In order to comply with the more stringent European CO2 rules anticipated in 2020 and 2025, Opel/Vauxhall’s head of diesel engineering Pierpaolo Antonioli believes that its new range of diesel engines could be hybridized. Antonioli told Automotive News Europe that there will be a “very, very big change” by 2025. He thinks that to achieve the required average fleet regulations for CO2, automakers will go into electrification.
Antonioli is also the head of Opel parent General Motors' engineering center in Turin, Italy. Last Wednesday, Opel released a statement to say that it will revamp 80% of its engine lineup between 2012 and 2016 with new transmissions, three new engine families and 13 new engines.
The automaker will kick off the renewal in 2013 with the release of the new 1.6-liter gasoline and diesel engines, together with new five- and six-speed gearboxes.
At the end of 2013, the automaker will launch a new small-displacement gasoline engine family. Antonioli said that the new diesel engines of Opel, beginning with a 136-hp 1.6-liter CDTI that will be used to power the Zafira Tourer large minivan later in 2013, will contribute to the brand’s goal to reach the EU's fleet CO2 average of 130 g/km by 2015.
He also said that the new diesel family’s fuel efficiency is so high that it won’t have to be hybridized to achieve the government's goal of 95g/km by 2020. To date, the 2025 CO2 target has yet to be set. Antonioli said that with the present technology on the engine, the company can already reach its target by 2020 without resorting to electrification.
The new 1.6-liter diesel, which will be produced at Opel's engine plant in Hungary together with a 1.6-liter gasoline unit, will serve as the replacement for the automaker's 1.7-liter CDTI engine as well as lower powered versions of its 2.0-liter diesels. Opel revealed that this new engine will contribute to the lowering of the CO2 emissions level of the Zafira Tourer from 119g/km to 109g/km.