Wednesday, 27 July 2016

!NEW! 50 Years of Dudenhofen: From Proving Ground to Opel Test Center

  • Tough going: Testing cars in Dudenhofen since 1966
  • Taking a break: Opel celebrates anniversary and reopening on September 10
  • Way ahead: Extensive renovation for test center of the future
  • Tales from Dudenhofen: Fat trees, wild horses and driver training

On the “torture track” at the Opel Test Center, suspension and chassis components are subjected to the highest stress
Opel “proving ground” in Dudenhofen, as it was known at the time, opened 50 years ago. Ever since, countless Opel cars had to face the toughest tests on their way to production. Right from the start, the proving ground was continuously extended and modernized. In the meantime, it has become the largest and most important Opel test center in Europe. Opel will celebrate Dudenhofen’s half-century with an open day on September 10. Fans and employees will get an exclusive “behind the scenes” look at the way the test center operates. In addition, Opel will present the expended attendance of around 20,000 – including many famous faces from the world of politics, sport and economy – with a colorful show around the models and the brand’s motorsports commitment.

No mercy, right from the start

Opel proving ground near Rodgau-Dudenhofen in Germany was opened in 1966. In the meantime it has become Opel’s most important test center in Europe. The durability of millions of Opel cars has been proven here
At the beginning, in April 1966, the 2.6 square kilometer proving ground has a combination of various streets and roads with a total length of 33 kilometers. Then as now, engineers show no mercy when it comes to testing new developments.For example, on the five-kilometer long, 33-degree banked, high-speed circuit   that encloses the proving ground. Alternatively, they take to the “skid pad”, a concreted area with a diameter of 100 meters. It is used to determine the steering behavior or to measure the swerving of the vehicle in corners precisely. In the 1980s, a 4.4-kilometer long “sound and comfort track” is added. In 1992, the entire high-speed circuit is renewed in 24 weeks due to the heavy use. Ever since, the circuit, sound and comfort track, skid pad, hill, handling and torture tracks enable extensive vehicle test and development work on engines, brakes, steering or chassis.

Taking the corner at 250 km/h – with no hands on the steering wheel

The area is extended successively. In 2004, an oval track with watering and drainage system for slingshot tests and slalom drives is added. An all-wheel drive test bench follows in 2006 along with a modern industrial gasoline station with 32 pumps for 16 different types of fuel. Since the second circuit renewal in 2012, test drivers can take the steep curve at 250 km/h without the influence of any lateral force – they can even theoretically take their hands of the steering wheel. This is how the previously calculated target values for example for the top speed look in reality. The internal weather station delivers data on humidity, wind speed and direction. This is complemented by the highly sensitive sensors embedded in the road surface – they permanently deliver data on the temperature and dampness of the surface so that these can be considered in the test result. And obviously the tracks need to be prepared for the test according to the weather conditions.

When new vehicles such as the current Opel Astra are put through their paces in Dudenhofen it means them facing around 40,000 kilometers of extreme stress on the proving ground. The distance is equivalent to over 200,000 kilometers or 15 years on “real roads”. Added to that are countless kilometers on other proving grounds and public roads all over the world. The latest Opel compact underwent strains that are equivalent to those of an entire lifecycle in only 24 weeks.

One of the many decisive tests that the Opel Astra was subjected to is the “endurance test”. The endurance track offers various different road surfaces such as asphalt and cobblestone, bumps and numerous corners. Here the engineers check whether the performance and quality of the prototypes that they determined and validated made it into regular production.

Investments for vehicle development of the future

Opel started the largest expansion and modernization project in Dudenhofen to date in 2013. The company will invest a high two-digit figure in the area located to the southeast of Frankfurt with almost 65 kilometers of test tracks by 2020. Currently, the new access road that leads to the reception building and the parking area has already been completed. Furthermore, the new chassis workshop with a large tire storage area for up to 8,000 wheel / tires along with three new engine test benches could be inaugurated. The “long straight” – a two-kilometer long straight with a multilane return loop and angled corners – is also already in use. The angle of these aforementioned corners has been determined so that all four wheel carry the same load when passing. This allows for brake tests at the end of course delivering results as if the car had also been driving straight on.

A new 300-meter-diameter skid pad is under construction here, which will enable testing of automated driving. The straight will have then the shape of a funnel that widens from 30 meters to 300 meters.“A Boeing 737 could easily land there,” says Dr. Matthias Schollmaier, Director of the Opel Test Center. The “long straight” is the first element to actually been outside the original area and runs parallel to the adjacent main road. For this reason, additional land had to be purchased from the city.

Opel is also increasing the capacities for testing of driver assistance systems in Rodgau-Dudenhofen with the creation of a new track for Automated Emergency Braking. “We have big plans”, says Schollmaier. “Amongst others, we are looking at a warehouse for emergency vehicles and servicing material, additional offices, two multi-storey car parks and a new canteen to cater for the growing number of employees.” In addition, the overall length of the test tracks will be increased to 90 kilometers in the next few years. Furthermore, powertrain test benches, track extensions and new routes will be added to meet various demands. The number of employees in the ultra-modern Dudenhofen Test and Development Center will then increase from 150 to 700.

Tales from Dudenhofen:

“Fat pine“ and Przewalski’s horses

Environmental protection is not only important during testing – it plays an important role for the proving ground area itself. The on-site gasoline station now has over 16 different types of fuel and charging stations for electric cars are also available. 90 percent of the water needed for the car wash is taken from the groundwater and recycled after use. “The entire lighting systems will be switched to LED shorty so that we become even more efficient,” said Schollmaier. The use of an internal thermal power station is also a topic for the future. During the planning period of the area the people responsible already tried to maintain as much of the tree population as possible – not only because it provides valuable protection from prototype hunters. The oldest pine in Hesse can still be found on the middle of the area – the tree, nicknamed “dicke Tanne” (fat pine) is around 275 years old.

Furthermore, rare Przewalski’s horses can be seen grazing in the neighborhood of the Opel Test Center. The animals are part of a nature conservation project near Babenhausen that Opel has supported since 2009. Opel AG financed the project with €900,000 and is cooperating with the Federal Forest Department Schwarzenborn and the Federal Agency for Public Property. The expansion of the Rodgau-Dudenhofen Test Center are compensated by the intensive support for the nature reserve.

How it all began

The ultra-modern Opel Test Center owes its existence to a fortunate coincidence. Dudenhofen’s former mayor Ludwig Kratz received a thick envelope addressed to the “Mayor of Dudenhofen” in 1963. The postcode was missing. Kratz read in the letter from the estate agent that an international automotive company had been negotiating with the community of Dudenhofen in the Palatinate region for some time as they were looking to create a new proving ground. The clever mayor took the initiative and offed an area in the forest belonging to his town – Rodgau-Dudenhofen – as an alternative. Opel agreed to the deal after all the uncertainties had been clarified. The sales contract was signed on October 15, 1964. The success story of the Test Center began and along with it the excellent and close cooperation with the city of Rodgau.


The employees of the Opel Test Center work in three shifts seven days a week. Every day all the test drivers together rack up a total of around 40,000 kilometers. They go through up to 500 tires per month.


No matter whether it is car presentations, driver or OPC performance training, the Opel Test Center is no longer strictly closed to the public but instead offers the ideal setting for all sorts of events hosted by partners, customers and guests of Opel.

Monday, 25 July 2016

!NEW! Top in Customer Satisfaction: Opel ADAM Takes First in J.D. Power

  • J.D. Power report: Strong results for Opel ADAM, Mokka and Insignia
  • Auto Test Winners 2016: Opel Insignia first in class


In the biggest automobile customer satisfaction survey in Germany – the annual J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) – Opel ADAM small car received the highest rating.

Opel Insignia claimed a strong fourth place in the midsize class and the Opel Mokka took the bronze medal in the highly competitive compact SUV class. The J.D. Power survey assesses 24 car manufacturers and 68 car models.

“Our customers and the quality of our vehicles are our highest priority”, said Jürgen Keller, Opel’s Executive Director Sales, Marketing & Aftersales in Germany. “The excellent performance in this year’s J.D. Power Report not only fills us with pride, it also motivates us to aim for better and better results with each new model.”

Opel ADAM takes first in J.D. Power: Jürgen Keller, Opel’s Executive Director Sales, Marketing & Aftersales in German (right), gets the award from Axel Sprenger, Head of European Operations at J.D. Power.

This year 15,453 people were interviewed online about their car by J.D. Power. In order to take part, customers must have been driving the vehicle for at least two years. The survey asks questions about quality/durability, appearance and running costs. The assessments result in a ranking in which the brand or model with the lowest number of errors emerges as the winner.

Second Prize-Giving of the Evening: The Auto-Test Winners 2016

Auto Test Winners 2016: Opel Insignia first in class. Jürgen Keller, Opel’s Executive Director Sales, Marketing & Aftersales in Germany (right), takes the award from Michael Iggena, Editor-in-Chief Auto Test.

During the J.D. Power prize-giving, Auto-Test – Europe’s biggest car-buyer’s guide – held the Auto-Test Winners 2016 awards ceremony. Opel Insignia 1.6 CDTI as the value-for-money winner took first prize in the category for midsize cars (NEDC combined fuel consumption 4.1-3.8 liters per 100 km/109-99 g/km CO2). The Auto-Test Winners and the results of the J.D. Power survey have been announced together since 2008.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

!NEW! Vauxhall Outperforms Premium Rivals for Vehicle Dependability

  • Vauxhall named fourth best manufacturer in JD Power survey for vehicle dependability
  • Manufacturer outperformed premium rivals in study of over 13,000 drivers
  • Vauxhall Insignia top of class

Vauxhall Insignia outperformed its closest rival by 16 pp100 vehicles, and was stronger than the class average to the value of a staggering 46 pp100.
Vauxhall has performed very strongly in the second annual JD Power survey for vehicle dependability, achieving fourth overall in the manufacturer rankings. Moving up from ninth in last year’s inaugural survey, Vauxhall outperformed all premium rivals including Mercedes, BMW and Jaguar.

Recording a range average of 90 problems per 100 vehicles (pp100), considerably better than the industry average of 113, Vauxhall models also performed well across individual classes. Most notably, the Vauxhall Insignia topped the mid-size class, while the Corsa and Mokka models came third in the small and compact SUV classes respectively.

Vauxhall Corsa
Vauxhall Insignia outperformed its closest rival by 16 pp100 vehicles, and was stronger than the class average to the value of a staggering 46 pp100. On average the small category achieved among the best results, with the Vauxhall Corsa ranking third, 15 pp100 ahead of the class average. In the rapidly-growing compact SUV class, the Vauxhall Mokka also achieved third. With a notable score of only 65 problems per 100 vehicles, the Mokka was an impressive 45 pp100 ahead of the class average.

“It is brilliant to see that our cars are performing well for durability after they have left the showroom,” said  Rory Harvey, Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director. “Providing high-quality, reliable vehicles is a priority of ours, and to see models across the range achieve these results and outperform their premium rivals is great.”

Vauxhall Mokka SUV
Now in its second year, the JD Power survey for vehicle dependability looks at the reliability of new vehicles sold in the UK. The 2016 study looked at 113 models (73 ranked) across 25 manufacturers, gathering data from over 13,000 drivers of MY13-15 vehicles.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

!NEW! Distinction: Automotive Brand Award for Opel GT Concept

  • “Best of Best“: German Design Council names sportscar Design Study 2016
  • Mission Astra: Dealer event receives “Automotive Brand Contest 2016 – Best of Best”
  • Digitally connected: Additional awards for Opel OnStar and mobile configurator

German Design Council has declared the Opel GT Concept the best concept car of 2016.

Opel GT Concept, a star at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, continues the brand’s strong concept car tradition and embodies avant-garde design in a purist form. This has now also been recognized by the German Design Council, organizer of the renowned Automotive Brand Contest. The competition’s top-notch jury chose the sportscar of the future in the “Concepts” category for the “Best of Best” award. In addition, there were three more first prizes for Opel: The dealer event “Mission Astra” also received the “Best of Best” award. The personal connectivity and service assistant, Opel OnStar and the new configurator for mobile devices also won in the “Future Mobility & Parts” and “Digital” categories. For the Opel GT Concept Mark Adams, Vice President Opel/Vauxhall Design, will accept the award on September 29 at the Paris Motor Show.

Avant-garde yet purist Opel GT Concept won the German Design Council’s 2016 “Best of Best” award for concept cars
“The GT Concept is a dream car that takes Opel’s philosophy ‘sculptural artistry meets German precision’ to the next level. The feedback has been simply overwhelming. My team and I are proud that our sportscar study is being honored as the best concept car of 2016 with the Automotive Brand Award,” says Mark Adams.

Futuristic cockpit of the Opel GT Concept, winner of the German Design Council’s 2016 “Best of Best” award for concept cars.
First presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March, the GT Concept pays homage to the sports coupé icon, the first Opel GT, and is a trendsetter for the brand’s further development. The breathtaking athlete showcases Opel’s future design language: bold, emotional and sporty. The study with compact dimensions is avant-garde yet purist.

Opel GT Concept at the Geneva Motor Show 2016

Three first prizes for innovation

In addition to the design prize, Opel also picked up three wins in the marketing area. The jury gave the “Best of Best” award in the “events” category to “Mission Astra”. This was the name of the Astra launch event for Opel dealers, which was located in the Spanish Sierra Nevada. The dealers spent two days there as “Astranauts”, overnighting in 250 futuristic tents in the desert.

The dealer launch event for the Opel Astra was located in the Spanish Sierra Nevada where dealers lived as “Astranauts” in 250 futuristic tents. The “Automotive Brand Contest” rewarded the courageous concept of the Opel Marketing Team with the 2016 “Best of Best” award for events.
“We always want to offer our dealers something different and that is why we came up with a really unusual idea for the launch of the new Astra. With a tent-city next to a racetrack, which resembled a lunar landscape, we created an event that money actually cannot buy” says Opel Chief Marketing Officer, Tina Müller and is happy that the courageous marketing concept thrilled not only the Opel dealers, but also the jury of the Automotive Brand Concept.

Extensive construction work for the new Opel Astra: The 250 exclusive tents for approximately 3,500 guests
Moreover, the Opel OnStar personal connectivity and service assistant won first prize in the category “Future Mobility & Parts”. The jury further underlined the importance of digitalization by presenting another Automotive Brand award for the mobile configurator, with which customers can personalize their preferred Opel from nearly anywhere.

The Automotive Brand Contest is an international design competition for automobile brands. Established as a foundation in 1953, the German Design Council honors outstanding product and communication design and draws attention to the fundamental importance of brand design in the automotive industry.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

!NEW! AFL LED: Full LED Adaptive Lighting for New Opel Zafira and Opel Mokka X

  • AFL LED headlamps deliver optimum nighttime visibility without dazzling other drivers
  • Nine individual lighting functions for safer driving in towns and the countryside at night
  • Energy consumption in start/stop further reduced by Stop Mode Light

New Opel Zafira - AFL LED headlamp

Optimum visibility without dazzling others. With AFL LED, Opel is bringing the benefits of adaptive forward lighting and Full LED headlamps to vans and sport utility vehicles in the compact market segment. The optional AFL LED headlamps offered by the new Opel Zafira and Opel Mokka X produce a bright white light that effectively turns night into day and automatically adapt to the driving situation. AFL LED features nine individual functions or lighting patterns such as Town Light, Country Light and Stop Mode Light, which not only optimize visibility but also save energy.

New Opel Mokka X - AFL LED headlamp
“The widespread availability of intelligent LED technology is the best way to significantly reduce the risks of nighttime driving,” says William F. Bertagni, Vice President of Vehicle Engineering Europe at Opel. “The new Opel Zafira and the Opel Mokka X with their optional AFL LED headlamps are important steps towards realizing this potential.”

Driving at night is one of the most dangerous things people can do. According to the ADAC German automobile club, almost 30 percent of fatal accidents occur at night. Human beings are diurnal, i.e. we are active during the day, and we sleep at night. It is not natural for us to be on the road in the dark.

As the automaker that traditionally puts customers first, Opel long ago recognized the risks of nighttime driving to car drivers and other road users. Opel was the first automobile manufacturer to bring adaptive forward lighting (AFL) with Bi-Xenon headlamps to the midsize market in 2003. Opel Astra H was the first compact car with cornering light in 2004, followed by the Zafira in 2005. 

True to its tradition of democratizing advanced technology, Opel then made halogen headlamp-based AFL available for the first time in the Corsa in 2006. Opel now offers AFL in almost every passenger car model and the introduction of the next generation has begun: IntelliLux LED Matrix Light, which takes LED technology to the highest level, made its world premiere in the compact class last year on the new Opel Astra.

The new Opel Zafira and the Mokka X, with adaptive forward lighting and full LED functionality for all headlamp and signal functions, mark the next milestone in the rollout of LED at Opel. Like the Astra’s Matrix system, AFL LED also delivers the benefits of adaptive forward lighting without the moving elements. However, instead of switching LEDs on or off in a variety of combinations, AFL LED adapts to the driving situation and the presence of other road users by automatically changing the lighting pattern of the headlamps.

The optional AFL LED headlamps have nine functions. At speeds above 55 km/h, Country Light improves illumination of the road and the verges when driving in rural areas. The range of illumination in the driving lane is longer, while the distribution of light on the offside is lower to prevent dazzling of oncoming traffic. In addition, the improved illumination of the roadside verges enables earlier recognition of potentially dangerous objects (e.g. animals).

In curves or when cornering, AFL LED activates Cornering/Curve Light, which switches on an additional left or right LED that illuminates the road in the direction of travel, depending on the steering angle or turn signal. Cornering/Curve Light switches on automatically at speeds under 40 km/h when the turn signals are in use and/or the steering angle changes from the straight-ahead position and crosses a certain threshold. Cornering/Curve Light switches off when signaling stops and the steering is in the straight-ahead position and is active up to a maximum speed of 70 km/h.

At speeds under 55 km/h, AFL LED automatically activates Town Light. Compared with Country Light, the beam is closer to an area near the car and wider at the sides thanks to the cornering lights operating at reduced intensity. The improved illumination helps the driver to see the sides of the road and avoid potential accidents, e.g. with children or pedestrians.

Maneuvering Light illuminates the area around the vehicle when driving or reversing into a parking space, or leaving the parking spot. In this mode, the cornering lights shine at reduced intensity when the driver selects reverse gear. Maneuvering Light remains active for 20 seconds after disengaging reverse gear or until the car drives faster than 7 km/h in a forward gear.

Tourist Mode (for countries where driving is on the other side of the road), High Beam, Daytime Running Lights and High Beam Assist (automatic activation/deactivation of high beam depending on presence of other vehicles) complete the menu of AFL LED functions that improve visibility.

New Opel Zafira with optional AFL LED headlamps
The optional AFL LED headlamps of the new Opel Zafira and Opel Mokka X not only enhance safety. Compared with other lighting technologies, LED also requires significantly less energy. The Opel AFL LED headlamps take this inherent advantage a step further by automatically activating Stop Mode Light when the vehicle’s start/stop system has stopped the engine. In this mode, the cornering lights switch off while the low beam stays on, reducing the energy consumption of the headlamps.

New Opel Mokka X with optional AFL LED headlamps

Monday, 4 July 2016

!NEW! Travelling Lounge with Top Connectivity and Flexibility: New Opel Zafira

  • Online: Wi-Fi Hotspot and new infotainment systems with smartphone integration
  • Relaxing: New ergonomic cockpit and lounge comfort for up to seven people
  • Innovative: New adaptive safety lighting system AFL LED turns night into day
  • Bold: Sculptural chrome bar and new double wing LED Daytime Running Lights

 New Opel Zafira 
Ever since Opel introduced its revolutionary integrated seven-seat system in the compact van segment in 1999, the Opel Zafira has been characterized by a unique blend of exceptional versatility and optimum comfort. Opel has sold 2.7 million units of the Zafira, mainly to families and professionals who need a spacious and flexible vehicle for travelling long distances in high comfort.

 New Opel Zafira rolls out to dealerships in September
The new Opel Zafira can now be ordered for the attractive entry-level price of €21,990 (RRP incl. VAT in Germany). And when it rolls out to dealerships in September, it won’t only be counting on the tried and true optional qualities of its predecessor such as the Flex7 seating system, the AGR-certified ergonomic front seats (Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V. – Campaign for Healthier Backs), the FlexFix bicycle carrier or the adaptive FlexRide chassis – the new Opel Zafira also features a new, bold exterior design and a re-designed interior with an especially spacious ambience and superb connectivity. Depending on the end device, Opel’s newest-generation IntelliLink infotainment system is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; the personal connectivity and service assistant Opel OnStar, available as standard or as an option depending on the trim, turns the new Opel Zafira into a mobile 4G/LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot for driver, friends and family1. And for the first time in this vehicle class, Opel offers the latest-generation Adaptive Forward Lighting AFL with Full LED technology as an option. This all makes the new Opel Zafira a comfortable travelling lounge for driver and passengers.

Quality you can see: Sporty exterior design and first-class interior

 New Opel Zafira - The sculptural chrome logo bar optically blends into the headlights, giving the car a wider look
The dynamic headlamp design together with the markedly sportier grille set the tone for the Zafira’s fresh design. Its front headlamps melt into the radiator grille to form a graphic unity. The sculptural chrome logo bar optically blends into the headlights, giving the car a wider look. The new typical Opel double chrome wing Daytime Running Lights – the upper one doubles as an LED blinker – add to the striking impression the new Opel Zafira makes with its solid, sporty and dynamic front design.

New typical Opel double chrome wing Daytime Running Lights – The upper one doubles as an LED blinker
“The new Zafira’s front design takes over key features from the new, award-winning Opel Astra and is an integral part of Opel’s model portfolio. The chiseled double wing Daytime Running Lights bring sophistication that also flows into the interior. With the completely redesigned instrument panel, the cockpit is clearer, tidier and more user-friendly,” says Mark Adams, Vice President GM Europe Design.

New Opel Zafira - Completely redesigned instrument panel

The new, elegant cockpit design gives driver and front passenger optimum forward visibility. All important functions such as the display and operating controls are comfortably within the driver’s reach zone. While the infotainment system’s display was located above the center console before, it has been replaced by a touchscreen in the new Opel Zafira cockpit and integrated lower down in the center console. At the same time, designers were able to reduce the number of buttons and switches in the cockpit. The high-quality 7-inch touchscreen makes a premium impression. The new, three-dimensionally sculptured steering wheel with the small and efficiently packaged airbag cover not only looks great, it is also extremely ergonomic.

New Opel Zafira - Elegant cockpit with Navi 950 IntelliLink infotainment
Opel offers the new Zafira with two latest-generation IntelliLink infotainment systems – both with a 7-inch color touchscreen. The R4.0 IntelliLink system brings the world of smartphones into the travelling lounge and is, depending on the end device compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Navi 950 IntelliLink is ideal for customers looking for an infotainment system with on-board navigation. Opel OnStar is also on board. The personal connectivity and service assistant protects passengers with Automatic Crash Response and many other features. Together with Navi 950, it also offers destination download. And Opel OnStar also turns the new Zafira into a 4G/LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot (market-dependent). Up to seven devices – one for each passenger – can be connected to the car network.

New Opel Zafira - R4.0 IntelliLink with 7-inch color touchscreen and Apple CarPlay & Android Auto support

Top combination: Highest flexibility meets airy lounge atmosphere

As in the previous Opel Zafira generations, driver and passengers can also enjoy relaxing journeys in the optional AGR-certified ergonomic seats. The multi-functional FlexRail center console on aluminum rails offers flexible storage modules between the front seats.

Passengers in the second row can enjoy the cabin transformation into a spacious and comfortable lounge. Thanks to a clever folding mechanism, the back of the middle seat folds down and rotates to offer comfortable armrests for the outer seats. These also slide to the rear and towards the center of the vehicle, enabling the lounge seating system to provide the especially generous leg and shoulder room of a premium-class sedan. The third row of seats can also be folded down flush with the floor of the luggage compartment, thus creating a level load surface. Personal comfort is top priority: Opel designers have turned the flexible interior into a lounge to relax and enjoy the spacious atmosphere, be it on a business trip or a vacation.

The optional panorama windscreen and panorama sunroof increase comfort and the sense of space even more. The windscreen stretches from the engine hood almost to the B-pillar, giving driver and front passenger a sweeping, unobstructed view upwards. The panorama sunroof reaches from the windscreen to the rear of the car, enhancing the interior’s light and airy lounge atmosphere.

It fits: Intelligent storage solutions

But the new Opel Zafira offers much more than “just” an extremely comfortable way to travel. The travelling lounge can easily double as a small transporter. In a 5-seat configuration, according to ISO 3832 the Zafira can carry a minimum load volume of 710 liters that can be increased 1,860 liters by folding down the second-row seats.

Furthermore, Opel Zafira features more than 30 storage possibilities. The optional FlexFixbicycle carrier integrated in the rear end is extremely practical. It slides out of the rear bumper like a drawer and can accommodate up to four bicycles (with a total weight of 80 kilograms).  As the loaded bicycle carrier can be tilted back, the tailgate can still be opened even when FlexFix is fully loaded.

Top technologies on board: Innovative, safe, individually adjustable, dynamic

Elsewhere, Opel engineers again implemented the company strategy of making innovative technologies available to a broad group of buyers with the next generation of Adaptive Forward Lighting AFL with Full LED technology. The new AFL LED system automatically adapts the lighting patterns of the headlamps to the driving situation so that the optimum light performance is always given. The system features nine different functions/lighting patterns including town and country light as well as a tourist mode and stop mode light (eco). The latter, for example, activates the energy-saving mode when stopped at a red light.

The newest version of the Opel Eye front camera supports many driver assistance systems including the AFL LED lighting system’s High Beam Assist (HBA) and Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR). Following Distance Indication (FDI) also utilizes the front camera to detect moving vehicles ahead, while Forward Collision Alert (FCA) provides visible and audible caution alerts when the distance between the Zafira and the vehicle ahead diminishes too quickly. Lane Departure Warning (LDW) is activated automatically at speeds over 60 km/h and warns the driver with a telltale in the instrument panel and an audible warning if the car unintentionally leaves its lane.

Two other features in the new Opel Zafira that increase comfort and reduce stress are Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and the FlexRide chassis. Using radar sensors located behind the front grille, Adaptive Cruise Control helps the driver to maintain the selected speed while keeping a pre-set distance to the vehicle ahead. In addition to speed, the driver can also select the distance from three available options: far, medium, near. Based on the driver’s personal preferences, the adaptive mechatronic FlexRide chassis continuously adapts to driving style and situation.

New Opel Zafira - Sport and Tour switch for FlexRide chassis 

Performance range: Driving fun with gasoline, diesel, LPG or CNG

Opel Zafira buyers also have a large range of engines to choose from, as the new Opel Zafira will be the only vehicle in its class offering the entire spectrum of powertrains. This encompasses gasoline, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas and compressed natural gas units with outputs from 88 kW/120 hp to 147 kW/200 hp (Fuel consumption urban 11.7-6.1 l/100 km, extra-urban 7.7-4.2 l/100 km, combined 9.2-4.7 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined 182-129 g/km (according to Regulation (EC) No 715/2007); energy efficiency class D-A in Germany). The top-of-the-line engine in the Zafira portfolio is the 147 kW/200 hp 1.6 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo. With maximum torque of 280 Nm, it accelerates the compact van from zero to 100 km/h in just 8.8 seconds and takes it to a top speed of 220 km/h. The powerhouse masters the sprint from 80 to 120 km/h in fifth gear in just 8.3 seconds (Fuel consumption with six-speed manual transmission, Start/Stop and low-rolling-resistance tires urban 8.4 l/100 km, extra-urban 5.9 l/100 km, combined 6.8 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined 160 g/km (according to Regulation (EC) No 715/2007); energy efficiency class C in Germany).