10 January 2005

General Motors (GM) has unveiled the Opel Astra Diesel Hybrid concept car. The vehicle, based on the production version of Opel Astra GTC, is a front-wheel drive diesel-electric hybrid propelled by a 1.7 liter turbo diesel engine of 92 kW (125 hp) of power and 280 Nm (206 lb-ft) torque and by two electric motors rated at 30 kW and 40 kW, which are integrated within the transmission case.

GM expects an acceleration performance of less than 8 seconds from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) with the Astra Diesel Hybrid concept. With fuel consumption below 4 liters/100 km (MVEG mix), the Astra Diesel Hybrid is projected to be 25% more fuel efficient than comparable diesel models. This is achieved through the hybrid system’s operating parameters, which include full engine stop at idle and full electric propulsion at launch. The electric motors also are used for deceleration, where kinetic energy is recuperated and stored in the battery.

The vehicle utilizes the GM’s “two-mode” full hybrid system, which has been established as the starting point for the recently announced GM-DaimlerChrysler hybrid powertrain collaboration.

The Opel Astra Diesel Hybrid—which is intended for the European market—was one of the few diesel models unveiled during the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, which is dominated by gasoline and gasoline-electric hybrid models. GM decided to use a diesel-powered car as a starting point because there is no demand for gasoline hybrids in Europe, where state-of-the-art diesel engines already deliver impressive dynamics and low fuel consumption. The Astra concept demonstrates that fuel efficiency and vehicle dynamics of diesels can be further improved by hybrid technology, said GM.

For the North American market, GM is showcasing a gasoline-electric Graphyte SUV at the NAIAS show. The Graphyte features the same GM’s two-mode hybrid powertrain concept.

Source: GM