this type of system has been reserved for upmarket vehicles in the luxury class. Opel will introduce it in the new Astra generation making its premiere at this year’s International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt in September. This was possible with intelligent solutions and the latest generation of LEDs, which provide bright illumination, close to daylight.

Consisting of 16 LED segments – eight on each side of the vehicle – the new LED Matrix system automatically and constantly adapts the length and distribution of the light beam to every traffic situation. In the process, it works with the Opel Eye front camera that, for instance, detects the presence of other vehicles in motion so that the individual LED segments that would dazzle oncoming drivers are automatically switched off and on.

As soon as the vehicle exits urban areas, the high-beam lighting is automatically switched on – and it always remains on. This leads to a considerable increase in safety, as confirmed in a study conducted by the Technical University of Darmstadt and the European LightSightSafety Initiative. The study shows that at driving speeds of 80 km/h, drivers detect objects at the side of the road around 30 to 40 meters sooner than with conventional Halogen or Xenon low beam lighting. This gives them around 1.5 seconds more time to react, for instance when animals suddenly cross the road.

Not only Opel Astra drivers benefit from this – while they enjoy excellent light and visibility conditions, they do not dazzle other road users. When the camera detects light sources from oncoming or preceding traffic, individual LEDs in the relevant zone are deactivated, simply “cutting out” the area around the vehicles. The rest of the road and its surroundings remain brightly illuminated. With this degree of precision and adaptation, LED Matrix Light elevates lighting technology to the next level.

Opel lighting engineers have not made an intelligent, Full-LED system more affordable, they have also taken it to a new level of intelligence. As not all Astra customers will opt for an imbedded navigation system, the lighting system needs to be able to recognize if the vehicle is in an urban area or on a highway for instance independently. The IntelliLux system in the new Opel Astra will be the first Matrix Light system that continuously optimized in a series production car without being linked to the navigation system. In addition to the many automatic low and high beam pattern variations, IntelliLux LED also provides a special highway light mode that further increases safety at night. And a special welcome light function makes entering and exiting the Opel Astra more comfortable in the dark.

Brighter, longer-lasting, more efficient: Opel’s IntelliLux LED scores threefold

The LED Matrix light’s high efficiency brings added safety and comfort. Not only does the system illuminate the surroundings brighter than conventional lighting systems, it also has a considerably longer running life than headlamps with Halogen or Xenon lamps. Another advantage is that mechanical movements are no longer necessary in the headlamp – the individual LED segments turn on or off according to the situation, which also contributes to a durability that far exceeds the lifespan of a car.

Does not dazzle: When Opel IntelliLux detects light sources from oncoming or preceding traffic, individual LEDs in the relevant zone are deactivated, simply “cutting out” the area around the vehicles. The rest of the road and its surroundings remain brightly illuminated.
Last but not least, the new lighting system has also made the designers very happy. Before, the size of the headlamps’ housing mainly depended on the most expensive technology it protected, but now the base lamp determines the visible part of the headlamp. Thanks to the small LEDs used in the Matrix light, in future, the lamps can be designed more finely and delicately; mechanical, complicated control units that require a lot of space and optically oversized housings are thus outdated.

!NEW! Opel Starts Second Quarter with Increase in Sales

  • Sales in Europe rise by four percent in April
  • Market share continues to increase
  • Further growth expected thanks to product offensive
Impressive Jack-of-all-trades: The Corsa is the all-rounder in Opel’s small car portfolio and available with three or five doors.

Opel continued its positive trend in April with the carmaker selling around 92,700 vehicles across Europe – an increase of around 3,600 units or four percent. Opel also increased its European market share by 0.1 percent points to 5.64 percent.

Bestseller: New Opel Corsa has been ordered more than 200,000 times already.
The growth is especially based on a strong performance in Germany. In Opel’s home market, sales were up around seven percent in April. The company had an April market share of 7.26 percent – its highest April market share in the passenger car segment since 2011. Opel also posted improved sales figures, amongst others, in Turkey (+68 percent), Ireland (+42 percent), Greece (+34 percent) and Poland (+24 percent). In total, the Rüsselsheim-based carmaker increased its sales volume in 19 countries.

In the period from January to April, Opel sales increased by 3.3 percent whereas the overall European automotive market only grew by 2.6 percent.

The Mokka once again proved to be a popular choice among buyers with sales increasing in April by almost 30 percent. Corsa registrations were also up 20 percent. Opel has already received over 200,000 orders for its small car bestseller. Sales of the light commercial vehicles Vivaro and Movano grew even faster with an increase of 30.5 and 32.5 percent respectively.

“Our sales outperformed the market despite the conditions remaining difficult. This is further proof of the impact our product offensive is having,” said Peter Christian Küspert, Vice President Sales & Aftersales Opel Group. “We expect further growth from KARL, our mobility and service assistant Opel OnStar and the new Astra that we will present at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.”

Opel is currently in the middle of the biggest product offensive in the history of company. By 2018, the carmaker will bring 27 new models and 17 new engines to market and is targeting considerable growth throughout Europe.

Monday, 11 May 2015

!NEW! Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann and KAD Models on Bodensee Klassik Rallye

Bodensee Klassik: Opel Kapitäns, Admirals and Diplomats excite spectators

Ready to go: Opel Kapitäns, Admirals and Diplomats at the Bodensee Klassik 2015.
Opel’s presence at the “Rallye of the south for oldtimers and youngtimers”, as the organizers of the Bodensee Klassik describe the event, was impressive this year. Numerous well-known faces took the opportunity to get behind the steering wheels of the cars with the race numbers 66 to 72 with the Opel KAD models mainly powered by mighty V-8 engines.

Eye-catcher: Two Opel Diplomat A V8 Coupés leading the Opel team at the Bodensee Klassik 2015.
The Opel team was led by Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann who reached the finishing line in his very own Diplomat A Coupé. German TV star Tim Wilde took the wheel at the start of the race before handing over to Neumann during the course of the rallye.

“I have always been fascinated by the combination of the timelessly elegant coupé body of the Diplomat and the legendary Chevrolet Small Block V8,” said Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann. “I have been the proud owner of this car for roughly six months now and I am delighted when I get the opportunity to take this icon for a spin.”

The V-8 cruiser with a 5.4-liter, 230 hp engine was built in 1967 and is the last of the exclusive vehicles ever produced by body makers Karmann. A second car of the mini-series of only 347 vehicles also competed with racing legend Joachim Winkelhock at the wheel. Two V-8 Opel Admiral As with 4.6 liter, 190 hp engines, race numbers 68 and 69 and German actor Gesine Cukrowski on board also took to the course through Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Advanced Design Director and passionate Opel GT fan Friedhelm Engler was behind the wheel of a 1969 Opel Kapitän B, mastering the winding roads around Lake Constance with ease.

Stars and cars: Actress Gesine Cukrowski and TV star Tim Wilde driving for Opel.
Last but by no means least a mighty 1976 Diplomat B with a 5.4-liter engine and an unmistakable sound only created by a V-8 rounded off the presence of the KAD models. However, Opel had a further surprise up its sleeve. A small, light Opel Corsa A with race number 72 darted through the field. The Corsa owned by Opel Classic was essentially the speedboat in Opel’s fleet of cruisers and a fitting addition to the old and youngtimer rallye that excited spectators in the Lake Constance region.

Grand final: Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann (on right) and deputy editor-in-chief of Auto Bild Klassik, Frank B. Meyer, on stage.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

!NEW! European Hero Insignia VXR Introduces Three New Holden Firsts

  • Holden welcomes first AWD turbocharged performance sedan to portfolio
  • Insignia VXR introduces three Holden firsts - Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Change Alert and Auto Emergency Braking

Holden Insignia VXR
Holden’s first all-wheel-drive (AWD) turbocharged performance sedan will arrive in Australian dealerships next month, marking the second important instalment in Holden’s new European product onslaught.

Following the exciting launch of Astra and Cascada last month, Holden will welcome the top of the range, sporty Insignia VXR which boasts stunning design, sophisticated technology and European quality all in a true mid-sized performance car.

Built in Ruesselsheim, Germany, Insignia VXR features state-of-the-art AWD technology and sporty performance via a 2.8 litre V6 turbocharged engine which, when partnered with a six-speed automatic transmission, delivers 239kW of power and an impressive 435Nm of torque.

Powerful engine with 239 kW/325 hp and 435 Nm maximum torque

Peter Keley, Executive Director of Sales, said Insignia VXR was an exciting and fitting addition to the Holden range.

“Performance and great to drive have always been part of Holden’s DNA.  Add to this a German designed and engineered AWD performance sedan, loaded with equipment, and you have one very exciting vehicle,” Mr Keley said.

“The Holden Insignia VXR is visually stunning with great road presence, exceptional build quality and breathtaking performance, all at an incredibly competitive price.

“This car is sure to make customers who are looking for a true performance mid-size sedan take a serious look at this latest Holden.

“It is further evidence that Holden is serious about our future product strategy.  Insignia VXR is a very exciting taste of things to come.”

The vehicle will introduce three new sophisticated technologies to Holden, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Change Alert and Auto Emergency Braking, which join numerous other premium features such as Adaptive Forward Lighting, Blind Spot Alert and FlexRide Suspension.

Insignia offers three performance settings; Standard, Sport and VXR, allowing drivers to customise the vehicle’s performance features such as responsive accelerator and gear change, sport steering, firmer sports suspension and a greater rear bias AWD setting. 

The next generation MyLink infotainment system boasts an eight-inch touch screen display and is complemented by a premium audio system with seven high-quality speakers.


Adaptive Cruise Control

The Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) uses a radar sensor to monitor the distance to the preceding traffic and to maintain a selectable gap and the desired speed by adjusting the speed automatically with engine management and brake intervention.

The vehicle is automatically braked if necessary and restarted by using the accelerator pedal.  In combination with ACC, the integrated Forward Collision Alert (FCA) uses the radar sensor of the ACC to detect the vehicle ahead.

Auto Emergency Braking

The Holden Insignia VXR is fitted with state-of-the-art safety features including Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB).

The safety feature supports the driver in mitigating the severity of some front-end crashes by automatically braking the vehicle for an imminent collision.

AEB may help non-attentive drivers that have not yet taken corrective action, avoid or mitigate crashes with vehicles ahead by automatically applying the brakes. This action reduces pre-impact vehicle speed and thus collision energy.

This feature works in conjunction with Forward Collision Alert and also includes Integrated Brake Assist (IBA), which may activate when drivers begin braking quickly.  IBA will assist to avoid or mitigate the severity of the collision by automatically boosting the driver’s braking to the necessary level, based upon the speed of approach and distance to a target ahead, up to the vehicle’s maximum braking effort.

Lane Change Alert

In terms of collisions, any vehicle approaching fast from behind can be highly dangerous especially when a driver is pulling out to overtake or entering a stream of traffic.

Radar with a rearward range of up to 70 metres detects and warns of fast approaching vehicles in either left or right parallel lanes with a visual signal in the respective exterior mirror.


Key Features:
  • 2.8 litre V6 turbocharged engine with six-speed automatic transmission
  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Heated Recaro leather-appointed front sports seats
  • Front and rear park assist
  • Rear View Camera
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Auto headlamps
  • FlexRide Suspension (Adaptive Stability Technology)
  • Satellite Navigation
  • Adaptive Forward Lighting + (Bi-xenon headlamps with LED DRLs)
  • Next Generation MyLink System (Touch Screen)
  • New digital cluster with eight-inch display
  • Passive Entry / Push Button Start
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Side Blind Spot Alert
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Auto Emergency Braking
  • Lane Change Alert

Colour Range:
  • Summit White
  • Carbon Flash Black*
  • Arden Blue*
  • Silver Lake*
* Prestige paint

Thursday, 7 May 2015

!NEW! High-Tech Equipment for the Opel Design Center

  • New center for high-speed milling opened in Rüsselsheim
  • Innovative vehicle concepts can be realized much quicker

Official opening: GM Director Global Design Operations Mark E Leavy, Vice President Design Mark Adams, Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, Head of the Opel Works Council Dr. Wolfgang-Schäfer Klug and Design Operations Director Richard Bolz (from left to right) opened the new high-speed Milling Center in Rüsselsheim.
Opel is laying the foundations for the automotive design of the future with further investments in Rüsselsheim. On Thursday, Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, Vice President Design Mark Adams, Design Operations Director Richard Bolz and Wolfgang Schäfer-Klug, Head of the Opel Works Council, opened a new high-speed milling center, where the design models and concept cars of the future will be produced. Opel has invested a total of euro five million in the ultra-modern milling machines and the modernization of the buildings.

Opening gift: Vice President Design Mark Adams presents Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann with a model of the Monza Concept made at the Milling Center.
“Outstanding design is part of Opel’s brand essence. We are investing in latest technologies to keep it that way. It will give us the opportunity to realize our creative ideas even quicker, more precise and more focused,” said Dr. Neumann. “I am delighted that the Milling Center is now open. The new machines will guarantee outstanding quality when milling our design model and secure employment at our Rüsselsheim site. The investment is further proof of Opel’s comeback to success,” added Wolfgang Schäfer-Klug, Head of the Opel Works Council.

Fast and precise: The computerized milling machines can create the most complex shapes in prime quality and of the highest precision.
High-speed milling is a technological innovation that reduces the development time of vehicles considerably. Design models can be produced in various scales in a relatively short space of time, allowing the proportions and design elements to have their full impact. The computerized, five-axis milling machine operate at up to 60 meters per minute and can create the most complex shapes in prime quality and of the highest precision. The machines can be operated with various materials such as aluminum, Plexiglas and plastics with different degrees of hardness.

The visitors of the opening ceremony received an insight into the numerous possibilities that the new high-tech centers opens: Opel Monza concept car, presented at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, was impressively set in scene in the middle of the new high-speed milling machine.

High-tech milling machine: The Opel Designers in Rüsselsheim can look to the latest technology – here with the Opel Monza Concept.
The Opel Design Center in Rüsselsheim can look back on a unique history spanning more than fifty years. As the first of its kind in the European automotive industry, it attracted car designers from all over the world.

The new Milling Center is a further step in Opel’s large-scale product offensive with 27 new models and 17 new engines being brought to market between 2014 and 2018. The next highlight will be the new Astra that will celebrate its world premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.