We got the first glimpse of the new Opel natural gas ecoFlex at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2011. The company has now announced that the car is ready for mass production.
The car’s engine develops 110kW and 210Nm of torque. It has a range of 329 miles – about 500km – and its top speed is in the region of 124 miles per hour (200km per hour). Gas consumption is about 4.7kg of gas/100km in a combination cycle, which is 6% less than the current model. CO2 emission levels are also lower than the current model: 129g/km instead of 139g/km.
The 1.6-litre engine runs on a mixture of biogas and natural gas, but it can also run on pure biogas.
To achieve the 25% increase in the car’s range, engineers optimised the car’s drivetrain and fitted a redeveloped gas tank that weighs significantly less than that of the current model.
The size of the gas tank has also been increased to 25kg in order to increase the car’s range. Whereas the current model uses gas tanks manufactured from steel, the new car will feature tanks manufactured from composite materials e.g. carbon fibre.
Opel, like Vauxhall, is of course a European brand that belongs to General Motors. The company has sold more than 70,000 gas models to both cash buyers and auto finance customers in Europe during the past ten years.
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