Opel Astra (2010)

Opel Astra

Opel Astra

The new Opel Astra brings into the compact class its own interpretation of the brand’s award-winning design language of combining sculptural artistry with German precision first seen in the Opel Insignia. Its strong sporty lines and elegant details add to a new handsome look.

The exterior of the new generation Opel Astra, which debuts in September 2009 at the IAA in Frankfurt, boasts a strong cab-forward, fluid silhouette. Inside, high quality materials and a total re-think of the design add to the excitement of driving a compact car. Moreover, Opel has added innovative extras – higher quality materials, more storage, improved seats and safer bumpers – to give the Opel Astra comfort, health and safety features not usually seen in the compact class.

“The design of the new Opel Astra takes all the best Opel has to offer and delivers it to the compact class,” says Mark Adams, Vice President of Design for GM Europe. “We have built a five-door hatchback that is as beautiful as it is safe, comfortable and practical.”

Exterior design gives Opel philosophy a new twist

Designers have given Opel’s new philosophy an interpretation fitting for the compact class using the same wing and blade styling cues first introduced on the mid-sized Insignia. Sculpted into the side panels of the new generation Opel Astra, the blade sweeps rear ward and upward, connecting with the side window line, giving the car balance and harmony. Eagle eye-shaped headlamps that encompass the prominent signature wing daytime running lights give the Opel Astra face a low, sporty character.

// // A graceful flowing silhouette connects the muscular shoulder lines with an expressive rear to make it sporty yet elegant. On the front fascia, the next generation Opel Astra re-interprets the new Opel face by using the small upper grille to frame the new Opel logo, while emphasizing the bigger, bolder lower opening so as to create a sportier look.

Inside, design cues used to create driver-focused styling

Echoing the flowing forms of the bodywork, the hallmarks of the interior are sweeping lines and shapes that are executed with care. Interior designers achieve that, for instance, by creating bold, dynamic shapes that use materials intelligently. Everything drivers and passengers touch has been given a refined, high quality feel. In addition, Opel has created two new progressive interior color and trim combination – Spice Red and Ocean Blue – especially for the Opel Astra.

The interior also continues Opel’s recurring wing and blade motifs. In this execution, the blade theme is expressed in details like the shape of the door grab handles and the trim for gearshift molding and steering wheel. The wing design cue is immediately evident in the warm, inviting wraparound instrument panel that embraces front seat occupants. It arcs across the cabin into the top of the door moldings.

Health, safety and comfort added via storage, seats and bumper improvements

The Opel Astra has added practicality through greatly increased storage and clever solutions for a compact class car that include a mini glove box on the driver’s side and a drawer under the front passenger seat.

New, high quality seat technology brings added comfort and help to backs. In addition, safety was a major consideration in design. A new, intelligent bumper is intended to minimize damage in front and rear collisions, reducing injury to pedestrians and passengers and saving money in repairs and insurance.

Execution matched by great components and perceptual quality

Opel designers and engineers believe quality execution also must be matched by what the customer sees and feels. Such perceptual quality is particularly important in the interior, where the appearance and tactile properties of all materials must be on a par with their high standard of fit and finish.

The quality of the materials used in the new Astra is evident in such things as the grained, soft-touch surfaces, the textured panels, the quality of the décor, the chrome trim elements, and the feel of operating buttons and switches.

Quality in execution, quality in the materials used and quality as perceived by the customer add up to the new Opel Astra’s upscale appearance. Together they deliver the sculptural artistry and German precision of Opel’s new design language.

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Opel Insignia OPC (2010)

Opel-Insignia-OPC

Opel-Insignia-OPC

The high performance version of the Opel Insignia, Car of the Year 2009, was unveiled on May 7, 2009, when the Opel Insignia OPC premiered at the 2009 Barcelona Motor Show, ten years after the launch of the first OPC model (Opel Performance Center).

The heart of the Opel Insignia OPC is its 2.8 V6 Turbo engine. Derived from the powerful gasoline engine already available on the top-of-the-line Insignia, this version reaches an output of 239 kW/325 hp. The increase in power was obtained by a special engine development and by reworking the exhaust, significantly reducing the counter pressure. And because sound is so important in the appreciation of an engine, the acoustic specialists worked on the exhaust of the V6 by adopting specific center and rear mufflers.

The Opel Insignia OPC is available with a six-speed manual gearbox. The strong torque of 400 Nm ensures abundant pulling power even at lower engine speeds. With this engine performance, the Opel Insignia OPC reaches a top speed of 250 km/h (restricted) and sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in six seconds.

The already very well performing Insignia chassis was further fine tuned for the OPC variant which ride height has been reduced by 10 mm compared to the Insignia (AWD Sport version). The newly developed mechatronic chassis also receives a new front axle. The front suspension architecture of the Opel Insignia OPC retains a so called McPherson strut, however the engineers at the Opel Performance Center came up with an evolution called HiPerStrut (for high performance strut). Benefits are an improved steering feel, reduced steering disturbances due to the high torque and an enhanced feeling in the handling for the driver.

// <![CDATA[// // <![CDATA[// The Opel Insignia OPC also comes with the adaptive FlexRide suspension which not only adapts to driving situation and driving style but also to the driver’s preferences. While on the Insignia the system offers the choice between a standard adaptive setting, a more comfortable mode and a sport mode, the OPC is definitely addressing those enjoying a sportier ride. OPC drivers can choose between three different sport modes: the standard mode as the high comfort setting, a special Sport mode and the OPC mode, for optimal performance.

For the first time also in the OPC portfolio, the Adaptive 4×4 system and its electronic rear limited slip differential (eLSD) are standard. The four-wheel drive management unit has been recalibrated to adapt torque distribution to the sporty philosophy of the OPC. Taking the higher performances of the OPC into consideration, significant development efforts were put into further improving the brake system. Connoisseurs will immediately spot the Brembo calipers and the perforated 355 mm disc on the front axle.

“I was personally involved in the development of the Opel Insignia OPC and I very much enjoyed extensive testing on the most demanding race track of the world, the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Our target was to rival the “best of the best”,” said Hans Demant, Managing Director Adam Opel GmbH.

Distinctive looks are a clear statement on dynamic ambitions

The top-of-the-line body style dressed in an elegant sports outfit is inspired by the GTC concept car which starred in 2007, but still remains true to the Insignia’s design philosophy of sculptural artistry meets German precision.

Compared to less powerful versions of the Insignia, the OPC shows a spectacular new front end with two large vertical intakes and a specific rear bumper with dual integrated exhausts. The 19-inch wheels (tires: 245/40) are standard and give the car the stance it deserves. New 20-inch lightweight forged wheels (with 255/35 tires) are available as an option.

The dynamic sportiness of the exterior is also mirrored in the cockpit. When opening the door, the OPC is immediately impressive, from unique Recaro seats to a flat-bottomed sporty steering wheel and specific gear knob. The OPC also presents distinctive instrument graphics.

“The Opel Insignia OPC marks the beginning of a new era for our OPC portfolio; still bold, but also more mature and refined, and more ambitious than ever. The OPC epitomizes the Insignia experience: dynamic and refined”, says Alain Visser, GM Europe Vice President Opel.

Corsa is Vauxhall’s eco champion

opel_corsa_opcAS if by magic, Vauxhall has come up with a formula which gives its eco cars plenty of performance while still being kind to your pocket.

Some of the new breed of high economy models can feel a touch ‘detuned’ but the latest ecoFLEX cars from Vauxhall are decidedly nippy.

The recently launched Insignia ecoFLEX has a 0 to 60 acceleration time of less than nine seconds, a top speed approaching 140mph and can average a claimed 54.7mpg.

That’s as quick as a standard two-litre diesel Insignia on which the eco car is based but 18 per cent more frugal on fuel.

Now comes the turn of Vauxhall’s baby Corsa which has just become the most economical car in the company’s 106 year history.

It can average more than 70mpg – mid-80s are possible on a run – and has emissions of 105g/km meaning tax of £35 a year for private motorists or a 13 per cent liability for business users.

Corsa eco models have been around for a while but the newcomer is an improvement on what was already one of the meanest little cars on the road.

By changing the gearing and improving the aerodynamics Vauxhall has managed to eke 13 per cent more miles per gallon out of the Corsa while reducing emissions from 119g/km.

It’s also around 100lbs lighter than before and comes with narrow rolling resistance tyres on 14-inch steel wheels to save more weight.

But what is most impressive is the amount of get up and go from the 1.3-litre diesel. It develops just 75bhp yet has plenty of mid-range power making it feel as brisk as any other little diesel.

The Corsa ecoFLEX can handle motorway cruising without issue and it certainly punches above its weight given the official 0 to 60 time of 13.5 seconds and 104mph top speed.

It’s fun to drive, nice to handle but more to the point you don’t have to try hard to achieve good economy.

The eco model is priced from £11,295 and is available only as a three-door model in two trims. The previous version was both three and five-door and sold in six trim levels.

On the new model the base level Life version includes air conditioning, stability control, remote central locking and electric windows as standard fit.

Unfortunately there is no trip computer so you can’t monitor how well you are performing on the economy front. If you are hitting the mark, trips to the filling station should be some 630 miles apart – not bad for a little car with a nine gallon tank.

2010 Opel Astra revealed in full

2010-opel-astra-1

If you are a regular reader of MotorWard these pictures look familiar to you because we have featured them about a month ago. Now though there are these official shots giving you the best view of the car yet, before its launch at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. And yes, there is a video too so you can watch it in motion!
The new Astra inherits many of its body lines and features from the bigger Insignia that also means that it has grown in size. At 4.42 meters the new Astra is about 17 cm longer than the old one so it is considerably more spacious in the cabin and in the boot.
It is much more sophisticated as well, it features a new chassis and a very clever electronically-controlled suspension system. So you can change its settings at the touch of a button and change the feel of the car according to your needs. This is a feature usually seen in bigger more expensive cars. Another amazing technology that is a first with the Astra is a camera system called the ‘Opel Eye’. It can be used to read the traffic signs or act as a lane assist system which warns the driver in case he or she is not sober!! That’s not the end of it of course, we can mention adaptive bi-xenon headlights or ergonomically shaped seats as well.
As for the engines there is a wide range of options to satisfy every taste. And they all meet the Euro5 emissions standard. Diesel ones include a 1.3, a 1.7 and a 2.0 liter ranging from 95 to 160 hp. An Eco-flex model will be added to the lineup in 2010. As for the petrol engines, there is a 1.4 liter which can produce 120 hp normally and 140 hp if fitted with a turocharger. Then there is the 1.6 liter turbo with 180 hp which replaces the current 1.8 liter. Petrol units will also get the Ecoflex treatment.

If you are a regular reader of MotorWard these pictures look familiar to you because we have featured them about a month ago. Now though there are these official shots giving you the best view of the car yet, before its launch at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. And yes, there is a video too so you can watch it in motion!

The new Astra inherits many of its body lines and features from the bigger Insignia that also means that it has grown in size. At 4.42 meters the new Astra is about 17 cm longer than the old one so it is considerably more spacious in the cabin and in the boot.

It is much more sophisticated as well, it features a new chassis and a very clever electronically-controlled suspension system. So you can change its settings at the touch of a button and change the feel of the car according to your needs. This is a feature usually seen in bigger more expensive cars. Another amazing technology that is a first with the Astra is a camera system called the ‘Opel Eye’. It can be used to read the traffic signs or act as a lane assist system which warns the driver in case he or she is not sober!! That’s not the end of it of course, we can mention adaptive bi-xenon headlights or ergonomically shaped seats as well.

As for the engines there is a wide range of options to satisfy every taste. And they all meet the Euro5 emissions standard. Diesel ones include a 1.3, a 1.7 and a 2.0 liter ranging from 95 to 160 hp. An Eco-flex model will be added to the lineup in 2010. As for the petrol engines, there is a 1.4 liter which can produce 120 hp normally and 140 hp if fitted with a turocharger. Then there is the 1.6 liter turbo with 180 hp which replaces the current 1.8 liter. Petrol units will also get the Ecoflex treatment.

So, there you go, the new 2010 Opel Astra with all its glory and heritage in new style and with new technologies on board! Now check out the video of the car:

Press Release:

“The Opel Insignia has newly interpreted the mid-size segment. Now, with its dynamic design and innovative technology – much of which has been the preserve of higher-class vehicles before now – the new Opel Astra generation will continue the pioneering role of its large model brother,” says Alain Visser, Chief Marketing Officer at GM Europe, describing the future model. “To put it in a nutshell, the next Opel Astra will carry the spirit of the Insignia into the compact class.”

The all new fourth Opel Astra generation will make its world debut as a five-door hatchback at the 2009 IAA (September 17-27) in Frankfurt, Germany. “Sculptural artistry meets German precision – that was our design claim with the Insignia and it remains so with the new Opel Astra but with an even more sporty presence,” explains Mark Adams, Vice President of Design at GM Europe. “The present Opel Astra already combines a high level of technical substance with emotional styling. You can see that most clearly with the Opel Astra GTC. With the next Opel Astra generation we are taking another big step forward in both respects and emphasizing its sporty credentials.”

With its flowing lines, the next Opel Astra will carry on from the Insignia. At the same time, it will pick up on design features that have been found in many models throughout Opel’s history- especially in the compact class. The integrated front headlamps of the first Kadett of 1936 are one example. Another is the aerodynamic design of the 1984 Kadett E. Other areas in which the next Opel Astra will evolve the Opel language are its proportions, which give the car its sporty and muscular look. Typical style characteristics of the new, finer design language- elements like the flowing dynamic surfaces, the signature sculpted blade and the warm, wrap-around interior theme with wing-line sweep that links the instrument panel to the door – are found in modified form in the new compact class model. Also characteristic is the high attention to detail and craftsmanship. It could well set new standards in its class.

Hans Demant, Managing Director Adam Opel GmbH, referring to the present Opel Astra, whets people’s appetite for the next generation: “Just think of all the innovations Opel has introduced into the previous compact class generations. Moreover, the current Opel Astra is the most innovative compact class model Opel has ever built. It cost us a great deal of effort, but it has placed us among the leaders in the market on a permanent basis. It made the development of the next Opel Astra generation an even bigger challenge, but it was one we were pleased to take up.”

With technical innovations like the Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL) headlamp system, which has been taken to a higher level and supplemented by new functions, and the “Opel Eye,” the new compact class generation will once again assume an outstanding position in this segment.

The all-new chassis will be mated with equally new engines designed following the right-sizing concept that combines high low-end torque with moderate fuel consumption.

Versatility is another traditional strength of Opel vehicles, as demonstrated by the FlexFix integrated rear end carrier in the Corsa and Antara. The new Astra will also pick up on clever and practical ideas like this.

TECHNICAL INNOVATIONS

The Opel philosophy has always been to make top-level innovative technology affordable for a wide range of buyers. Accordingly, the new compact class generation will offer plenty of comfort and safety features that have previously been confined to higher segments. Here are just two of the many examples.

CAMERA SYSTEM

When it made its debut in the Insignia, the driver assistance system “Opel Eye” created considerable buzz as a safety innovation. In the compact class, the camera system will create at least as much of a stir. “Opel Eye” will make driving the Opel Astra safer. A camera integrated between the interior mirror and the windshield assists drivers in two ways. The traffic sign recognition function scans traffic signs that indicate speed limits or overtaking bans and displays them in the instrument panel. In addition, a lane departure warning alerts drivers if they unintentionally leave their chosen lane. Both systems improve traffic safety, reduce stress and help avoid expensive fines.

NEXT GENERATION CORNERING LIGHT

Around 80 percent of all road accidents occur at night. This is where the upgraded AFL system in the next Opel Astra comes into its own, helping drivers to see better at night. It is also evidence of how Opel is democratizing active safety. The Opel Astra H was the first compact class car to offer AFL lighting with steering-linked bi-xenon headlamps. The AFL system on this next generation will offer a variety of light functions, providing better visibility because AFL automatically adapts to different road and driving conditions.

Vauxhall’s electric Ampera has powered in!

Opel_Ampera

Opel_Ampera

Vauxhall’s electric Ampera has powered in!

The sleek plug-in saloon made its world premier at the Geneva Motor Show. Unveiled by GM Europe President Carl-Peter Forster, the Ampera, which was badged an Opel in Geneva, uses the drivetrain from the Chevrolet Volt. This comprises of a 16kWh motor, lithium-ion batteries and a small capacity petrol engine, to achieve a total range of more than 500km.

Forster claimed that powering up the Ampera will be as easy as charging a mobile phone, as its plug can be slotted into a normal household 240V socket without extra equipment.

“The Ampera demonstrates GM’s leadership in the electrification of the automobile,” he added. “The ground-breaking Voltec electric propulsion system is the kind of game-changing technology the automotive industry needs to respond to energy and environmental challenges.”

Production will begin in late 2011, and the car will arrive in the UK in 2012. Forster also gave a boost to beleaguered Vauxhall workers at the Ellesmere Port factory in Cheshire, stating that the plant’s Astra production line would be suitable as a possible location to build the Ampera.