Vauxhall-Opel will offer a new range of direct-injection 1.6 petrol units for the Astra this year that’s expected to replace its entire range of four-cylinder diesel and petrol engines. These engines offer a reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions due to its highly advanced refinements like turbocharging, double variable valve timing and even balancer shafts when necessary.
They’re all created to function in hybrid applications. CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke confirmed these plans as well as a €500 million investment related to this move just last week.
By 2014, the group will offer three all-new modular engine families: MGE (Mid-Size Gasoline); MGD (Mid-Size Diesel), also consisting primarily of 1.6s with different outputs; and SGE (Small Gas Engine), which offer three-cylinder and four-cylinder petrol engines between 1.0 and 1.4 litres.
Stracke said that all of GM’s Family Zero engines will be replaced by 2014. GM’s future performance cars will run on four-pot turbos with outputs up to and beyond the Astra VXRís 276bhp. GM doesn’t plan to replace the current V6s with new designs. Stracke said that they will be developed when necessary but then he expects demand to drop.
Through the dramatic proportions and the precise highlights, the sculpted shapes of the Opel Astra GTC represent the best example of the design language of the brand. Driving precision is made with stability unparalleled due to the combination of the signature link axle by Watt in the rear and the front axle configuration that has the High Performance Strut or HiPerStrut.
While Opel’s lineup includes different versions of the three-door compact hatches, the brand revealed that the GTC will not only be offered as a standalone model but will also stand for the ultimate in driving dynamics and design as an Astra. With the exception of the rod antenna and the housing of the rear view mirror in the outside, the exterior of the new Astra GTC will be distinct from the rest of the range.
The wheels included with the new offering have diameters measuring from 17 inches to 20 inches. A total of 7 designs for the wheels will be offered with 6 of them being exclusive to the GTC models. Exclusive to the Astra GTC as well is the panoramic windscreen. While this feature was first unveiled in 2006, the engineers working at Opel came up with 11 patents while it was being developed.
The resulting panoramic windshield is not only large but flawlessly starts from the hood and then extends to the roof and even goes all the way to the B-pillar. Since there is no cross-member, it gives occupants a good view of the outside and with it a highly unique driving experience. With the field of vision almost being unlimited, it gives both the driver and the passengers a good visibility and feel of roominess.
The best analogy would be that it is the same as viewing from the cockpit of an airline. There are other advanced technological features inside like the driver assistance systems that utilize Opel Eye’s second generation front camera that comes with added functionality. There is also the fourth generation of the Bi-Xenon Advanced Forward Lighting or AFL+.