Opel expands its Autogas range with more power, economy and choice

The engine that can operate in Autogas and gasoline mode packs a punch and is available in two power versions: 103 kW/140 horsepower (hp) with 200 Nm of torque in the Astra 5-door and Sports Tourer and with 88 kW/120 hp (175 Nm) in the Meriva. CO2 emissions of the Euro 5 certified engine in LPG mode are as low as 124 g/km for the Meriva, 129 g/km for the Astra 5-door and 132 g/km for the Astra Sports Tourer in the combined cycle.

Their debut comes after the Corsa LPG 1.2 ecoFLEX 3- and 5-door models had their launch in June 2011, marking the start of the new generation of Opel LPG vehicles. The Corsa 1.2 LPG three door version delivers 61kW/83 hp in LPG mode yet only emits 110 g/km CO2. Later in 2012, Opel’s ecoFLEX spectrum will be further expanded when the 1.4 Turbo LPG ecoFLEX versions of the Zafira Tourer and the Insignia are released.

Autogas is part of Opel’s portfolio of alternative propulsion systems that also includes compressed natural gas (CNG) and electric vehicles. With the Autogas ecoFLEX models, Opel is striving to be a leader in alternative propulsion systems and is responding to the increasing popularity of autogas throughout Europe which is driven by cost-conscious and environmentally aware customers.

Opel has been producing Autogas vehicles since 2009 with around 61,000 vehicles sold across Europe – around 80% of these in Italy alone. In 2011, Opel sold over 6 000 Autogas vehicles in Italy, France, followed by France, the Netherlands and Germany.

All Opel LPG models offer the full functionality of a gasoline engine combined with the specific advantages of LPG. That is because an LPG tank is installed in addition to a gasoline tank. This means LPG vehicles have considerably lower fuel bills and increased operating range: without range anxiety. For example, the total operating range of the Astra 5-door 1.4 Turbo LPG ecoFLEX featuring a 56 liter gasoline tank and a 49 liter LPG tank is more than 1,400 kilometers.

For its latest generation of LPG engines, Opel has carried out a significant optimization of the engine and LPG unit software so that both elements communicate better with one another. The engine can alternate easily between the LPG and the gasoline modes and adjust according to which type of fuel is being used. This means that the engine runs more efficiently and CO2 emissions are kept to a minimum.

The Corsa, Astra and Meriva LPG models all feature a new, easy to reach Gasoline/LPG switch centrally located in the instrument panel, making the switch-over between the LPG and gasoline mode easier than ever. Operation modes (LPG to gasoline and vice versa) are switched automatically or can be chosen manually. A light is illuminated inside the switch when the vehicle is in LPG mode. As soon as the car switches into gasoline usage the light is switched off. This innovation will also be offered in the Zafira Tourer and Insignia LPG variants for 2012.

Opel’s customized LPG system has a practical storage solution for the LPG gas. It has been optimally integrated in the spare-wheel housing. This ensures that the passenger and load compartments are spacious and are not restricted. Tire repair kits are offered as standard on board all LPG vehicles.

Stefan Zech, Manager Opel Product & Brand Communication Europe told Autogas Updates: “With our powerful yet economical LPG models customers can benefit from up to 40 percent lower fuel costs and up to 15 percent lower emissions than with comparable gasoline engines. And we are very proud to offer our customers a complete LPG solution ex works, ensuring that the LPG ecoFLEx models are delivered in high Opel quality and with the full manufacturer warranty.”

Opel’s current LPG ecoFLEX range

*On sale since summer 2011

For more information about Opel’s Autogas models, contact Jean-Philippe Kempf, Manager Opel Product & Brand Communication Europe at: jean-philippe.kempf@de.opel.com or Stefan Zech, Manager Opel Product & Brand Communication Europe at: stefan.zech@de.opel.com.