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Opel Astra 1.4T Enjoy Plus Named As Car of the Year Finalist
|Date: 10 Nov 2010
||Author Type: Press Release
The new Opel Astra 1.4T Enjoy Plus was today named as one of 10 finalists in the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists Car Of The Year (COTY) competition. Sponsored by Wesbank and now in its 26th year, the Guild’s COTY competition is South Africa’s most prestigious motor vehicle award.
During the selection process the entire membership of the Guild, the largest single body of professional motoring journalists in the country, was asked to choose a list of semi-finalists from more than 150 new models launched in South Africa from the beginning of the year to the cut off point at the end of September. That process resulted in the selection of 22 semi-finalists across nine vehicle categories including sedans, multi-purpose vehicles, SUVs and Double Cab pick-ups.
At this point the new Opel Astra 1.4T Enjoy Plus emerged as a semi-finalist ranked against four other competitors in the Hatchback category. Together with the other 9 finalists from all categories the new Opel Astra will now be subjected to a rigorous evaluation by a panel of senior SAGMJ members over a two day period early in the new year. At the end of that process the vehicle adjudged to feature the best all round attributes relevant to its own market sector and to the other finalists will be named as the Guild’s Car Of The Year at a function in March 2011.
The Opel Astra 1.4T Enjoy Plus is one of four models in the new Opel Astra range and is powered by an all new 1.4 litre turbo engine. The new state of the art 103 kW 1.4-litre turbo engine replaces the naturally-aspirated 1.8 engine of similar output previously used in the Opel Astra. The focus of this latest generation engine is on the delivery of strong performance and excellent flexibility with 200 Nm of torque available between 1,850 and 4,900 rpm. Fuel consumption as measured by Opel test engineers is an impressively low 5.9 l/100km – an improvement of nearly 18 percent over the earlier naturally aspirated engine this unit replaces. These performance characteristics translate to a zero to 100 km/h acceleration in 9.7 seconds with acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h in fifth gear swiftly accomplished in 13.3 seconds as recorded by Opel engineers.
The water-cooled turbocharger, which spins at up to 240,000 rpm, is integrated into the exhaust manifold close to the engine for a fast throttle response. Air-to-air inter-cooling increases the intake charge density. This new generation engine is matched to a 6-speed manual transmission.
The Opel Astra 1.4T Enjoy Plus features a number of advanced automotive technologies seen in this segment of the market for the first time. The most important of these are “Flexride” chassis and bi-xenon Adaptive Forward Lighting with a range of nine configurations, each automatically engage depending on prevailing driving and road conditions. The “Flexride” mechatronic chassis system with its adaptive stability control helps the car to react to actual driving conditions and allows drivers to select their personal settings in advance. Three modes are available – Standard, Sport and Tour. Other significant features include automatic headlight levelling; rain sensing windscreen wipers and a lowered sports chassis. The specification includes full airbag protection including curtain side airbags. A full suite of electronic driver aids is standard.
Opel designers and engineers believe quality execution must also be matched by what the customer sees and feels. Such perceptual quality is particularly important on the interior where the appearance and tactile properties of all materials must be on a par with their high standard of fit and finish. This is evidenced by the quality of the materials used in the new Opel Astra especially in areas like the grained, soft-touch surfaces, textured panels, the overall quality of the interior décor, chrome trim elements, and the feel of operating buttons and switches.
Quality in execution, quality in the materials used and quality as perceived by the customer add up to the new Opel Astra’s upscale presence. Together they deliver the sculptural artistry and German precision of Opel’s new design language.
The nomination of the new Opel Astra 1.4T Enjoy Plus as a COTY finalist by the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists reflects the success of Opel in translating the design brief into manufacturing reality with exacting quality standards fully realised.