After four years of construction, the Opel Astra receives a facelift with new and economical three-cylinder engines. Who likes to be pressed a juicy fine on the eye? At least not for Opel. "We will not pay CO2 penalty," says Opel Powertrain Chief Engineer Dr. Matthias Alt one of the specifications for his work on the Astra. After a comprehensive update, he is fit for the new emission requirements. In other words, the Euro 2021d standard applicable from 6 will be met by every Opel Astra that will be delivered to the customer from November onwards. And even with the CO2 values, there are no border crossings.
The three-cylinder with up to 145 PS becomes the standard Astra engine
This required considerable effort on and in the car. The best Astra of all time, as the chief engineer introduces him, has the best aerodynamics of all time and the smallest engines of its 83 1936 history, the 11 began with the cadet and after Opel calculation now in the 145. Generation has arrived. With her, the three-cylinder becomes the standard engine. And he will stay that way. More power than 1,5 PS and more displacement than 02 liter expressly excludes Alt: "We do not pay C200 penalties so anyone can drive an Astra with XNUMX PS." Clear message with equally clear priorities.
Bestseller Astra Sports Tourer scores with a cw value of 0,255
One result of such specifications is a slippery air quality that has only been achieved by a series-production Opel: The Calibra. The Astra Sports Tourer, body shape number one in the series with more than 60 percent of deliveries, now has a drag coefficient of 0,255. The five-door is a touch worse: drag coefficient 0,26. To this end, all critical points in front of and under the car, in the engine compartment and on the rear axles in the wind tunnel were optimized. The result is a fully clad underbody in Formula 1 style. This is not rocket science, you just have to do it.
Thermal management and better aerodynamics reduce CO2 value by up to two grams
The interface for the aerodynamic and engine innovation is a sophisticated cooling technology. Behind the lush front grille there is now a two-part blind with an electronic control. This allows to modify the air flow by opening and closing by means of temperature and speed parameters. In both cases, this brings savings in consumption, which was the key approach to bringing the Astra far ahead in terms of environmental sustainability. According to Opel, the intelligent radiator technology alone, with its thermal management and better aerodynamics, reduces CO2 emissions by up to two grams per kilometer. "With five of the Astra's seven engines, we're creating a CO2 value of less than 100 grams per kilometer," explains Alt. Where that with the 100 grams per kilometer has not quite worked out is with the two automatic versions of the Astra.
The twelfth generation of the Astra will then be based entirely on PSA technology
Behind the aero-shutter called horizontal cooling air regulator Opel is building a completely new engine generation developed in Rüsselsheim. They are exclusively three-cylinder. Why not from Peugeot? The Astra is with all the trimmings still a model from the GM era. Which means that Americans will ultimately be in charge of the content in just over two years by the end of the model cycle. The development order for the small engines came also from Detroit. Now delivers Opel. Not only with the Astra, the two three-cylinder plus the transmission variants GM will use for other cars of the group. The guest appearance in the Astra, however, remains a short one. Because the twelfth Astra generation will then be based entirely on PSA technology. "However, the know-how in the mind remains with Opel," assures Alt. Especially in terms of lightweight construction, the team has learned a lot in the development. So the 1,2 liter gasoline engine is now smooth 6 kilos lighter than the previous three-cylinder with only 1,0 liter displacement.
The dreaded rubber band effect in the three-cylinder is well under control at Opel
"Except for the screws and not all, everything about the engine is new," says the chief engineer. The engine vibrations occurring with odd number of cylinders to soothe the Rüsselsheimer active with a balancer shaft in the engine. 350 bar injection pressure has been realized for the turbo gasoline engines. With them, 110 PS (81kW) and 195 Newtonmeter can be fetched for the base model, the second stage is then 130 PS (95 kW / 225 Nm). Six gears and manual shifting are standard. For automatic customers Opel holds in the gasoline a 1,4 three-cylinder with 145 PS (107kW / 236 Nm) on offer, which is always coupled to a continuously variable (CVT) transmission. This is a positive surprise, because the dreaded rubber band effect Opel better than most competitors under control. In the package, the drive does not sound tormented, but comparatively skilful. Three-cylinder are always a bit grumpy around the corner, even those of Opel. But the keynote has almost sporty elements and the balance shaft ensures that the comfort does not suffer. The turbo gasoline accelerates the Astra in 9,8 seconds to 100 km / h and is armed in the top for 210 km / h.
The 122 PS strong diesel Opel begrudge the new nine-speed automatic, even from GM
The displacements are also reduced with diesel. 1,6 liters with four cylinders become three-cylinders with 1,5 liters displacement, which is filled with an injection pressure of up to 2000 bar. The basic version of the new diesel engine generates 105 hp (77 kW) and 260 Newton meters. The alternatives are 122 HP (90 kW) and 300 Newton meters. For this engine there is the first nine-speed automatic at Opel as an alternative to the six-speed gearbox, whereby the torque for the automatic is slightly reduced to 285 Newton meters. This new GM transmission is specially designed for the torque characteristics and typical diesel driving profiles. A cross-country skier with a short spread, which would not be easy to implement with a CVT transmission. Exhaust gas cleaning improves the CO2 values by up to 21 percent. For exhaust gas cleaning, Opel relies on particle filters in the new gasoline engines, while the compression-ignition engines have a passive oxidation catalyst in addition to the sintered urea injection technology. The result is impressive. Opel speaks of an improvement in CO2 values of up to 21 percent. In the case of gasoline engines, there is an improvement in consumption of around half a liter per 100 kilometers. In the case of diesels, the reduction in consumption is not quite as pronounced. The 122 hp diesel acts courageously, but also clearly audible. Reducing the displacement does not remain entirely without side effects. At its peak, the engine manages to accelerate the Astra to 210 km / h. 100 seconds pass up to 10,2 km / h.
The new simple LED light has additional positive effects for the CO2 values
The most striking feature of the facelift is the slender chrome trim in the grille, which now spans the full width of the air intake in Insignia fashion and runs out into the headlights. Standard here is further halogen light, in addition to the Matrix LED headlights Opel now also offers "simple" LED light. "That, too," explains Alt, "has positive effects on the CO2 values because of the lower power consumption of the LEDs. Until the Astra is at the dealer, pass a few weeks. The delivery will begin in mid-November. The base model starts with 19 990 Euro, the Sports Tourer costs 1000 Euro more.
Text: Solveig Grewe