Thursday, 26 November 2015

!NEW! Opel Corsa: Fresh look and outstanding connectivity

  • Impressive performance, small price: IntelliLink with smartphone integration from €350
  • Great overview: IntelliLink touchscreen with iPhone or Android-like menu
  • Choice of navigation application: Apple Maps, Google Maps or TomTom 
  • Fast and stable: OnStar turns Corsa into powerful Wi-Fi Hotspot

Fresh look and outstanding connectivity: Opel Corsa is now available in Mandarin Orange and with the latest IntelliLink infotainment systems
Outstanding connectivity and entertainment with ultra-modern IntelliLink systems – Opel is now introducing the systems known from the Insignia and the new Astra in the small car segment. As of now, the Corsa bestseller is available with the latest generation IntelliLink infotainment systems, which only made their debut in the new Astra a few weeks ago, and in new colors. R4.0 IntelliLink seamlessly and easily integrates smartphone functionalities via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for an additional cost of only €350 (RRP including VAT in Germany). It is compatible with devices from Android 5.0 Lollipop and Apple iOS 7.1 (from iPhone 5). Elsewhere, Opel OnStar is responsible for providing a stable and powerful internet connection. The personal connectivity and service assistant and its special antenna turn the Corsa into a 4G/LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot. Furthermore, numerous additional services make driving more relaxed. Opel will also offer a further navigation solution alongside Apple Maps and Google Maps shortly in the portable and integrable TomTom GO 40 navigation device.

“We do not just offer drivers of middle class or compact class cars the opportunity of enjoying ultra-modern connectivity and infotainment technology. We will make it available across our entire product portfolio at very attractive prices,” said Peter Christian Küspert, Vice President Sales & Aftersales Opel Group. “The new R4.0 IntelliLink system with smartphone integration available for the Corsa is the perfect example. This system along with Opel OnStar enables fast, stable and extensive internet access for every Corsa occupant.”

Individual, fast, easy to use: R4.0 IntelliLink with smartphone integration

The R4.0 IntelliLink system not only comes with the customary clear 7 inch color touchscreen, USB and Bluetooth® interface for audio streaming and viewing photographs, videos and films or making a telephone call via the hands-free module – the latest generation infotainment system now available in the Corsa is also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It brings the personal smartphone applications of each Corsa occupant into the car. The Opel infotainment technology immediately recognizes the systems when the iPhone or Android smartphone is connected to the R4.0 IntelliLink via USB. As soon as the connection is made, the smartphone interface is adapted to the 7 inch touchscreen and displayed clearly. Simultaneously, the smartphone is charged.

Clever: The radio R4.0 IntelliLink is compatible with Apple CarPlay and brings the personal smartphone world into the car.
Each system builds off of the features smartphone users rely on most. Apple CarPlay takes the iPhone features you would 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. A full list of those apps can be found at 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. A full list of supported apps is available at

Clever: The radio R4.0 IntelliLink is compatible with Android Auto and brings the personal smartphone world into the car.
The big advantage of using the navigation apps Google Map or Apple Maps is that the driver always has the latest map data at his/her disposal as updates are made available by the respective provider and downloaded onto the phone. Furthermore, smartphone-based systems display traffic conditions in real time along with possible points of interest – including the complete address, opening hours, distance and connections. Increasing the size of the map section on Android Auto is just as simple as on a smartphone – a touch of screen along with the according finger movement is enough. Another advantage of the system is that when a text message from services such as WhatsApp or Skype is received it pops up on the IntelliLink screen (without the text) and is read aloud.

Always up to date: WhatsApp messages appear on the IntelliLink screen and are read aloud.
Opel also offers an additional navigation option in the portable TomTom GO 40 system available at dealers. The 4.3 inch color touchscreen can be safely attached to the dashboard via the FlexDock® holding device. The device is charged while it is being used because it is integrated into the vehicle. The TomTom system comes with maps of 45 European countries, 3D display and selected points of interest. Furthermore, the traffic situation is displayed in real time if a smartphone is connected. It thus proposes an attractive alternative for company and fleet cars.

From the Opel dealer: Corsa drivers can also choose the portable Tom Tom GO 40 navigation system with 4.3-inch touchscreen. 

Stable, free internet connection: Everything under control with Opel OnStar

Opel OnStar is responsible for delivering a stable mobile internet connection in and in the direct vicinity of the car. The integrated 4G/LTE architecture turns the Corsa into a powerful Wi-Fi Hotspot. A special exterior antenna ensure best possible connectivity for up to seven mobile devices – even abroad. No additional roaming fees are levied. Use of the Wi-Fi Hotspot is free of charge for the first 12 months after registration. The hardware is available for €490 (standard for INNOVATION and OPC).

Furthermore, the connectivity and service assistant makes driving more relaxing at the touch of a button. The extensive services includes Automatic Crash Response, 24H Roadside and Stolen Vehicle Assistance and Vehicle Diagnostics to name but a few. The MyOpel smartphone-app is another advantage. It allows Opel OnStar users to request help when away from the car, to open or close the car remotely or to access important vehicle data.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

!NEW! All-New Opel Astra in the Acoustic Lab

  • Dynamic, smooth, comfortable: New engines for pleasant sound
  • No din: “Dummy heads” as sensitive as the human hearing

In the acoustic lab: New Opel Astra is positioned in the center of the room and is surrounded by numerous microphones.
Silence. It is so quiet in the unusual looking room that you could literally hear a pin drop. The new Opel Astra is positioned in the center of the room and is surrounded by numerous microphones. Is the engine sound of the new compact class star being recorded for the next advertising campaign? Not quite. When the Opel Astra arrives in the acoustic lab, it is still in the final phase of being made ready for series production. The engineers around Bernd Justen are partly responsible for making sure that the new Astra really is a quantum leap. They ensure that the compact class car meets the demanding noise requirements and test the Astra thoroughly in the Opel acoustic lab in Rüsselsheim. Apart from being tested on the comfort and noise evaluation track at the Opel Test Center in Rodgau-Dudenhofen, all new models developed by the carmaker have to come here for final testing.

Meets all noise requirements: All-New Opel Astra in the acoustic lab in Rüsselsheim. 

Noise & vibration: All good under the Opel Astra hood

The dynamic sound of the vehicle while simultaneously delivering excellent running smoothness was always high on the list of specifications of the new Opel Astra. Primarily, the turbo-charged gasoline and diesel engines of the latest generation that power the Opel Astra and make its athletic appearance audible ensure this. “That is only one aspect we check in the acoustic lab,” explains Bernd Justen, Vehicle Performance Manager for compact class cars. Moreover, the Astra is put through an extensive and precisely defined requirements list. “Apart from the appropriate sound of the engine or rolling noise, this includes the sound made by closing a door or the clicking of the indicator. We initially check the simulation-based basic settings. Based on this we keep on working until the Astra meets our noise requirements.”

On the roller test bench: The engines offer a pleasant and dynamic sound experience – and reduces noise levels in the cabin.
The walls and the ceiling of the lab are completely soundproof thanks to noise absorbing materials. During testing, the Opel Astra is driven on large floor rollers, which produce the same resistance the car would experience on the road from wind and rolling friction. “This enables driving with road-like loads. It does not depend on the weather and we can test various scenarios under consistent conditions,” said Justen. These tests include idle behavior, the Start/Stop function and driving under part or full engine load for example. The highly sensitive microphones record all noises so they can be analyzed afterwards.

Meets all noise requirements: All-New Opel Astra in the acoustic lab in Rüsselsheim.
A typical procedure on the roller test bench is ‘full-load, rev-up’ in third gear – a demanding test that the all-new 1.4 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo, a four-cylinder Opel unit from the same engine family as the innovative one-liter, three-cylinder engine, passes with flying colors while always remaining within the pre-defined tolerance curve for cabin noise. Just like the three-cylinder engine, the 92 kW/125 hp or 110 kW/150 hp unit was developed with setting new standards in noise and vibration characteristics in mind (fuel consumption combined: 5.5-4.9 l/100 km, CO2 emissions combined: 128-114 g/km). The outstanding refinement was achieved through the noise-optimized engine block design. The implemented measures to reduce the noise level included splitting the oil pan, noise protecting the integration of the cylinder head into the exhaust manifold, designing a sound-absorbing cam cover, decoupling the high-pressure injection valves and trimming the timing chain for quiet concentricity. The test bench quickly reveals that the engineers did an outstanding job: The engines offer a pleasant and dynamic sound experience – and reduces noise levels in the cabin.

“Dummy head” tested: Pleasant sound in the Opel Astra cabin

“Our dummy heads confirm the exemplary noise level,” explains Justen, referring to the weird looking figures in the Opel Astra cabin that are reminiscent of mannequins. Plastic effigies of the human head and shoulder area that possess a perfect replica of all acoustically relevant elements of the human outer ear adorn the seats. “There are highly sensitive microphones fitted in the ears of dummy heads too. They allow us to record and replay noises in the same way that a ‘real’ human would perceive them.” This enables stereo recording and replaying, as well as differentiation between the upward and downward direction of noise, making the dummy’s hearing virtually three-dimensional.

Dummy head: Plastic effigies of the human head and shoulder area that possess a perfect replica of all acoustically relevant elements of the human outer ear are used in the acoustic la
To achieve the desired vehicle sound that is pleasant for occupants, a binaural transfer path analysis and synthesis is conducted using so-called binaural measurements. This enables a distinction between airborne and structure-borne noise source paths. “This allows us to identify and analyze the different sound sources,” explains Justen. Using a noise transfer path model, engineers can identify, for example, which screw needs to be turned to achieve the agreed target value – first virtually and then in reality. If both cases produce satisfactory results, the Astra has taken its next hurdle on the way to production readiness.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

!NEW! Buick Launches Verano Hatchback and Verano GS in China

Priced from RMB 145,900 to RMB 205,900

Buick launched the new Verano Hatchback and Verano GS this evening in Guangzhou, China. The five variants of the two newest members of the Verano family are priced from RMB 145,900 to RMB 205,900. Buick’s 740 dealerships across China have begun accepting pre-orders.

Buick launched the new Verano Hatchback and Verano GS in Guangzhou, China
The new Verano models have trendy, sporty styling along with European car-like handling, premium interiors and advanced technology. They are targeted at younger trend-setting consumers who are looking for a driving experience that is “born with sportiness.”

The five variants of the two newest members of the Verano family are priced from RMB 145,900 to RMB 205,900.

Stylish and sporty exterior

The Verano Hatchback and Verano GS have adopted Buick's latest design language for sport sedans. The brand’s signature waterfall grille has taken on a creative frameless design, with a newly added piano black finish. The bold, concise and contoured hood lowers the car's stance.

The two models’ wedge-shaped silhouette and double-sweep beltline form a dashing profile, with B- and C-pillars in German-crafted gloss black creating a floating roofline.

The Verano Hatchback and Verano GS have adopted Buick's latest design language for sport sedans.
The models also feature Buick's wing-shaped LED daytime running lamps, which echo their wing-shaped tinted tail lamps. Together with an integrated rear wing that accentuates the sculptured rear end, they provide a stylish, vibrant and captivating feel.

Contemporary and exquisite interior

The cabins of the two new Veranos combine sportiness, premium materials and exquisite craftsmanship. They utilize Buick's iconic 360 degree wraparound layout that exemplifies its driver-oriented design philosophy.

 Buick Verano GS has a stylish basic black interior that accentuates its dynamism. It is complemented by red accents.
The brand's focus on a high-quality driving and riding experience is also demonstrated by a segment-leading 2,662 mm wheelbase, the generous use of eco-friendly supple materials throughout the interior, a standard three-spoke sporty multi-function steering wheel, considerately designed ambient lighting, rear-row USB charging ports and patented Quiet-Tuning® noise control technology.

The Verano GS is fitted with an exclusive sporty black and red kit inside and out. Aerodynamic exterior accessories, bright red strips on the front and rear bumpers, bright red brake calipers and 17-inch dark-painted five-spoke aluminum alloy wheels look bold and impressive.

Inside, a bright red carbon fiber-pattern strip across the center console and red stitching make a strong impression. Adding to the sportiness are a carbon fiber-pattern finish on the center console, a three-spoke sporty multi-function steering wheel with a paddle shifter, Alcantara® racing car-like seats and Flame Red ambient lighting.

Trend-setting intelligent and safety technologies

The Verano Hatchback and Verano GS come with a wide variety of trend-setting intelligent technologies. They are the first Buick models in China available with the Apple CarPlay system. Users can seamlessly connect their iPhones with iOS 7.1 and above through the new-generation Buick IntelliLink infotainment system. All iPhone features and built-in apps – including phone, messages, maps, music, podcasts and Siri – are easily accessible via the high-resolution 8-inch diagonal display in the center console.

Buick Verano Hatchback and Verano GS are equipped with the Apple CarPlay system.
The Verano GS is offered with segment-exclusive and Buick-first Matrix full-LED headlamps. Behind the headlamps' Big Dipper-like panels are 29 Matrix LED clusters connected to front cameras to intelligently perform a range of functions, including automatically turning on the high-beam headlights, activating the anti-glare high-beam headlights and automatically adjusting the height of the headlamps. They automatically switch between six lighting modes – City, Urban, Expressway, Curve, Parking and Fuel Economy – based on driving conditions.

In addition, the Verano GS comes with Buick's new intelligent safety system, which incorporates features that include Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, Collision Mitigation Braking and Automatic Parking Assist.

While 75 percent of the two Veranos’ body structure is composed of high-strength steel, the models incorporate extensive lightweight design features, such as lighter and more rigid structures, all-aluminum engines, all-aluminum sub-frames, all-aluminum front and rear bumpers, and aluminum steering knuckles, as well as imported lightweight damping mats. The result is a 100 kilogram reduction in curb weight.

The Verano Hatchback and Verano GS are built on the same architecture as the new Opel Astra K. Their firm chassis has an optimized MacPherson front suspension and enhanced composite torsion bar, along with a new-generation Opel-patented Watt's link rear suspension and all-aluminum six-point full-length sub-frame. The result is a perfect balance between body dimensions, weight and overall efficiency.

Handling and driving pleasure were assured through the adoption of the all-new belt-drive electric power-assisted steering system as well as more than a year's worth of testing and tuning at Germany's famed Nürburgring circuit.

Exciting and fuel-efficient powertrains

Both models incorporate GM's new Ecotec small gasoline engines, which combine powerful performance with exceptional fuel economy. The Verano Hatchback pairs a 1.5L SIDI engine with a six-speed DCG transmission. It delivers maximum output of 87 kW/6,600 rpm and peak torque of 146 Nm/4,000 rpm.

New Buick Verano GS is powered by a 1.5T SIDI engine that was named one of the “China Heart” 2015 Ten Best Engines. It is paired with a new-generation seven-speed DCG transmission. The powertrain combination produces maximum output of 124 kW/5,600 rpm and peak torque of 250 Nm/1,700-4,400 rpm. This gives the model the ability to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.8 seconds while enabling combined fuel consumption of 5.9 L/100 km – which sets a new benchmark for its class.

1.5T SIDI engine with  maximum output of 124 kW/5,600 rpm and peak torque of 250 Nm/1,700-4,400
The engine start/stop feature, which further helps improve fuel efficiency, comes standard across the full Verano lineup. All variants are eligible for China's new incentive plan that cuts the purchase tax in half for cars with engines smaller than 1.6 liters.

The Buick Verano Hatchback and Verano GS, together with the new-generation Buick Verano sport sedan launched earlier this year and the all-new Buick Excelle GT, will strengthen Buick’s presence in China’s premium mid-range passenger car segment.

!NEW! Buick Introduces All-New 2017 LaCrosse

Leaner and sleeker with effortless technology

The all-new 2017 Buick LaCrosse introduces the new face of Buick, influenced by the dramatic cues of the award-winning Avenir concept unveiled at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and inspired by a Buick concept from the mid-20th century.

All – New 2017 Buick LaCrosse
The LaCrosse, which goes on sale in early summer 2016, features a new grille design with a large opening distinguished by the return of a three-color – red, silver and blue – Buick tri-shield insignia, accented by wing-shaped elements set against darkened waterfall grille bars inspired by the 1954 Wildcat II concept.

2017 Buick LaCrosse with red, silver and blue Buick tri-shield insignia
Buick revealed the 2017 LaCrosse today at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

“The new LaCrosse is drop-dead gorgeous and signals the next phase of Buick’s international momentum,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick. “Its quietness, comfort and connectivity were developed to set new standards in the segment, supported by technologies not offered on competitors such as the Lexus ES.”

Longer, lower and wider than the current model, the 2017 LaCrosse is built on a stronger yet lighter structure. It is about 300 pounds lighter than the current LaCrosse – largely due to the use of press-hardened, high-strength steels – which contribute to greater efficiency and more responsive handling.

The new LaCrosse’s lower weight is also due in part to new lower mass sound-absorbing materials including a lightweight dissipative dash mat in place of heavier noise-blocking pads that  result in a new threshold for Buick’s signature QuietTuning.

2017 Buick LaCrosse - Quiet Tuning

The balance of the efficiency equation comes from a technologically advanced, second-generation 3.6L V6 engine paired with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Standard Stop/Start technology improves efficiency in stop-and-go driving.

Additional new and enhanced features include:
  • New five-link rear suspension and available HiPer Strut front suspension
  • Available electronically controlled Continuous Damping Control active suspension with selectable Touring and Sport modes
  • Driver-selectable Electronic Precision Shift
  • An available advanced, all-new dual-clutch all-wheel drive system
  • Efficiency-enhancing low-drag disc brakes with Duralife rotors
  • Electric power steering system with Lead/Pull Compensation
  • Easier rear-seat entry/egress
  • More usable storage space
  • Technologies including available wireless charging, available Teen Driver and configurable, LED driver information center with 8-inch-diagonal color display
  • Perforated leather-appointed front seats with new lumbar massaging feature
  • IntelliLink with frameless 8-inch-diagonal color touchscreen featuring Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot integration.

The 2017 Buick LaCrosse also features extensive active and passive safety including:

  • Ten standard air bags – including two knee air bags for front passengers
  • Front Pedestrian Braking, which alerts drivers to and can automatically apply the brakes for pedestrians detected directly ahead in some driving conditions
  • Lane Keep Assist, which provides gentle steering wheel turns – and Lane Departure Warning alerts, if necessary – to help drivers avoid crashes due to unintentionally drifting out of their lane
  • Automatic Park Assist, which helps the driver parallel park/perpendicular park by automatically steering the vehicle into a detected parking space while the driver applies the brakes
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Forward Automatic Braking
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert
  • Rear Vision Camera
  • Safety Alert Seat.

“We’ve blended sophisticated technologies and advanced safety systems to offer a more enjoyable and engaging driving experience,” said Aldred. “It’s a rewarding sedan for those who seek luxurious appointments, style and quality.”

2017 Buick LaCrosse - Advanced Safety Systems

New face of Buick

The new LaCrosse’s expressive exterior design creates a new proportion for a more dramatic road presence. The front wheels have been pulled forward and the wheelbase stretched 2.7 inches (65 mm), while the overall length is only 0.6 inch longer (15 mm). The dynamic proportion is further enhanced by a roofline that’s 1.6 inches (40 mm) lower than the current model.

The longer wheelbase is matched by wheels pushed outward 1.3 inches (33 mm) in the front and 1.1 inches (28 mm) in the rear, while the car’s width has grown only 0.4 inch (10 mm), creating a wheels-at-corners stance intended to convey road confidence.

“It’s a sleeker design that looks confident and purposeful,” said Holt Ware, exterior design director. “Stretching the wheelbase, lowering the roofline and making it slightly wider creates a dramatic effect that is enhanced by the design’s supporting elements such as the swept headlamps.”

2017 Buick LaCrosse - High-intensity discharge headlamp
The signature sweepspear body-side design element has been reinterpreted in a modern fashion, enhancing the car’s sculpture. The split design gives the body side a greater perception of depth, while picking up additional body lines for an elegant, uninterrupted flow from the front fenders to the rear.

2017 Buick LaCrosse - LED taillamp
The 2017 LaCrosse’s body lines are reinforced by a longer “daylight opening” – the portion of the upper body between the A- and C-pillars. They’re ringed with chrome, intended to add a tastefully restrained premium accent to the body side.

Other details blend form and function. Outside mirrors are mounted on pedestals on the doors rather than the corners of the front side windows. The design offers a greater field of view while the mirror housings were shaped in the wind tunnel to help reduce wind noise.

2017 Buick LaCrosse
Aerodynamic considerations also drove the dynamic sweep of the decklid, which acts as a spoiler to make the most of airflow over the LaCrosse. Deflectors in front of the tires help reduce drag.  

Additional exterior elements include:
  • Standard high-intensity discharge headlamps, LED signature lighting and ED taillamps are standard
  • Eighteen-inch wheels are standard and 20-inch wheels are available
  • Active grille shutters, which open and close automatically to control airflow, reducing aerodynamic drag and improving fuel efficiency.
  • Capless fuel filler on all models.
Seamless ambience, authentic craftsmanship

The new LaCrosse’s interior is designed to offer an open and inviting space for passengers – one that is relaxing, luxurious and well-connected. Sculpturally beautiful form and premium materials complement technologies developed for effortless interfacing.

2017 Buick LaCrosse - Cockpit 
It is the first Buick with a single cockpit design aesthetic, characterized by a horizontal form that sweeps across the instrument panel and into the doors. It also incorporates a “floating” center console that positions the controller for the new Electronic Precision Shift high and close to the driver, while creating storage space below the console for items such as a handbag or tablet.

2017 Buick LaCrosse - Center console
“There is fluidity in the 2017 Buick LaCrosse -  forms – a seamless ambience that flows throughout the cabin,” said Liz Wetzel, interior design director. “Like the exterior, there is sculptural beauty in the interior’s functionality, complemented with high-quality, authentic materials and exceptional attention to detail.”

That attention to detail includes soft materials for practically every touchpoint; French stitching on the seats, instrument panel and more, aluminum sill plates and wood decorative trim, depending on the model.

2017 Buick LaCrosse - Interior
“There is a handcrafted essence that is inviting and rewarding,” said Wetzel. “It is a clean environment designed to refresh and inspire.”

New and enhanced available luxury features amplify the LaCrosse’s comfort:

  • Three fashion-inspired interior trim choices: Jet Black, Dark Atmosphere and Shale, and Jet Black and Brandy
  • Contemporary Moon White ambient lighting
  • Eight-way-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats with improved heating for quicker warm-up on cold mornings and a new massage feature
  • Perforated leather-appointed seats
  • Heated steering wheel with power tilting/telescoping steering column
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Power rear sunshade
  • Premium Bose® audio system
It also offers greater, more practical storage space and easier access. The rear doors, for example, open wider and offer easier entry/egress. The trunk offers approximately 7 percent more storage space than the current model, and was configured to accommodate four golf bags.

Sophisticated, intuitive technologies – including phone integration

As one of the segment’s most technologically advanced vehicles, the new LaCrosse offers a host of communication and convenience features designed for effortless connectivity.

The central technology is the latest edition of Buick IntelliLink, which is displayed in a new, frameless 8 inch-diagonal color touchscreen located at the center of an ergonomically optimized instrument panel. Along with the climate system and other features on the “center stack,” it was designed with fewer buttons and controls for more intuitive use.

Phone integration technology is paired with IntelliLink and is designed to display phone features users would want while driving and put them on the 8-inch display via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The features allow customers to use select smartphone apps through the touchscreen interface. Many features can be controlled via voice commands through a button on the steering wheel, helping drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

Additional LaCrosse technology highlights include:

  • All-new Electronic Precision Shift – Rather than a traditional shifter, gears are chosen and engaged via a simple toggle pull. It provides smooth, precise and responsive shifting while enabling added storage in the center console.
  • Configurable, high-definition driver information center – Located in the center of the gauge cluster and flanked by round instrument binnacles, it has a large, 8-inch-diagonal full-color display.
  • Head-up display – This available feature offers four page views: speed, audio, navigation and performance. It also offers alerts for certain active safety features such as Lane Keep Assist and Forward Collision Alert.
  • Available Teen Driver Technology – It encourages safe driving habits for new drivers by muting the audio or any device paired with the vehicle when front-seat occupants aren’t wearing their safety belts. It also provides audible and visual warnings when the vehicle is traveling over predetermined speeds – and offers a driving “report card” for parents.
  • Wireless charging – When equipped with this available feature, the phone storage slot in the center console enables inductive charging without plug-ins or cables.

Buick QuietTuning process

The new LaCrosse builds on the reputation of the current model to offer an even quieter driving experience.

Additional quieting features include:

  • New five-link rear suspension for greater isolation from road noise than the current four-link design
  • Active noise cancellation is standard on all models
  • Acoustic wheelhouse liners
  • Acoustic-laminated windshield and front side windows
  • Triple-sealed doors
  • Improved body noise-path sealing
  • Windshield wipers “park” below the hood line to reduce wind noise.
Next-generation powertrain

LaCrosse’s all-new 3.6L V6 engine with direct injection and dual overhead cams is the second generation of GM’s DOHC V6 engine family and incorporates new features such as Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and Stop/Start technology.

The Active Fuel Management system temporarily deactivates two of the 3.6L’s cylinders in light-load driving conditions to enhance fuel efficiency and seamlessly reactivates them when full power is needed.

With the efficiency-enhancing Stop/Start system, the engine shuts down in certain driving conditions such as at a stop light to reduce fuel consumption. It automatically restarts when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake pedal.

An all-new noise-reducing cam drive system contributes to the LaCrosse’s benchmark quietness.

The 3.6L is General Motors-estimated at 305 horsepower (227 kW) and 268 lb-ft of torque (363 Nm); and it’s matched with a new eight-speed automatic transmission.

Balanced, efficient driving experience

The 2017 LaCrosse offers enhanced capability with Buick’s first twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system. It offers better performance during acceleration and cornering by splitting torque between the rear wheels for optimal performance and uses independent clutch actuation to determine and control the amount of torque sent to each rear wheel.

2017 Buick LaCrosse - AWD Suspension
A new five-link rear suspension is the central component of the improved ride and handling characteristics. It helps reduces roll center motion, enables positive lateral control and promotes dynamic stability. In short, it helps keep the tires planted on all surfaces – and contributes to a quieter ride through greater isolation from road noise.

2017 Buick LaCrosse - FWD Suspension
At the front, a MacPherson-strut suspension is standard and Buick’s HiPer Strut suspension is used on front-wheel-drive models with 20 inch wheels. It helps reduce torque steer and maintain negative camber during cornering, improving maximum grip in all road conditions. It also improves the direct feel of the vehicle, while isolating undesirable feedback.

Available, electronically controlled Continuous Damping Control further optimizes ride comfort and handling capabilities over varying road surfaces and profiles. It’s an active suspension system that can adjust damping every two milliseconds, with Touring and Sport damping modes selected by the driver through the Electronic Precision Shift.

Also contributing to LaCrosse’s more-direct driving experience is an enhanced, rack-mounted electronic power steering system, which incorporates Lead-Pull Compensation, automatically adjusting the steering angle to account for factors like
crowned roads or high crosswinds.

Additional chassis and driver control features on the 2017 LaCrosse include:
  • Low-drag four-wheel disc brakes with Duralife rotors, which offer up to double the service life of conventional rotors
  • Hill Start Assist with Automatic Vehicle Hold, which can hold the brakes up to five minutes, depending on conditions
  • Electronic park brake
  • Shear-type suspension mounts that offer greater ride, handling and noise isolation attributes.

!NEW! Revised Tri-Shield Insignia Introduces New Face of Buick

Automotive logo builds on more than 55 years of history and a family legacy
Buick’s tri-shield insignia, one of the most recognizable in the global auto industry, is receiving a makeover that advances the brand’s identity while retaining Buick’s instantly identifiable symbol.

Featuring wing-shaped elements and the return of three-color shields – red, silver and blue – the new insignia debuts on the 2017 LaCrosse. It is part of an all-new grille design inspired by the award-winning Avenir concept, which sets the new, chrome insignia against darkened waterfall grille bars.

All Buick models will adopt the new insignia by 2018.

“The new tri-shield insignia represents the next chapter in Buick’s storied design history and introduces a new face for the brand,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick. “It’s a progressive, contemporary design reflective of Buick’s newest vehicles and cognitive of the brand’s heritage.”

Introduced more than 55 years ago, the tri-shield design has its roots in company founder David Dunbar Buick’s ancestral heraldry. It has evolved over the decades, but honors the proportions and historical origins of the original.

When Buick was formed in 1903, the company didn’t incorporate a shield logo for about the first 35 years. Instead, the earliest models featured a bold Buick script on the grille. Later, a number of stylized emblems featuring Buick on the prominent radiator grille shrouds that characterized practically all motorcars of the time.

As legend has it, a designer researching the Buick family history at the Detroit Public Library in the 1930s found a description of the ancestral coat of arms in an approximately 80-year-old book of heraldry. Buick’s familial roots were in Scotland and while the book didn’t have an illustration of the crest, it described a red shield with a contrasting, checkered line bisecting it from the upper-left to the lower-right corners. The description also included a stag’s head in the upper right of the shield and a gold cross in the lower left.

The crest’s description was interpreted for a new, single-shield insignia that debuted on 1937 Buick models. It evolved over the next couple of decades, growing wider and, at times, taking on additional flourishes, but the shield crest adorned and identified Buick models through 1959 – although its prominence admittedly diminished during the 1950s.

The tri-shield insignia with distinctive, diagonally arranged red, white and blue shields, was widely introduced in 1960 and was featured front-and-center in the grilles of the LeSabre, Electra and Invicta models. The three-model lineup inspired the three shields in the new design. Each carried over the stag head and gold cross cues from the previous single-shield design.

As with the original shield design, the tri-shield design evolved. By the early 1970s, a ring motif surrounded the shields and the white color of one of the shields changed to silver. By the late 1970s, the tri-shield was used primarily on hood ornaments on some models, while the symbol of a hawk on the Buick name was used as the official logo, particularly in print and television advertising.

The hawk logo carried through the 1980s, but the tri-shield didn’t disappear entirely. It was still used on hood ornaments and on other identifying features, including, ironically, the front fascia on the two generations of Skyhawk models – the car that inspired the hawk logo. It also lost the stag head and cross cues in the shields, for a more streamlined and contemporary appearance.

The tri-shield logo returned to prominence again in the 1990s, and has continued for the last two decades as a signature styling cue. Its evolution in that time saw the colors removed from the shields, for an even more streamlined appearance, on landmark vehicles such as the Enclave.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

!NEW! All-New Opel Astra Wins “2015 Golden Steering Wheel”

  • Great distinction: New Astra beats rivals to compact class crown
  • Great tradition: Astra wins Opel’s 16th “Golden Steering Wheel” since 1976
  • Grand gala: Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann and CMO Tina Müller attend ceremony in Berlin

And the winner is: The new Opel Astra wins the “2015 Golden Steering Wheel”, Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann receives the award from presenter Barbara Schöneberger (on left).
And the winner is: The Opel Astra. Opel’s new compact class star was recognized at the Oscars of the automotive industry in Berlin yesterday evening and won the “Golden Steering Wheel” in the compact class. The Astra has only been at dealers since mid-October and has now already reaped this important award making it a true high-flyer. Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann and CMO Tina Müller attended the ceremony in the Axel-Springer-Haus, with Dr. Neumann accepting the award on behalf of Opel. The “Golden Steering Wheel” is awarded jointly by Auto Bild and Bild am Sonntag. A jury consisting of readers, experts and celebrities such as racing legend Walter Röhrl pick the best newcomers of the year after extensive test drives.

Winning smile: Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann with the “2015 Golden Steering Wheel” for the new Astra.
“The most important award for the best Opel we have ever built! And the most important car in our product portfolio. We at Opel can be extremely proud of this ‘Golden Steering Wheel’. It proves that all of our efforts have paid off. The new Astra is synonymous for lightweight, highly efficient engines, a better packaging, features from the luxury class, trendsetting connectivity and exemplary quality,” said a jubilant Dr. Neumann at the award ceremony.

Opel’s CMO Tina Müller added: “Our new Astra is a high-flyer in every sense as seen in the quantum leap video. We have already received more than 40,000 orders for the new Astra. And now we have won this very special prize. We can all be delighted with it. Opel is somebody again – with the Astra as our guiding star!”

Opel and the “Golden Steering Wheel”: All winners from Rüsselsheim

The new Opel Astra’s win at the much-coveted 2015 Golden Steering Wheel Awards is the continuation of the Rüsselsheim-based carmaker’s successful tradition in the competition, which started with the Opel Senator A in 1978, two years after the award was introduced, and includes 16 titles over five decades.

1978 – Opel Senator A: The first “Golden Steering Wheel”

1978: Opel Senator A,  luxury class limousine, secures Opel’s first title. 
In 1978, the brand with Blitz won its first “Golden Steering Wheel” with the Opel Senator. Presented at the IAA in September 1977, the Senator was the successor of the legendary Kapitän, Admiral and Diplomat models and was Opel’s flagship until making its final bow in 1993. The 1978 Senator was available with three different engines – a 2.8 liter engine with 103 kW/140 hp, a 3.0-liter unit with 110 kW/150 hp and the top-of-the-range 3.0-liter engine with 132 kW/180 hp.

1979 – Opel Kadett D: The award-winning space wonder

1979: Kadett D is the first Opel with front-wheel drive and wins the “Golden Steering Wheel”.
One year later Opel was back on the top of the rostrum. The 1979 Kadett D was the first ever Opel compact class car with front-wheel drive and delivered the company’s second “Golden Steering Wheel”. Thanks to the transverse engines and a missing flexible drive shaft it offers the passengers amble space despite compact dimensions and it being

126 mm shorter than its predecessor. In addition, the Kadett saw the introduction of new engines with overhead camshaft. The four-cylinder 1.3 liter OHC engine generated 44kW/60 hp or 55 kW/75 hp. In addition to the spacious station wagon with a load volume of up to 1,425 liters, Opel offered two different fastback versions. In January 1983, the sporty Kadett GTE followed, with a top speed of 187 km/h and equipped with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that developed 115 hp.

Great white: Opel Kadett D GTE with its sports chassis, Recaro seats and feisty 115 hp began hunting down GTIs in 1983. 

1981 – Opel Ascona C: Good things come in threes

1981: The front-wheel drive Ascona C delivers Opel’s third “Golden Steering Wheels”. 
In 1981, it was the Opel Ascona C’s turn to bring home the goods for the Rüsselsheim-based automaker. It was the first Opel middle class car with front-wheel drive and available as a notchback and a hatchback. The Ascona C was available with gasoline engines ranging from 1.3 to 1.6 liters and a 1.6 liter diesel unit.

1982 – Opel Corsa A: Small car, huge impact

Only 12 months later, in 1982, a brand-new Opel model took the “Golden Steering Wheel” awards by storm – the Corsa A. Opel’s first ever small car featured close-coupled proportions within a short length of just 3.62 meters. It had bold, flared wheel-arches like a rallye car and an exceptionally low drag coefficient of 0.36, which was possibly record-breaking for its class. The Corsa A was designed to appeal to ‘the man of the house’ in particular. The highlight was the 72 kW/98 hp Corsa GSi. The two-door hatch and notchback line-up was expanded in 1985 with the addition of the popular five-door model. The Corsa A became a highly acclaimed top seller with 3.1 million units built.

1984 – Opel Kadett E: Another compact class winner

1984: The aerodynamics champion Opel Kadett E is named “Car of the Year”and wins the “Golden Steering Wheel”.
Five years after winning the “Golden Steering Wheel” for the first time, the Kadett took pole position again with its new generation launched in 1984. The second front-wheel drive Kadett, built from 1984 to 1991, was an absolute winner and also took the 1984 “Car of the Year” Award. Furthermore, the Kadett is rated as an aerodynamics champion. The sporty GSi, with a Cd of 0.30 stunned the experts and even the normal hatchback sedan achieved a sensational value of 0.32. In total, the aerodynamics champions was sold 3.779.289 times.

1987 – Opel Senator B: In for a penny, in for a pound

1987: Opel Senator flagship cruises to a convincing win.
The Opel Senator B also managed to repeat the success of its predecessor. Based on the rear-wheel drive Opel Omega, the new flagship mainly comes with six-cylinder engines with the smooth 3-liter in-line engine with 115 kW/156 hp leading the way. You could place a coin on its edge in the engine compartment without it falling over when the engine was running. Later, a 4 valve version of the 6 cylinder engine with Dual-Ram variable intake system and hearty 150 kW/204 hp is introduced.

1990 – Opel Calibra: The athlete shines

A true champion wins the “Golden Steering Wheel” in 1990: A breathtaking coupé with a record-breaking drag coefficient of 0.26! The Calibra was available with powerful engines ranging from 85 kW/115 hp to 150 kW/204 hp. The Opel Calibra Turbo with all-wheel drive and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 6.8 seconds was the icing on the cake. A V6 engine with 125 kW/170 hp rounds off the offer. In motorsports, a Calibra V6 wins the touring car crown by taking the ITC in 1996.

1994 – Opel Omega B: The big car takes gold

1994: The second generation of the big Opel Omega wins the “Golden Steering Wheel”.
The second edition of the Omega left a special impression on the jury. The dynamic design, the extensive amount of space and the new V6 engines with alloy cylinder heads and up to 155 kW/210 hp hit the taste of the experts. The new airbag systems ensured a high level of safety for all occupants. The station wagon version boasted sheer endless loading capacity making it the ideal car for families and artisans alike, whereas the notchback version is classed a representative business sedan.

1995 – Opel Vectra B: Mirror, mirror, on the door

1995: Opel Vectra B adds zest to the middle class and secures first place.
The Opel Vectra’s most eye-catching feature are the aerodynamically shaped door mirrors that form a harmonic unity with the front of the car. It is a feature the “Golden Steering Wheel” jury cannot resist either. The Vectra also wins because of its new and efficient gasoline engines ranging from 1.6 to 2.6 liters and with outputs between 55 kW/75 hp and 125 kW/170 hp. Elsewhere, the direct injection diesel engines with displacements ranging from 1.7 to 2.2 liters delivering exemplary consumption celebrated their debut.

1999 – Opel Zafira A: The quick-change artist with seven seats

1999: Opel Zafira A sets news standard with its variable Flex7 seating concept
Who invented it? Opel! Yes, the compact van that can be turned from a complete seven-seater into a transporter with impressive maximum load volume (1,700 liters max.) in a flash (in only 15 seconds!) without removing a single seat is a Rüsselsheim brainchild. The formula is called Flex7 and it helps the Zafira win the “Golden Steering Wheel in 1999”. Thanks to the ingenious concept, the seats disappear into the vehicle floor when necessary. The flexible space wonder also impresses with compact dimensions and outstanding driving dynamics.

2002 – Opel Vectra C: The master electrician

The third generation Vectra successful defended the title won by its predecessor by winning gold yet again. The new middle class car enters the electronic age, connects its systems via a CAN (Controller Area Network) bus instead of via a cable harness, and comes with electrohydraulic power steering. Outputs of the gasoline and diesel engines ranged from 74 kW/100 hp to 206 kW/280 hp with displacements ranging from 1.6 to 3.2 liters. In 2004, Opel also fitted the Vectra with the IDS Plus active suspension with Continuous Damping Control (CDC), which ensures that the dampers adapt to the current driving situation.

2005 – Opel Zafira B: Completing the golden dozen

The second generation Zafira continues to set the standards with a further development of the Flex7 seating system and wins the “Golden Steering Wheel” again. Furthermore, it is also classed as the fastest van on the planet when the OPC version with 177 kW/240 hp completed a lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 8:54:38 minutes. 240 powerful horses under the hood and an outstanding performance handling system help achieve this record-breaking time.

2009 - Opel Astra J: The compact designer piece

In 2009, the Astra J, a true designer piece, followed in the footsteps of the Kadett D space wonder and the Kadett E aerodynamics champions, securing Opel’s third “Golden Steering Wheel” compact class title. The Astra follows Opel’s new design philosophy ‘Sculptural artistry meets German precision’. In additional, the Astra J comes with modern assistance systems such as the Opel Eye or the AFL+ headlamp system that can see around corners. The FlexRide adaptive technology helps it adapt to the current driving situation and front-seat ocupants can enjoy the ride in AGR-certified (Campaign for healthy backs) seats.

2010 – Opel Meriva B: So clever, so compact, so golden

The Zafira’s little brother strikes gold in 2012 with the Meriva B underlining Opel’s van expertise. The jury is convinced by the versatile FlexSpace rear-seating system and the innovative rear-hinged rear door system. The FlexDoors allow easy access to small children in the rear and ensure that tall people do not struggle to gain access. The engine portfolio offers amble power while curbing consumption thanks to downsizing and turbo-charging. Outputs range from 55 kW/75 hp to 103 kW/140 hp.

2012 – Opel Zafira Tourer: The lounge on wheels

The Zafira is accompanied by a premium partner in the Zafira Tourer and immediately wins another “Golden Steering Wheel”. In addition to the flexible interior, the new boy impresses with lounge comfort, panorama glass sunroof and innovations such as radar-based speed control and emphatic Forward Collision Alert. The new frugal diesel with outstanding endurance for long distance driving is called 2.0 CDTI and delivers 121 kW/165 hp. The 1.6 CNG turbo ecoFLEX (110kW/150hp) later goes on to win the award for the most environmentally friendly vehicle in the van segment three years in a row (2013 to 2015).

2015 – Opel Astra K: The quantum leap

And the winner is: The new Astra is based on a completely new lightweight vehicle architecture, is powered exclusively by latest-generation engines and enables ultra-modern connectivity via smartphone integration and the groundbreaking personal connectivity and service assistant Opel OnStar. The new Astra also continues Opel’s tradition of introducing features previously only known from higher segments into the compact segment. That results in the “2015 Golden Steering Wheel”.

Friday, 6 November 2015

!NEW! Opel Insignia now with Latest Generation Infotainment

  • Clever: New IntelliLink system integrates smartphones via Apple CarPlay
  • Powerful: Opel OnStar with numerous services and 4G LTE architecture
  • Fast: Internet connection, Sat Nav entries and calculation near instantaneous

Homepage: The various functions of the Navi 900 IntellLink system appears once the button with the home symbol is pressed
Outstanding connectivity and entertainment are now available in Opel’s flagship: The personal connectivity and service assistant and the Navi 900 IntelliLink infotainment system with smartphone integration provide an even more versatile and faster infotainment offer in the Opel Insignia. The connection of Opel OnStar to the internet and the navigation calculation now happen in real time – even the short breaks when uploading a selected route are now a thing of the past.

Easy to use: The new touchscreen even reacts to gentle touches.
“Opel is in an exemplary position when it comes to vehicle connectivity. This is just as true for the Insignia as it is for the new Astra or the IntelliLink pioneer, the ADAM. Our flagship now comes with Opel OnStar and the ultra-modern Navi 900 IntelliLink system. This will enable us to integrate the smartphone quickly and straightforwardly via Apple CarPlay and shortly via Android Auto. This is mobile connectivity that makes sense and is fun,” said Peter Christian Küspert, Vice President Sales & Aftersales Opel Group.

Outstanding individual mobility: Smartphone integration for the flagship

The latest generation of the Navi 900 IntelliLink system ensures excellent and individual entertainment. The system, compatible with Apple iPhone 5 (or higher) brings the individual smartphone world into the Insignia both quickly and comprehensively: Drivers can access Apple CarPlay maps and news services as soon as connectivity has been established. Furthermore, additional apps can be controlled via Siri eyes free voice control or the 8 inch touchscreen on the center stack.

Clever: The latest generation of the Navi 900 IntelliLink system brings the individual smartphone world into the Opel Insignia both quickly and comprehensively.
Each system builds off of the features smartphone users rely on most. Apple CarPlay takes the iPhone features you would 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

Faster: Navigation calculation in the Opel Insignia with the latest generation Navi 900 IntelliLink now happens in real time.
The latest generation Navi 900 IntelliLink also offers the possibility of individually configuring the homepage and specifying favorites. 60 memory spaces are available for favorite radio stations, contacts, addresses, telephone numbers, artists or playlists. In order to keep distraction to a minimum, the most important IntelliLink information is displayed in the instrument panel between the speedometer and rev counter. Furthermore, the driver and passenger can watch videos on the 8 inch monitor in the center console via a USB connection – but for safety reasons this is obviously only possible when the car is stationary.

Practical: IntelliLink information can be displayed in the instrument panel between the speedometer and rev counter.
Navi 900 IntelliLink comes as standard in the Sport and INNOVATION trim levels. For the Edition and Selection trim levels, it is available for €1,200 and €1,335 respectively (RRP including VAT in Germany). Digital Audio Broadcasting DAB+ increases program choice and sound quality for €210, thus rounding off the entertainment and sound package.

Ultra-modern architecture: Insignia become Wi-Fi Hotspot with Opel OnStar

Furthermore, the Insignia comes with Opel OnStar as standard from the Edition trim level. The integrated 4G/LTE architecture turns Opel’s flagship into a powerful mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot. A special external antenna maximizes connectivity and delivers a stable internet connection for up to seven devices.

The extensive services are the heart and soul of the personal connectivity and service assistant. They range from around the clock Automatic Crash Response to Stolen Vehicle and Roadside Assistance, right up to Vehicle Diagnostics. All of these services are available at the push of a button – thanks to the system inherent SIM card, a smartphone is not required. Elsewhere a smartphone is needed for the MyOpel smartphone app. It enables OnStar subscribers to request help when away from the vehicle, to lock or unlock the car doors or to access important vehicle data.