Wednesday, 23 September 2015

!NEW! 2016 Buick Cascada Convertible Priced at $33,990

Well-equipped convertible offers high levels of standard content, technology

2016 Buick Cascada convertible
The top-down driving experience of the 2016 Cascada – Buick’s first convertible offered in the United States in 25 years – is priced at $33,990. 

When it goes on sale early next year, the Buick Cascada will offer more standard content, a more powerful standard engine and a lower starting price than the Audi A3 Cabriolet.

“Cascada expands Buick’s lineup with a uniquely fun and personal driving experience,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “With a lower price than key competitors, it also promises to shake up the segment – and look good doing it.”  

The 2016 Cascada – designed from the ground up as a convertible – comes well-equipped in a 2+2 configuration, with room for four adults. Performance is rooted in a 200-horsepower (149 kW) turbo engine, backed by a six-speed automatic transmission, with Buick’s sophisticated HiPer Strut front suspension and a Watts Z-link rear suspension standard.

Additional standard features:
  • Acoustically and thermally insulated electro-hydraulic power roof that lowers in only 17 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph
  • High-intensity discharge, articulating headlamps and front LED daytime running lamps; and LED taillamps
  • Automated, spring-loaded and pyrotechnically activated rollover bars behind the rear seat that are linked to the air bag system
  • IntelliLink system with 7-inch-diagonal color touchscreen
  • Navigation radio and seven-speaker premium audio system
  • Rear Vision camera
  • Remote start
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Front and rear 12-volt power outlets
  • Heat-reflective leather-appointed seating
  • Heated front seats with eight-way power adjustments
  • Heated, leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel
  • Twenty-inch aluminum wheels with bi-color finish
  • Electric power steering
  • Rear Park Assist

A Cascada Premium model, priced at $36,990, adds:
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Automatic headlamp control with tunnel detection
  • Front and Rear Park Assist
  • Rainsense automatic windshield wipers
  • Twenty-inch wheels with “diamond graphic” bi-color finish
  • Front and rear air deflectors.

The Cascada also offers plenty of storage space, including 13.4 cubic feet of cargo room with the top up and 9.8 cubic feet with the top down, as well as a 22.4-inch x 12.6-inch (320 mm x 570 mm) pass-through from the trunk to the passenger compartment. When the 50/50-split rear seat is folded, longer items such as skis and wakeboards can be stowed inside.  

Convertibles compared

2016 Buick Cascada
2016 Audi A3 Cabriolet
Starting price
$33,990 (incl. DFC)
$37,525 (incl. DFC)
Standard engine
1.6L Turbo – 200 HP
1.8L Turbo – 170 HP
Standard transmission
six-speed automatic
six-speed automatic (dual-clutch)
Standard wheels
20-inch aluminum
17-inch aluminum
Front suspension
HiPer Strut
MacPherson strut
Rear suspension
compound crank with Z-link
Convertible top
lowers up to 31 mph
lowers up to 31 mph
Leather seating
Heated front seats
Seat adjusters
eight-way power
eight-way manual with four-way power lumbar 
Heated steering wheel
not available
Dual-zone climate control
Rear-view camera system
IntelliLink infotainment
not available
Navigation radio system
Forward Collision Alert
not available
Lane Departure Warning
not available
Front and Rear Park Assist

!NEW! Buick Previews All-New 2017 LaCrosse

Expressive, Avenir-inspired design cues introduce the new face of Buick

2017 Buick LaCrosse will feature many Avenir-inspired design cues and introduce the new face of Buick.  LaCrosse will make its global debut in November at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Buick confirmed the all-new 2017 LaCrosse, with a preview of its Avenir concept-inspired design cues.

A striking evolution from current Buick models, LaCrosse features a grille design that puts a new face on the brand, including a new, three-color tri-shield insignia set on a wing-shaped element. Contrasting with darkened waterfall grille bars and spanning the width of the opening, it connects the grille and headlamps, and emphasizes LaCrosse’s new sculptural surfacing.

The design was introduced on the Avenir concept and was inspired by the 1954 Wildcat II concept. It’s a face all Buick models will adopt by 2018.

“The Avenir concept shattered expectations of what a Buick could be and the 2017 LaCrosse promises to do the same,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “Its expressive design represents a break from convention and highlights the progressiveness in all new Buick models.”

The next-generation LaCrosse’s design is framed on an all-new chassis that is stronger yet lighter than the current model and serves as the foundation for a more dynamic driving experience. New technologies such as a five-link rear suspension contribute to a more responsive ride, while taking Buick’s signature quietness to a new threshold – and it’s a premium feature not found on many other full-size luxury models, including the Lexus ES.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

!NEW! Special model Irmscher Insignia is3 Bandit

 Irmscher Insignia is3 Bandit 
In the more than 47-year history of the Irmscher group numerous special models and special series have already been incurred. Irmscher offers its industrial customers the complete service from the initial idea to the finished converted model. Some of the models already reached cult status such as the Opel Manta models i200 / GSI / 400 or the Vectra i500 and the exclusive Irmscher Senator 4,0 l .

In total Irmscher rebuilt in its history already up to 500.000 vehicles. As part of this year's IAA the Remshaldeners represent in cooperation with the dealership Köstner a very special power package. It is a new extensive tailor-made suit for the Opel Insignia ST with a changed technology. The vehicle is called Irmscher Insignia is3 "Bandit" and is to be offered as a special model.

The front is dominated by a revised front skirt with under ride splitter which ensures through the large air intakes for impression. The lateral line is extended by the perfectly integrated side sills and lead into a rear diffuser with tailpipe on the left and right side. A discreet rear wing spoiler ensures for a good drive values which also provides the street sports ambitions.

All newly developed parts were subjected to extensive test runs e.g. wind tunnel tests. A color scheme combines the individual elements on the vehicle and the vehicle is revalue with accents in the trend color of gold. The rims of the dimension 8,5 x 20 inches in Irmscher Turbo Star exclusive design enclose the rim window with a fine golden accent line. For an optimized performance  the chassis has been adapted to the raised power.

The engine was revised with a comprehensive revision in the range of the turbocharger, the cooling, the intake section and the exhaust tract and is modified to 370 HP / 279 kW. The torque rises to 600 Nm and acceleration from 0-100 km / h is 5.9 seconds. This remarkable vehicle is planned as Irmscher special model and should be available for purchase from the end of 2015 through the dealership Köstner and Irmscher. Customers can choose between complete vehicles and the additional reconstruction.

!NEW! Vauxhall Celebrating 36 years of Britain's iconic Vauxhall Astra

  • Vauxhall Motors launches new seventh generation Astra
  • New generation model secures 2,000 jobs at the Ellesmere Port plant
  • Five million cars manufactured at Ellesmere Port since 1962

Vauxhall Motors celebrates over 36 years of its iconic Brit-built Astra, with a patriotic Union Jack created by 128 of its new 7th generation models.
To celebrate the launch of the all-new seventh generation Vauxhall Astra, workers at the Ellesmere Port manufacturing plant – home of the Astra for over 36 years – choreographed 128 new models to create the image of the Union Jack flag.

Vauxhall’s seventh generation Astra is the eleventh major model-line to be built at Ellesmere Port and guarantees 2,000 jobs at the Cheshire plant over the next decade.  The plant secured a long-term contract in 2012 and a £140 million investment which further demonstrates the brand’s continued commitment to manufacturing the iconic car in Britain.

The patriotic image, orchestrated in under 24-hours, pays tribute to over 36 years of manufacturing the Brit-built best-seller, which has seen over five million cars roll off the Ellesmere Port production line. Three million have been sold in the UK alone – with 50,000 in the past 12 months and 2 million exported to 25 European markets. It is estimated that at full production in 2016, the plant will build approximately 680 Astras per day with further growth in subsequent years.

The British success story extends beyond the Astra itself – as for over 50 years, Ellesmere Port has been the manufacturing home of every compact class Vauxhall in the UK. With nearly 25 per cent of parts sourced locally from UK suppliers, the plant is a significant contributor the local economy and the continued investment at the facility is set to boost UK manufacturing, utilities, construction, transportation and storage companies by at least £70 million.

New Brit-built Vauxhall Astra – In Numbers:
  •  One in four Britons has owned an Astra
  • c25% of a Vauxhall Astra is produced from British sourced materials
  • It takes approximately 24 hours to build an Astra, from sheet steel to the finished article – this is expected to reduce to just 22 hours as production grows
  • 3 million Astras have been sold over the past 36 years - 50,000 in the past 12 months
  • 5 million vehicles have been manufactured at Ellesmere Port, with 2 million exported to 25 European markets
  • £140m investment in the Ellesmere Port factory
  • The Ellesmere Port plant will build approximately 680 cars per day and 120,000 per year
Tim Tozer, Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director said, “The all-new Brit built Astra raises the bar in terms of quality, design and connectivity.  Lighter than ever before, with new powertrains and cutting-edge technology, the new Astra is set to shake up the C-segment with it arrives in showrooms.”

He continued, “The Vauxhall Astra has been one of Britain’s best-selling and most-loved cars produced for over three decades. The next generation Astra not only continues to drive this legacy and celebrate the strong British heritage of the brand, but is also a key investment for the home of the Astra – Ellesmere Port – and celebrating the workers who have built the vehicle to world class levels of quality and productivity, making it a household name.”

The all-new Astra is in Vauxhall showrooms from October, priced from £15,295 on the road.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

!NEW! All-New Holden Astra Confirmed For Australian Release Late In 2016

  • Sleek and stylish next-generation Astra revealed at Frankfurt Motor Show
  • All-new vehicle architecture means up to 130kg weight saving for Australian models
  • New 1.4 litre and 1.6 litre turbo petrol engines offer more power and leading fuel economy; 5-door variant confirmed for Australia 
  • New high-tech Astra comes equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in advanced infotainment system
  • Holden engineering team involved in global chassis tuning and development 

The all-new Astra was revealed today at the 2015 International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany, giving Australians another taste of what is to come in Holden’s new-model onslaught that will see 24 new models introduced over the next five years.

Destined for a late 2016 release by Holden in Australia, the new Astra is a clean-sheet design from Opel’s European headquarters in Russelsheim, focusing on style and efficiency whilst following the ‘Sculptural Artistry meets German Precision’ design philosophy introduced on the stunning Monza concept in 2013.

Mark Bernhard, Holden Chairman and Managing Director, said the all-new Astra promised Australian customers European style and sophistication, coupled with outstanding efficiency, state-of-the-art technology and connectivity features that signal the future for the Holden brand and its vehicles.

“The all-new Astra is a stunning car and clearly signposts Holden’s future product strategy – bringing in the best cars from around the GM world for our customers.  The Astra offers leading design, performance and technology, and is the latest vehicle to be confirmed as part of Holden’s new product onslaught that promises 24 new models by 2020,” Mr Bernhard said. 

“Astra has made a giant leap forward with a new engine line-up, lightweight design and an advanced infotainment system complete with Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility.

“The 5-door Astra is a perfect small car for Australians and I am excited to say that, following local engineering input to ensure its performance is optimised for our unique road conditions, Holden will be offering this car in late 2016 alongside the recently launched Astra GTC and VXR sports hatches.”

Astra utilises a completely new vehicle architecture, facilitating a sleek new look and weight reduction of up to 130 kilograms for Australian models, lending to a more engaging driving experience.

The drive experience is further enhanced with the employment of an engine portfolio consisting of 1.4 litre turbo and 1.6 litre turbo engines, both with the ability to blend exceptional fuel economy with effortless performance.

All-aluminum: New 1.4 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo with 114 kW and 240 Nm

Making its debut in Astra, the all-aluminum, 1.4 litre ECOTEC Direct Injection turbo engine is capable of producing up to 114 kW of power and  of torque with a targeted fuel consumption of as little as 5.6L/100km.  Alternatively, customers can select the sportier 1.6 litre ECOTEC Direct Injection turbo engine, boasting up to 147 kW of power and a class leading 300 Nm of torque.

New 1.6 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo with 147 kW and 300 Nm
Holden engineers have shared their expertise and experience in contributing to global development rides as well as driving change into Astra’s chassis controls tuning to ensure the car performs well on Australian roads.

Ian Butler, Holden Director of Vehicle Performance, said the design and performance of Astra promised an exceptional small car that, with involvement of Holden’s engineering team during its development, would be perfectly suited to Australians.

“This car has been designed and engineered in Europe to the highest standards and with our chassis tuning input it will excel on Australian roads,” Mr. Butler said.

“The new engine line-up and new, lightweight architecture combine to deliver a refined yet engaging driving experience, maintaining the characteristics the Astra nameplate is famous for.”

Elsewhere, the exterior styling of the all-new Astra, exudes efficiency and style.  Clean, flowing design lines coupled with a floating effect roof and reduction in length and height ensure a leaner, more streamlined body, resulting in an improvement in aerodynamics.

Inside the car, and despite its reduction in exterior size, Astra actually boasts increased rear-seat legroom, complimented by a contemporary cockpit design that is headed by an advanced colour touch screen display housing the latest smartphone integration technology via Apple Car Play and Android Auto. 

Peter Keley, Executive Director - Sales said, the all-new Astra was sure to shake up the very competitive small-car market, offering style, performance and features in one compelling package.

“Make no mistake, the all-new Astra is a world class car.  Its ability to combine outstanding fuel economy with exceptional small car performance and connectivity features will put Holden back on buyer’s shopping list,” Mr. Keley said.

“More and more Australian drivers demand their cars to integrate seamlessly with their lives and their smartphones and key to Astra’s appeal is the advanced infotainment system, complete with Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility. 

“With all of that in one package, we are confident that this vehicle will connect with customers and sitting next to the popular Astra GTC and VXR sports hatches, clearly indicates the quality of Holden’s future product range.”

The exciting, all-new Astra will be launched by Holden in Australia in late 2016 and is part of the brands ongoing product onslaught following the release of a range of European sourced current generation products earlier in 2015.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

!NEW! 30,000 Orders for New Opel Astra Already

  • Opel CEO Dr. Neumann: “Astra is the best Opel we have ever built”
  • Product offensive steps up a gear: 29 new Opel/Vauxhall models until 2020
  • GM CEO Mary Barra: “We want to be number two in Europe.”
  • Connectivity pioneer with Opel OnStar

Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann: “The new Astra is the best Opel we have ever built.”
The 66th International Motor Show in Frankfurt stared for Opel with the world premiere of the new generation Astra earlier today. It also marks the start of a new era for the company. “Our new Astra is the best Opel we have ever built and it represents a real quantum leap for Opel in a number of ways,” said Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann in his opening words to the visitors of the official press conference in the Astra Galaxy. “The entire team has done an outstanding job on the new Astra. It’s another chapter in our comeback story.” The eleventh generation Opel compact class car is not only lighter, more agile and more efficient than ever before – it also comes with features previous only known from higher segments. After unveiling the 5-door Astra, the Opel Group CEO was joined on the stage of the more than 3,300m2

World Premiere: GM CEO Mary Barra and Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann reveal the new Astra Sports Tourer at the Opel Press Conference at the 66th Frankfurt Motor Show.
Opel booth D09 in hall 8.0 by General Motors CEO Mary Barra for the reveal of the Astra Sports Tourer. With around 30,000 orders to date, the car is already a huge success even though it will only be officially launched on October 10.

GM CEO Mary Barra: Speed up the product offensive and new flagship

General Motors’ Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra went on to announce some important news on the European product and model offensive. “We will speed up the model offensive at Opel/Vauxhall: From 2016 to 2020, we will launch 29 new vehicles including an electric vehicle and a second flagship alongside the Insignia. This all-new SUV will be produced in Rüsselsheim by the end of decade and will give the brand a further technological boost.” The goal for the future is clearly defined: Opel/Vauxhall have their sets firmly set on becoming the second largest automaker on the European market by 2022 after securing third place on the European Union passenger car market last year.

Center stage: GM CEO Mary Barra announced a new Opel product offensive with 29 new models to be launched between 2016 and 2020, including an electric vehicle and a second flagship in addition to the Insignia.
One of the key technologies moving forward is autonomous driving – something GM and Opel are working on aggressively. “We’ll see more changes in the auto industry in the next five to ten years than we saw in the past 50 years,” said Barra who also outlined that a world with zero crashes was the vision. “The new Opel Astra with all its active safety systems is an important step into that direction,” she added.

Opel CEO Dr. Neumann: New Astra brings luxury class technologies into the compact segment

The latest Opel compact class generation shows exactly how quick a vision can become reality. “With the new Astra, we realize a new vehicle philosophy that we presented here at the IAA two years ago in the form of the Monza Concept. Compact exterior, spacious interior with a lean and athletic design and trendsetting digital connectivity,” said Dr. Neumann when explaining the key features of the potential compact class bestseller.

Keyword efficiency: The latest generation Astra is based on a new lightweight vehicle architecture. Each component was looked at with regard to mass optimization resulting in the new model being up to 200 kilograms lighter than the outgoing version. The powerful, fuel efficient and clean latest generation engines are the perfect match. “The new engines propel the Astra to the top of its segment,” added Dr. Neumann.

Keyword connectivity: The Rüsselsheim-based carmaker has introduced groundbreaking connectivity solutions with the new generation IntelliLink infotainment systems that are now compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with Opel OnStar. The personal connectivity and service assistant is a guardian angel and service provider. Up to seven mobile devices can be connected to the Wi-Fi Hotspot that comes with a powerful onboard antenna. “OnStar is unique in Europe. Opel is a trendsetter in this area once again,” said Dr. Neumann.

However, that is not all, with the new Astra continuing to “upset the luxury class” as stated in the advertising campaign. The new Astra is the first ever vehicle in the compact class to offer the intelligent, glare-free IntelliLux LED® matrix light system. It addition, it comes with a host of innovative driver assistance systems and practical details. The tailgate on the Astra Sports Tourer, for example, can now be opened and closed with a kicking motion under the rear bumper.

“We are continuing to pursue our philosophy of offering technologies from the luxury class to all Opel customers at affordable prices,“ explained Neumann. “The new Astra is also first-in-class when it comes to total cost of ownership. You see: The new efficiency really pays off.”

Opel booth goes football: Jürgen Klopp and Bundesliga stars in the Astra Galaxy

The Astra Galaxy will also welcome some illustrious guests from the footballing world in the upcoming days. Brand ambassador Jürgen Klopp will kick things off on Saturday, September 19. He will hand over the proceeds from the sale of a BVB-ADAM to the charity “Ein Herz for Kinder” (A heart for children). In addition, he will join Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann for the presentation of the new Astra advertising campaign from 11.00 CET. The team and management of Mainz 05 will join Peter Christian Küspert, Vice President Sales & Aftersales Opel Group, from 11.00 CET the following day. Borussia Dortmund supremo Hans-Joachim Watzke, new Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel and three Borussia players will be interviewed at the booth from 14:00 CET on Thursday, September 24. And on Sunday, September 27 a Bayer 04 Leverkusen delegation led by coach Roger Schmidt and sporting director Rudi Völler will visit the Astra Galaxy from 11:00 CET.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

!NEW! Fit for Job & Family: New Opel Astra Sports Tourer Celebrates World Premiere

  • More room, less weight: The clever lightweight construction
  • Comfortable, practical, smart: New seat architecture and tailgate opening via a kick
  • Athletic, elegant, well-conceived: The design of the future station wagon bestseller
  • Fast, powerful, efficient: Latest generation turbocharged engines with up to 200 hp
  • Ultramodern, connected, safe: Opel OnStar, new IntelliLink and IntelliLux Matrix LED

World premiere at the IAA: The new Opel Astra Sports Tourer will be one of the stars at the Opel booth – it can be admired in Frankfurt from September 17 to 27.

Opel will continue its success story in the compact class with no less than two new models that will be presented at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt (September 17 to 27). The hatchback version of the new generation Astra will make its first big appearance in front of an international audience and it will be accompanied by the Astra Sports Tourer that will celebrate its premiere at the world’s most important motor show. The youngest member of the compact class station wagon generation comes with the same trendsetting development features as its five-door sibling that has been available for order since June. The Astra Sports Tourer is based on a completely new lightweight vehicle architecture that will make it up to 200 kilograms lighter than the outgoing model. Given that the station wagon will also be combined with the latest generation engines, the Opel Astra Sports Tourer will be punchier, livelier and more fun to drive. Simultaneously, fuel consumption has been curbed giving it convincing attributes for company car and frequent drivers who often look to both practical and representative station wagons.

When the order books open in a few weeks’ time, the Astra Sports Tourer will be available with Opel OnStar and the new IntelliLink infotainment systems ensuring that it has an ultramodern and extensive connectivity offer. The same applies to the numerous safety and assistance systems along with the equipment features previously only known from cars from higher segments. And last but not least, the new Astra Sports Tourer will turn heads with its elegant, lean and athletic styling. The interior demonstrates perfectly just how intelligent the design and the entire packaging are: the newcomer has exactly the same dimensions as the outgoing model but is considerably more spacious inside, offering more comfort for the driver and passengers along with more loading space.

“Our new Astra Sports Tourer and our new Astra hatchback – they are two sides of the same coin. Both represent a quantum leap for Opel and for the compact class. Apart from offering ultramodern connectivity and evolutionary design, the station wagon version focuses even more on efficiency,” said Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann. “Our Sports Tourer is the perfect combination of practicality and dynamism: more space, less weight and in addition clever, trendsetting equipment details and features such as the power tailgate that opens and closes automatically with a little kick of the foot. This is how compact class station wagons should be nowadays.”

Efficient packaging: Athletic design with amble space

The new Opel Astra Sports Tourer impresses with its athletic appearance. Just like its five-door sibling, it takes Opel’s design philosophy ‘Sculptural Artistry meets German Precision’ to the next level: efficient, light and dynamic. The newly designed double chrome bar on the grill carries the Blitz and the front headlamps melt into the radiator grill to form a graphic unity. The Sports Tourer further extends the dynamic lines of the 5-door. The slightly arched sloping roofline gives the station wagon a longer appearance – an effect that is further enhanced by the divided C-pillar. The rear view combines high functionality with sporting, elegant design. The Opel Astra Sports Tourer has a stable, robust and safe stance – the muscular rear-wheel arch contours and the divided rear light clusters add to this impression.

The latest generation Sports Tourer has the same dimensions as the outgoing model with a length of 4,702 millimeters, a width of 1,871 millimeters (with exterior mirrors folded in) and a height of 1,499 millimeters – however, it offers much more space for passengers and luggage. The driver can enjoy 26 millimeters of additional headroom, passengers in the rear have 28 millimeters more legroom – two convincing improvements for spatial perception and travelling comfort. Furthermore, the new Opel Astra Sports Tourer can now shoulder 1,630 liters of luggage thanks to the efficient packaging.

Clever and variable: Loading space improvements that help on a daily basis

Opel offers an extremely practical novelty for the new Astra Sports Tourer, which will help on a daily basis: for the first time, the tailgate can be opened without a touch or a remote control. In combination with “Keyless Open” a simple small kicking motion under the rear bumper is enough to open the tailgate. A further kicking motion under the bumper will close the tailgate. The clever system can detect any obstruction and stops the mechanism in case of emergency. Furthermore, the tailgate can still be opened by a switch on the driver’s side of the car, buttons in the luggage compartment or via the key’s remote control.

In order to increase loading space the new Opel Astra Sports Tourer comes with optional 40/20/40 foldable rear seats enabling even more flexible loading space configurations. Furthermore, the FlexOrganizer product range with side rails, dividing nets and various fastening options is available and an option so that all loaded materials can be stored safely and tidily.

Lightweight construction + new generation engines = great driving fun and economy

Each Sports Tourer component was looked at with practicality and efficiency in mind. This is not only visible when it comes to the efficient use of space but especially when it comes to the weight. Compact design on the in and outside and the lightweight bodyshell helped the station wagon shed up to 200 kilograms. High-strength and ultra-high-strength steels, modifications to the axles, to the front and rear along with new production process all played a part in the impressive result. The entry-level Opel Astra Sports Tourer weighs 1,263 kilograms (including driver) and is thus 130 kilograms lighter than the comparable outgoing model. This obviously has a positive effect on agility, ride comfort, consumption and costs.

The engine portfolio with outputs ranging from 70 kW/95 hp to 147 kW/200 hp also adds to the aforementioned virtues. The Sports Tourer will only be powered by engines of the latest generation. The diesel and gasoline engines with a displacement range of 1.0 to 1.6 liters all combine highest efficiency with excellent responsiveness and running smoothness.

The new 1.6 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo that will celebrate its premiere at the IAA is the top-of the-range engine available for the Opel Astra Sports Tourer. The combustion chamber of the 147 kW/200 hp direct injection turbo unit can withstand peak pressure of 130 bar and mobilizes an impressive 300 Nm of torque (with overboost). This powerhouse also delivers outstanding smoothness over the full engine speed range. To achieve this, the engineers made numerous optimizations to the induction and exhaust systems including decoupling the cam cover from the cylinder head via specific fasteners and a dedicated sealing system. Despite direct injection and focused combustion, engineers were able to reduce noise levels substantially compared to the previous engine. Because of these ‘sound-engineering’ measures, the customer will appreciate quiet and smooth idling, with a pleasant sound quality even at high road speeds, engine speeds and loads.

Innovative technologies: Safety, comfort and connectivity taken to a new level

Apart from impressing with ultramodern, trendsetting engine, the new Astra Sports Tourer also sets new standards in safety, infotainment and comfort. The intelligent IntelliLux LED® Matrix light in the new Astra is another absolute novelty in the compact segment. It enables permanent extra-urban driving with glare-free high beams and automatically and continuously deactivates individual LED modules when oncoming traffic or a vehicle immediately ahead are detected. The area around the light source is simply masked out and the rest of the road remains brightly illuminated. The groundbreaking system thus increases the active safety of all road users while also bringing additional comfort to the Opel Astra Sports Tourer driver when driving at night. Numerous innovative assistance systems drawing on the latest generation Opel Eye front camera offer the driver further support – starting with the more extensive and precise Traffic Sign Assist over Lane Keep assist, that even offers active steering corrections in case of an emergency, right up to the Forward Collision Alert with Collision Imminent Braking that can even bring the car to a standstill at speeds under 40 km/h.

On the inside, another unique element for the compact segment can be found: Opel OnStar, the personal connectivity and service assistant, serves as a guardian angel for the driver and passengers. In addition, two new IntelliLink systems will be introduced. The latest generation of the infotainment system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Elsewhere, the new AGR-certified premium ergonomic seats add additional comfort with side bolster adjustment, massage and memory function along with ventilation. Passengers in the rear can also look forward to an additional optional comfort feature with seat heating being available for the two outer rear seats.

The Opel/Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer is traditionally responsible for around 30 percent of Opel/Vauxhall Astra sales in Europe. The main customers are company car drivers along with families who want to combine practical loading space solutions with high travelling comfort. The biggest markets for the versatile station wagon are Germany, the UK and Italy. In Germany, order books for the new Opel Astra Sports Tourer will open on October 10, 2015. The other countries will follow.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

!NEW! Opel’s European Sales Increase by Almost 13 Percent in August

  • Opel outgrows the market more than threefold in August
  • Sales increase of around four percent in the first eight months
  • New registrations up in more than 19 European countries

Hot summer: Opel increased sales in August by more than 7,300 vehicles or 12.8 percent compared to the same period of 2014 to around 64,500 units.
Opel added another chapter to its ongoing success story in August with strong growth across Europe. 
According to preliminary numbers, the Rüsselsheim-based carmaker increased sales in August by more than 7,300 vehicles or 12.8 percent compared to the same period of 2014 to around 64,500 units. Opel therefore outgrew the overall European vehicle market (plus 4.1 percent) more than threefold. Opel’s market share is up by more than 0.4 percentage points to 5.71 percent. The overall result for the first eight months of the year is also positive – despite Opel pulling out of the Russian market. From January to August, the brand sold over 735,000 vehicles – around four percent or 27,300 units more than during the same period of last year. This is equivalent to a market share of 5.83 percent.

Insignia and co.: Opel and its British sister brand Vauxhall posted an increase in volume in more than 19 European markets for the first eight months of 2015.
“This sales success is mainly down to our new models that are extremely popular with the customers across Europe. The new Astra, which will celebrate its world premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show and is a real quantum leap, will add additional drive to our sales,” said Peter Christian Küspert, Vice President Sales and Aftersales of the Opel Group.

Opel and its British sister brand Vauxhall posted an increase in volume in more than 19 European markets for the first eight months of 2015 including Germany (+3 percent), the UK (+3 percent), France (+6 percent), Spain (+17 percent), Portugal (+18 percent), Poland (+18 percent), Italy (+20 percent) and Turkey (+34 percent).

Opel recorded its highest market share for August on its home market Germany since 2011 – with a 7.2 percent share of the overall vehicle market and a 7.5 percent share of the passenger car market. Opel also achieved its best market share for August since 2011 in the Netherlands (5.8 percent) and in the Czech Republic, the company recorded its best market share for August since 2001 (5.31 percent). The brand with the Blitz claimed top spot on the Hungarian passenger car market in August with a market share of 12.31 percent. Opel’s sister brand Vauxhall was the second on the UK passenger car market in August (11.27 percent market share) and for the first eight months of the year (10.29 percent market share). Furthermore, Opel took second place on the Spanish passenger car market in August.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

!NEW! Opel Astra K: Stellar Driver Assistance, Safety and Comfort Features

  • Improved performance: New generation Opel Eye front camera enables new level of safety
  • Standing at attention: Collision Mitigation Braking and Lane Keep Assist
  • Warning systems: Comprehensive forward collision alerts and Side Blind Spot Alert
  • Tickets savers: Traffic Sign Assist, Headway Alert and Following Distance Indicator
  • Outstanding comfort: Next generation of ergonomic seats with massage function
  • Three-part airbag approach: Front, thorax-pelvis side and full-length curtain airbags

Following Distance Indication: It utilizes the front camera to detect moving vehicles on the road ahead and calculates the distance to them
The new Opel Astra, which premieres at the IAA in Frankfurt (September 17-27), is not only lighter and more efficient than its predecessors, it also boasts innovative driver assistance systems and comfort features to make journeys, short or long, safer and more relaxed. Many of these systems are unrivalled in the compact class segment or celebrate their Opel debut in the new Astra. The latest generation Opel Eye front camera with enhanced capabilities and functionalities such as Collision Mitigation Braking and Collision Imminent Braking, or the completely newly engineered seating system with outstanding ergonomics are just some examples.

“Several generations of Kadett and Astra have brought innovative technologies from the upper class into the affordable compact segment. Each generation has raised the bar in safety, comfort and efficiency. I wanted the new Astra to once again set standards in the compact class. And it does it. We have invested much engineering effort to develop new systems that improve active safety as well as the very best seats in the segment,” said Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann.

New Opel Eye front camera enables ticket-saving assistance systems

The improved next generation Opel Eye front camera makes its debut in the new Opel Astra. It has higher image processing power, an increased detection rate and it processes an additional amount of information from different sources: when combined with Navi 900 IntelliLink, it draws on data from the navigation system that are fused with data detected by the camera itself. This allows it to provide the driver with more accurate information than ever before.

Thanks to this enhanced capability, the Astra’s Traffic Sign Assist offers improved performance. Now boasting even higher precision, it can detect and display round traffic signs, rectangular – such as highway – signs, or speed limit related add-on signs with graphic symbols while the multiple exposure technology improves the detection rate of dynamic – such as LED – signs. Traffic Sign Assist also continuously checks the data provided by the front camera and compares them to the information provided by the Navi 900 IntelliLink navigation system. It displays implicit speed limits – when entering an urban area for instance – and the end of these – when exiting a city – before then displaying the country-specific speed limit for the respective type of road. In addition, it gives an immediate indication of speed limits after turning to a different type of road. In the new Astra, speed limits are permanently displayed on the screen located between the speedometer and the rev counter – thus reducing the risk of speeding tickets.

Following Distance Indication: It utilizes the front camera to detect moving vehicles on the road ahead and calculates the distance to them.
Another ticket-saver – which helps avoid fines for tailgating – featured in the new Astra is Following Distance Indication that drivers can activate on the central display. It utilizes the front camera to detect moving vehicles on the road ahead and calculates the distance to them. This value is then displayed to the driver in seconds. This indication approach is in line with the regulations in most European countries, which define distance in terms of time, not in meters. A stylized green car symbolizes the vehicle in front. If the distance is insufficient, the Headway Alert function is automatically activated and the symbol turns amber.

Lane Departure Warning: Now also with Active Lane Keep Assist, is an active safety feature making its Opel debut in the new Astra.
Opel Eye’s intelligent assistance systems enhance active safety also enabled by the third generation Opel Eye front camera, Lane Departure Warning, now also with Lane Keep Assist, is an active safety feature making its Opel debut in the new Astra. As before, it recognizes road markings, but it now gently turns the steering wheel in addition to the well-known alerts if the Astra’s driver should unintentionally veer out of lane. The system works at speeds ranging from 60 to 180 km/h but does not continuously steer the vehicle. If the steering torque does not prevent departure (e.g. on curves), the amber Lane Keep Assist icon flashes and provides three warning tone as the lane marker is crossed to provide a Lane Departure Warning alert. The steering wheel nudges and alerts are disabled if the driver is detected to be actively steering, braking, accelerating or if a turn signal is activated. The intelligent software required for Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning has been developed completely in house.

Lane Keep Assist: If the steering torque does not prevent departure, the amber icon flashes and provides three warning tone as the lane marker is crossed to provide a Lane Departure Warning alert.
When the new Astra is equipped with the Opel Eye front camera, it also offers Forward Collision Alert with Collision Mitigation Braking functions. The Forward Collision Alert (FCA) feature assists drivers in avoiding or mitigating the impact of front-end collisions, for example colliding with the vehicle ahead. If the gap shrinks below a safe distance, it warns the driver with a loud audible alarm, a visual warning in the instrument cluster and, now, an LED projection on the windscreen.

Forward Collision Alert: If the gap shrinks below a safe distance, it warns the driver with a loud audible alarm, a visual warning in the instrument cluster and an LED projection on the windscreen.

The driver can adjust the safety distance of FCA to detect objects ahead with ‘near’ ‘mid’ or ‘far’ settings via a switch located on the steering wheel. The system now also includes Integrated Brake Assist and Autonomous Emergency Braking. If it detects that the driver’s braking effort following the warning is nonexistent or insufficient, it can boost the braking (Integrated Brake Assist) or automatically brake the vehicle (Autonomous Emergency Braking), thus helping avoid or lessening the severity of crashes at relatively low speeds. The system works at speeds above 8 km/h and below 80 km/h. At speeds below 40 km/h the system can avoid the collision by performing full braking. Scientific studies conducted by Opel have revealed that, at speeds up to 80 km/h, the reflective LEDs in the windshield can have a positive impact of reaction times and can ultimately lead to an impact speed reduction of between 10 and 20 km/h.

The new Astra is the first compact class car offered by a volume manufacturer with a mono-camera approach for all functions. Furthermore, it is the first Opel that offers assisted braking with the information received only from the camera.

Award-winning Side Blind Spot Alert warns about hidden dangers

Side Blind Spot Alert: This ultrasonic system warns drivers about hidden dangers.
Elsewhere, Opel’s award-winning ultrasonic Side Blind Spot Alert provides an additional safety net both for Astra drivers and other road users. This system warns drivers about hidden dangers. When changing lanes, overtaking or turning a corner, other road users can disappear in the blind spot. Ultrasonic sensors permanently scan wide areas around the vehicle at speeds ranging from 11 km/h to 140 km/h. If the electronic guardians pick up an object in the blind spot, an optical amber-colored warning appears in the relevant exterior door mirror. If the turn indicator is applied towards the direction of the object in the blind spot, the optical LED warning starts flashing. The light intensity of the LEDs is high and the warning cannot be missed even if the sun is shining. Opel’s Side Blind Spot Alert system has won the Euro NCAP Advanced Reward for advanced safety technology.

Advanced Park Assist and Rear View Camera with dynamic guidelines

Another comfort features that makes driving the Astra more relaxing is Park Assist with ultrasonic front and rear sensors. Park Assist is always active below 11 km/h and automatically notifies the driver when it detects objects within the range of its sensors. Drivers are presented with optical information on the display area including the distance to the other object and its position (front/rear; left/center/right). In addition, the distance is indicated acoustically. The new generation Advanced Park Assist identifies suitable parking spaces and automatically parks the vehicle, without the driver touching the wheel. The ultrasonic sensor-based system measures parallel or perpendicular parking spots, calculates the vehicle’s trajectory and automatically steers the Astra into a space. The driver just controls acceleration, deceleration and gear shifting.

For prices starting at 295 euros, Astra drivers can make parking and reversing even easier by adding the Rear View Camera to Park Assist. Mounted above the rear licence plate, it shows the area behind the vehicle on the infotainment screen. The display is activated by engaging reverse gear and automatically switches off either 10 seconds after reverse has been disengaged or when the vehicle exceeds 7 km/h driving forward. A special feature of Opel’s Rear View Camera system is the dynamic guidelines that show the actual vehicle path based on the steering wheel angle, thus helping drivers to estimate distances to other objects while maneuvering.

Comprehensive passive safety concept

The extensive list of active safety features and driver assistance systems available for the new Astra is accompanied by a comprehensive passive safety concept. The basis of this concept is a rigid passenger cell mainly fabricated from high-strength steel that has been designed for the least possible deformations and the largest possible survival space in crash conditions. To accommodate the impact energy in case of a crash, the front, sides and rear of the passenger compartment are surrounded by energy absorption zones that deform and protect in a controlled manner.

Furthermore, the Astra engineers have taken a three-part approach for the standard airbag system consisting of front airbags for driver and co-driver, thorax-pelvis side airbags and full-length curtain airbags for the first and second row. Combined with the advanced front safety systems consisting of body-mounted retractor/pretensioners with load limiter, seat-mounted lap pretensioners and seat-integrated pelvis ramp, the new Astra ensures maximum passenger protection and reduces injury potential.

Outstanding, certified premium ergonomic seats

In addition to the active and passive safety features, the new Opel Astra is also available with a host of comfort features – which also positively affect safety – such as the new AGR (Aktion Gesunder Rücken / Campaign for Healthier Backs) certified premium Opel ergonomic seats. They provide excellent long-distance travel seating comfort and continue the Opel tradition of award-winning, back-friendly seats that are offered at very attractive prices. Beyond being 18-way adjustable and now including side bolster adjustment, they are now also optionally available with further comfort features such as massage and memory function along with ventilation – a unique combination in the compact class. Rear seat passengers can also look forward to more luxury – in addition to more legroom, heated outer rear seats are optional. Astra customers can treat themselves to these luxury seats for very attractive prices – the driver’s seat with the AGR seal of approval is already available from 390 euros.

Lightweight: seat alone ten kilos lighter

Engineering development of the seating environment in the new Astra already began nearly five years ago for the over 100 employees in the team of experts employed in the seating and associated departments, with the integration of the relatively bulky seats being paramount. A very challenging task, as the seat components are one of the car’s largest parts. Seat production alone accounts for around ten percent of the total production costs of a new car model.

At the same time, the seats have a large impact on total weight. That is why for their new development, the engineers first had to minutely examine all individual elements of the Astra comfort seats that come as standard. In order to offer rear seat passengers 35 millimeters more legroom, the back of the new comfort front seat was made much more compact. State-of-the-art calculation methods enable this, as do lighter polyurethane foams and ultra-high-strength steels that are built in under the seat upholstery. All this results in the new seats being 10 kilograms lighter than those in the previous model. This is not only true for the driver and co-driver seats – the new Astra’s rear seats are also lighter and more compact, their contouring was optimized and thigh support was enhanced with a steeper seat tilt.

Independent back experts’ AGR seal of approval for ergonomic seats

The Opel seat engineers also further optimized the positioning of the Astra comfort seat in the car, especially accommodating taller drivers with a sporty driving style. Thanks to a 65-millimeter height adjustment span – the largest in the segment – shorter drivers are also guaranteed an optimum seating position. With the optional premium ergonomic seat’s memory function, this can even be saved at the press of a button. This is ideal for fleet vehicles with the same group of drivers or couples who share the new Opel Astra. The base version of the optional ergonomic seats comes with four-way electropneumatically adjustable lumbar support (forwards, backwards, up and down), variable seat cushion tilt, cushion length adjustment and a seat form with contours that adapt to the natural curvature of the spine. The premium ergonomic seats also feature electropneumatically adjustable side bolsters that support the body by making the seatback narrower or wider. All these exemplary ergonomic elements made it clear to the AGR (Campaign for Healthier Backs), an independent association of doctors and experts dedicated to preventing back problems, that the new Astra front seats also deserve the AGR seal of approval.

Wellness massage, ventilation and heating included

Seats should not only keep drivers securely in place, they should also keep them warm or cool depending on the prevailing conditions. The new Astra comfort seat features passive climate control, meaning breathable surface fabrics and perforated polyurethane foams that considerably improve transporting away moisture and thereby the micro climate in the seat. The new Astra’s premium ergonomic seats can do both – keep warm and cool. Small fans suck air, and thus the moisture that develops when someone is in the seat, away from the body. In the winter, integrated seat heating keeps the driver and co-driver as well as both outer rear seat passengers comfortably warm. Those who want to turn their car into a wellness mobile on longer journeys can enjoy a massage at the push of a button – and arrive at their destination even hours later relaxed and free of aches or pains.

With this all-embracing active and passive safety concept combined with the wide range of comfort features, the new Astra lives up to Opel’s philosophy of democratizing innovative technologies and bringing these to the mainstream market, thus making driving safer and more relaxed for a wider audience.