Start/stop feature on 160hp Opel Astra 2.0 CDTI engine cuts fuel use by 13%

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 4, 2011

Opel confirmed that it will feature start/stop technology on the Astra model that’s powered by the 160 hp 2.0 CDTI engine, cutting consumption levels by 13% (for the version mated to a six-speed manual transmission).

When the car has this feature, the engine shuts down while idling. As a result, this model may have a substantial power output but for it to run properly, it won’t require more than 4.9 to 4.5 liters per 100 kilometers.

Its CO2 emissions levels have also declined to 119 grams per kilometer of CO2 instead of 129. Actually, the start/stop technology is just one of many features that Opel is making use of for its flagship range in order to capture the attention of customers who want to save on fuel.

Under Opel’s ecoFLEX Technology Package, the start/stop is partnered with the CleanTech Combustion Technology. This adjusts fuel injection to the combustion process in real time, by utilizing a closed-loop system.

The start/stop is already used in the Agila, Corsa and Astra, but Opel has many other future plans that involve this technology. It’s expected to make its way through the lineup.

Opel’s award-winning design language that combines sculptural artistry and German precision was seen first in the Insignia and now, the new Astra brings its own interpretation into the compact class. It has a fresh sporty look due to its strong coupé-like profile and stylish details. Elegant proportions give it a powerful, cab-forward silhouette plus a steeply-raked windshield as well as a falling roofline at the rear, providing the traditional hatchback with more visual excitement.

General Motors Europe VP of Design Mark Adams said that it is important for all Opel models to have their own strong character. For this reason, design cues presented in the Insignia such as the wing and blade that strengthen the shapes, have been given a fresh interpretation by the new Opel Astra.

The Opel Astra’s flank gets a dynamic inverted blade, visually connecting to the strong movement of the C-pillar and rear window. On the rear end, each of the rear lights has a double-wing shape that makes the car easy to recognize.

The bodywork has flowing forms that are echoed in the interior. The Opel’s curvaceous shapes, sweeping lines and quality of execution are part of its design language. One of the signature design cues is the instrument panel’s wraparound wing shape that bends into the top of the doors’ moldings. This leads to the warm embrace of passengers, offering a welcoming atmosphere enhanced during nighttime by a red dim light illuminating the base of the stack at the center and front door panels.

New Mechatronic Chassis System - Watt's link in Rear Axle

The new Opel Astra has a wheelbase longer by 71 mm totaling 2685 mm in length, which improves driving stability and dynamics. It has a width of 1544 mm and 1588 mm at the front and rear, respectively, as well as tracks that have been increased by 56 mm and 70 mm, in that order. This contributes to its wider footprint, which gives more stable handling and better road-gripping capability. The rigidness of the core body structure is improved by 43% in torsion and 10% in bending to give a firm base to optimize the Astra’s handling and riding capabilities. Improved rigidness benefits comfort as well since it lessens noise and vibrations in the cabin.

The chassis of the new Opel Astra has been built as a mechatronic system fully incorporating mechanical functions as well as electronic controls. It maintains the dynamic, fun-to-drive nature of the previous version and added significant improvements in ride comfort and steering response.

Though the chassis comes with the proven McPherson strut layout in front, engineers from Opel Russelsheim are the world’s first to join a compound crank real axle with a Watt’s link. This structure retains the advantages in weight, size and general effectiveness of the compound crank rear axle design layout. The Watt's link, simultaneously, supports lateral forces when cornering and makes the car more dynamic and agile without compromise to the stability and comfort.

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