GM’s European brand is Australiabound, hopefully with a frugal fleet
AUSTRALIAN drivers could save thousands at the bowser if the coming arrival of Opel brings the low-consumption vehicles on its stand at Michelin Challenge Bibendum in Berlin.
Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke reckons the cars could be considered for export here.
‘‘ We are looking at everything we can bring,’’ Stracke told Carsguide at the event. We have already some in mind, and it is [too] early to detail this.
But we are confident to introduce more of our technology in the future.
Theoretically we can do so because we have right-handdrive architecture.’’
That means we could see the stop-start diesel Astra, lowemission diesel Insignia and LPG Corsa. of 59kW/114Nm 1.2-litre and 66kW/126Nm 1.4-litre engines.
The 1.2-litre available for short tests in Berlin drops its outputs to 55kW/110Nm when it switches to LPG but this has only the slightest impact on acceleration: the 0-100km/h time is extended by 0.2 seconds to 14.1 seconds and is hardly likely to be noticed given the already laid-back effort you get by using petrol.
The tall-geared five-speed manual transmission is unpleasant to use but its job is mainly to help shave fuel consumption.
The petrol tank gives a range of 818km with economy of 5.5L/100km and 129g/km CO emissions, while the LPG gives an extra 494km at 6.8L and 110g/km respectively. A big hurdle for us on this little Corsa is that its spare-wheel-sized gas tank is leaves a flat cargo area floor but no room for a spare wheel.
The Corsa is not as strong a drive as the local Barina, which is no performance hero itself, and its fuel figure 6.9L/100km may not be significant in steering people to the newcomer.
They’re a gas: Opel’s 2011 range of ecoFlex vehicles