- 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.|
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.|
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”.|
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
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”.|
1987 – Opel Senator B: In for a penny, in for a pound
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”.|
1995 – Opel Vectra B: Mirror, mirror, on the door
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|
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
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”.