After two years of research, Opel and the Institute for Combustion Engines and Motor Vehicles at the University of Stuttgart have developed a CNG-hybrid version of the Opel Astra Caravan. The car uses an all-new 1-liter 3-cylinder turbocharged engine that manages to produce 97hp and 160 Nm of torque (118 lb-ft). The electric motor was supplied by Bosch and offers 35 kW (48hp), available even in all-electric mode. The coupling of the two motors is similar to Honda's IMA technology, where the electric motor is used to boost the gas-powered one. With all these eco-credentials, the car manages to produce only 90 g/km of CO2
, compared to the 144 g/km of the (larger) Zafira Turbo EcoFlex
. The model also uses special software developed at the University of Stuttgart that works with a GPS
chip. It analyzes the road two kilometers ahead on the route and prepares the hybrid
powertrain accordingly, to plan for an uphill section, for example. This optimizes energy management and reduces fuel consumption.
[Source: Auto News