Pioneering Car Concepts: Opel presents a fuel efficient new Astra and emission-free Ampera at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Click image to enlarge

Frankfurt, Germany – Opel has premiered its new-generation Astra and the electric Ampera, and has introduced new fuel-efficient powertrains at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

“We have a lot of good reasons to be confident here at the motor show in Frankfurt, our home territory,” said Carl-Peter Forster, head of the supervisory board at Opel. “We can launch a new chapter of Opel history with the premiere of the tenth-generation compact class car, the Astra hatchback. The variety of projects we’re showing gives us the opportunity to demonstrate how passionate we are about the automobile.”

The new Astra hatchback comes with styling derived from its Insignia sibling, and with eight engines that boast an average 12 per cent improvement in fuel economy over the current generation. Technologies include an all-new mechatronic chassis, advanced lighting system, a front camera that recognizes traffic signs, and ergonomic seat technology.

The company also showed the Opel Ampera, which uses the extended-range Voltec electric propulsion system planned for the Chevrolet Volt. Opel has begun testing two development Ampera vehicles at its proving grounds in Dudenhofen, with plans for a late 2011 production date.

In January 2010, Opel will introduce a new ecoFLEX variant of its Corsa, which will emit just 98 grams of CO2, making it the first Opel to break the 100 g/km CO2 barrier. At the show, the company introduced a new Insignia ecoFLEX that will achieve 5.2 L/100 km fuel consumption as well as excellent performance at an attractive price. Start/stop technology will be introduced across the entire Opel car line, starting later in 2010 and completed within 24 months. The technology conserves energy by shutting off the engine when the vehicle is at rest.

The company also showed its Insignia OPC, its most powerful production car ever, with a 2.8-litre V6 turbocharged powertrain that produces 325 horsepower and 321 lb-ft of torque. The Insignia OPC is created by Opel Performance Center, which produces distinct high-performance editions for enthusiasts.

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