The Astra Matrix
When the film "The Matrix" was released in 1999, it sparked a hype. New technologies and effects, plus a cool and casual Keanu Reeves, which at least the women at the time coveted. With the new Opel Astra, internally called Astra K, following the model ABC, which began in the compact class with the Kadett A in 1965, one would like to arouse such desires in order to get closer to the competitor VW Golf.
And, sold over 24 million Opel Kadett and Astra are more than strong performance in the compact car segment, with which you do not have to hide. The Opel brand has always stood for the mobility of many social classes and has made the latest technologies, including those of the luxury class, affordable for many new car buyers of "normal vehicle classes".
When the new Opel Astra celebrates its world premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show (17 until 27, September 2015), many will also be able to stand for the first time in the light of the new Opel IntelliLux LED Matrix Light. This technique is considered a novelty in this class and can be ordered for 1.150 Euro. More light and therefore more safety are certainly more important than to put the cross on 19 inch aluminum wheels, the Opel also no longer offers the new Astra.
But what exactly is the IntelliLux LED Matrix light?
At the exclusive pre-presentation of the new Opel Astra in the K48 factory building of Opelwerke in Rüsselsheim, Opel lighting engineer Frank Langkabel explains it to us explicitly.
"The new full-LED matrix system consisting of 16 elements - eight on each side of the vehicle - automatically and continuously adapts the length of the light beam and the distribution of the light cone to any traffic situation. It works in conjunction with the Opel front camera "Opel-Eye". As soon as the vehicle leaves the city, the high beam comes on as standard and permanently, a decisive plus for safety, as shown by a study by the Technische Universität Darmstadt and the European LightSightSafety initiative. The result: At a speed of 80 km / h, the driver perceives objects at the edge of the road from 30 to 40 meters earlier than with conventional halogen or xenon low beam. This gives 1,5 seconds more time to respond accordingly - for example to wild animals changing over the lane ".
In a darkened side hall, we can convince ourselves how glare-free yet brighter than conventional LED systems is the new IntelliLux LED matrix light. Even more efficient and durable than previous lighting systems.
Another premiere in the compact car segment awaits us in the interior. With “Android Auto” and “Apple CarPlay”, the next generation of the IntelliLink infotainment system offers the best “person-to-car networking” at the cutting edge. This is controlled via a seven or eight inch touchscreen display, which is located in the center of the instrument console, depending on the equipment. Visually similar to a tablet, the driver and front passenger can both reach the intuitively controllable module equally well. It's great that the Opel engineers pick up and implement small everyday pitfalls, such as the small "holding bar" below the display. Actually just a decorative strip, but shaped in the area below the display in such a way that you can support your hand with your little finger while you operate the touchscreen with your index finger. This solves the problem that while driving on uneven roads, despite a good chassis, you can often slip easily when operating.
With the stars
The new personal online and Service Assistant Opel OnStar is introduced in Germany with the new Opel Astra. Opel OnStar offers customers a wide range of safety and comfort services. Drivers and passengers can reach Opel OnStar around the clock and on 365 days a year. Whether for the breakdown service or other services, an employee is always on hand personally. In addition, the new Astra becomes a mobile and powerful 4G / LTE WLAN hotspot thanks to Opel OnStar. Up to seven devices from the smartphone to the tablet can be linked to the system.
With the new Opel Astra, complete networking finally comes into the compact class and ensures the necessary entertainment lifestyle.
But does a modern car have nothing to do with previous cars? We go in search of clues and discover a connection under the hood new Astra K to the ancestor Kadett A. In addition to numerous new engines that are available from 95 PS to 200 PS, the new Astra is also available with the recently launched 1.0 Ecotec turbo engine, which according to Opel is the cleanest and most economical Astra gasoline-powered model of the competitive compact class. After the 1.0 liter engine in the Kadett A there is now another 1.0 liter engine in a compact Opel. However, it brings with 105 PS more than twice as much power to the drive wheels as before 50 years.
According to today's first impression, the "Opel-Astra-Matrix" of price, technology and quality could open again from autumn 2015.
Information about the ancestor Kadett A:
1962-1965: Opel Kadett A - For the economic miracle
Large trunk and plenty of room for four people: new, revving engine and low maintenance costs are the recipe for success of the Cadet A. Fast 650.000 car builds Opel from 1962 to 1965. The lines of the two-door notchback model is factual-modern: The waistline is low, the large glass surfaces provide good clarity. A decorative strip running across the entire side line emphasizes the stretched shape. The front fenders run into the headlights and the rear ends are designed as "corner points". The space available in the interior amazes previous small car drivers. The trunk is a real luggage compartment and - the fuel cap is on the outside! "Opel Kadett in short: OK," praise the copywriters who can not resist even a swipe at the main rivals from Wolfsburg. "You never smell gasoline in the trunk," it says with a wink. With its modern water-cooled front engine, the cadet offers another constructive advantage over the Beetle: 40 PS makes the 993 cm3 large four-cylinder and drives from March 1963 also the new Kadett Caravan.
Text: Bernd Schweickard © Photo: Opel, Torsten Weigl, Bernd Schweickard