With the new Tigra TwinTop, Opel debuts a sporty two-seater with an electro-hydraulic retractable steel roof. Its dynamic, exciting design promises pure driving pleasure and the touch of a button transforms the Tigra from a coupé into a cabrio in just around 18 seconds. At its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in March of this year the Tigra TwinTop was enthusiastically received by the public and car experts. An independent international jury crowned the newcomer “Cabrio of the Year 2004”. Car journalists and experts from 11 countries were particularly impressed by the Tigra’s dynamic design, its well-balanced proportions and intelligent vehicle concept.
Cabrio-coupé with electro-hydraulic retractable steel roof offers everyday suitability
Two cars in one – from coupé to cabrio and vice versa in just 18 seconds
Sleek design and best-in-class storage space thanks to clever folding kinematics
Two gasoline engines with 90 and 125 hp provide lively performance
One of the Tigra’s highlights is its innovative roof mechanism: at the touch of a button, both roof parts fold into the trunk in a space-saving manner. The ingenious roof construction enables generous and versatile loading space – open (250 liters) or closed (440 liters). In addition, the Tigra has a 70 liter compartment right behind its seats, increasing its luggage capacity to more than 500 liters when the top is down – the most in its class.
Two modern ECOTEC gasoline engines ensure lively and economical performance: the 1.4-liter engine (66 kW/90 hp) with highly efficient TWINPORT fuel-saving technology and the 92 kW (125 hp) 1.8-liter engine. Both ECOTEC four-cylinder engines comply with Euro 4 emission standards. A five-speed manual, front-wheel drive transmission is standard equipment, and Easytronic automated manual transmission is available as an option for the 1.4 liter TWINPORT engine.
Model and positioning: Driving pleasure and everyday suitability
After presenting the elegant Astra Cabrio and the puristic Speedster, the new Tigra TwinTop is Opel’s third open-air model in its current product range. At the same time the Tigra is the Rüsselsheim-based carmaker’s contribution to the rapidly growing segment of compact coupé-cabrios. The name “TwinTop” reflects the two-seater’s vehicle concept: two cars in one.
Especially cabriolets that boast a retractable steel roof, making them the ideal all-season car, are enjoying increasing popularity. In Germany, cabrios had only two to three percent market share in the 90’s, whereas in the first quarter of 2004 their market share rose to 4.8 percent. Annualized to an absolute figure, this could add up to about 160,000 newly registered roadsters and cabrios this year – 20,000 more than in 2003. Europe-wide, an estimated 400,000 customers will choose a car of this type this year. A number of features promote the open-air models’ boom: the new and clever metal retractable roofs enable even more everyday suitability in winter and provide advantages in terms of acoustics, security, durability, torsional rigidity, theft protection and maintenance. The demand for cabrios is also growing as a result of the general trend towards individualization.
Opel responds to this trend by addressing its customers’ changing demands. The Tigra TwinTop is part of the company’s progressive model offensive, and with its emotional character a prominent example of the brand product portfolio’s realignment. In the future, 40 percent of Opel’s model range will consist of classic body versions such as sedans or station wagons. Another 40 percent will be innovative vehicle concepts like the Signum and the Meriva, while 20 percent will be made up of exciting niche models like the new Tigra TwinTop. Opel calls its formula for success “40:40:20“.
Thanks to its versatile concept, the Tigra TwinTop offers sporty open air enjoyment as well as everyday suitability and traveling comfort for two, even when the weather signals “top up”. The Tigra appeals to young and young-at-heart customers who express their lifestyle with a sporty, fun car, but do not want to forego usefulness and comfort.
The Opel Tigra TwinTop will be available at the dealerships in September. Its main markets are in Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Great Britain, where the newcomer will carry the Vauxhall name.
Development and production: German-French partnership
The Opel Tigra TwinTop is manufactured in Cerizay (western France) by the renowned coachbuilder Groupe Henri Heuliez S.A. The body’s final assembly takes place on a leading edge production line by specially trained employees. Production guidelines and automation levels correspond to the Vectra’s production in Rüsselsheim – currently the world’s most modern car plant. With the help of 60 robots, 1540 parts and components are assembled at a total of 185 work stations. Production at full capacity with three work shifts turns out around 200 vehicles a day.
From the very beginning Opel´s strict quality standards were the benchmark for development and production of the Tigra TwinTop. These include choice and processing of materials and components as well as applying the most modern production processes and quality assurance measures. The development team, led by Opel Project Manager Horst Bach, conducted extensive tests at Heuliez, Opel’s testing center Dudenhofen and the GM proving ground site in Millbrook (England). While testing the car, the team paid special attention to the Tigra’s roof construction, focusing on its resilience during continuous operation and tightness under all weather conditions.
In total, the various Tigra prototypes completed around 600,000 test kilometers during the development phase. In addition, the engineers optimized the new model’s aerodynamic and acoustic comfort characteristics in extensive wind tunnel tests. Prior to delivery, every Tigra undergoes a comprehensive final performance and quality check on Heuliez’ own test track.
“With Heuliez we were able to forge an alliance with a development partner who has outstanding know-how and many years of experience in the design and production of roof systems and vehicles. The result of this close cooperation with our engineers is a car that sets new standards in its class – in styling and driving pleasure as well as versatility and ease of use”, says Hans H. Demant, Opel Executive Director, Engineering.
Even when parked, the new Opel Tigra TwinTop expresses its dynamic performance. Its compact proportions (length/width/height: 3921/1905/1364 millimeters) and distinctive upward sloping body line (drag coefficient = 0.34) convey sportiness and emotion from every angle. At the same time its high waist line and sturdy color keyed door handles highlight quality and safety. The two-seater’s silhouette attracts attention with its short overhangs, sloping wind shield, muscular side sills and tapered sides. The v-shaped front with its prominent head lights, large air inlets and expressive rear end – with an oval stainless steel tailpipe in the 1.8-liter model – accentuate the Tigra’s sportiness. Along with the powerfully molded wheel arches, the Tigra’s broad track contributes to its dynamic appearance.
“We consistently continued Opel’s design line with the new Tigra TwinTop“, says Niels Loeb, Chief Designer of the Tigra, on the new model’s styling. „The entire design comes across as one carefully tuned unit and radiates dynamics and solidity. We are especially proud of the rear section, as it is perfectly integrated into the sporty design of the car.”
The car’s flowing, powerful proportions are complemented by exciting details and typical Opel design attributes, such as the characteristic crease on the hood, the bold “Opel-Blitz” on the lateral bar sculptured into the trapezoidal radiator grille or the matt chrome bar in the rear bumper.
The Tigra TwinTop boasts many affectionately designed details, including the wave-shaped bar made of hydro-formed aluminum or the turn-signal lights integrated into the insinuated side air inlets, which carry the Heuliez’ logo as a tribute to the cooperation with the French partner.
The rear section of the Tigra’s roof sets another design accent, creating a stunning silhouette when closed. Depending on the equipment line, the matt lacquer on the rear section of the roof can be ordered in Star Silver (Cosmo) or Moonland (Sport), lending the Tigra a dazzling optical contrast.
The lamp units are another special design element of the Tigra. Holger Weyer, Tigra Designer: “The shape of the head and tail lights played an important role during the entire design process. Just like the new Astra, the Tigra TwinTop has clear glass head lights with cylindrical lamps in 3D-design, their cool, high-tech look is a real eye-catcher.” The wrap-around rear lights surround the robust rear end, thus creating a classy finishing touch to the Tigra body.
Roof system and packaging: Folding is part of the job
The Opel Tigra TwinTop’s exceptional highlight is its state-of-the-art, electro-hydraulically powered roof mechanism that opens and closes at the touch of a button. Thanks to its space-saving folding kinematics the Tigra´s roof concept enabled the designers to create a harmonious and dynamic design. It is also the key to the best-in-class loading space of more than 500 liters – 440 liters in the trunk and an additional 70 liters in a compartment right behind the seats. Even when the top is down, the two-seater still offers 250 liters of luggage capacity – plus the 70 liter space behind the seats, which is accessible from the passenger compartment. By maintaining the full height of the trunk, the two-seater always offers ample loading space..
Hans H. Demant, Executive Director Engineering, Adam Opel AG, explains the new Tigra TwinTop’s concept: “We decided to offer the Tigra as a sporty two-seater that always looks good, open or closed. Eliminating the tiny rear seats customary in this class enabled us to use a special retractable roof system. This in turn is the key to the Tigra’s dynamic, sleek design and the largest storage space in its class.”
Transforming the Tigra TwinTop from coupé to cabrio is effortless and easy: pull the handbrake, turn on the ignition, release both roof latches placed on the left and the right of the window frame and push the roof button. Within 18 seconds the refined interaction between four hydraulic cylinders, five electric motors, 18 contact sensors and the clever folding mechanism automatically folds together the steel roof, which then disappears under the trunk lid. An acoustic signal confirms that the roof has retracted properly – the journey can now begin.
The rear part of the retractable roof (the c-pillar and rear window) disappears nearly vertically into the trunk, while the front part folds itself horizontally on top of the rear element – a specialty of the Tigra TwinTop’s folding kinematics. Retractable roof tops in this vehicle class usually place both roof parts horizontally on top of each other and thus take away a substantial amount of overall height in the trunk and create a “plump” rear. The TwinTop’s solution enables a well-proportioned rear end as well as a large loading area offering full luggage compartment height – even when the top is down.
An adjustable luggage compartment partition has been vertically installed to prevent objects in the trunk from getting in the way of the folded roof parts while opening the roof. When this partition stands upright, the entire loading capacity (440 liters) is available. To turn the coupé into a cabrio, the partition just has to be released and slightly tilted to the rear to create the space necessary for the roof. After fixing the partition it its new position, sensors signal the system to release the roof kinematics.
Just like the roof, the trunk lid can be opened and closed electro-hydraulically at the touch of a button. The folding kinematics have been arranged in such a way that the trunk lid opens in two directions: tilted to the back when opening or closing the roof and tilted to the front when loading or unloading. Sensors ensure that one function cannot be activated as long as the other one has not been completed.
The Opel Tigra TwinTop’s dynamic design line sweeps into the interior with sport seats, a center console in contrasting color and décor strips in the doors in metallic anthracite or matt chrome, depending on the equipment version. Matt chrome-ringed instruments with black dials play up the sporty character and high-class look of the two-seater’s interior.
Driver and passenger benefit from superb ergonomics as well as a comfortable and spacious interior. The operating instruments are easy to read and within easy reach, facilitating their intuitive operation. The interior door trim on the driver’s side holds the central controls for power windows, central locking, heated power mirrors and the electro-hydraulics for the roof and trunk lid. Especially practical features for extra comfort are the lockable glove compartment with integrated cup holders and the 70-liter compartment with a luggage net behind the seats, ideal for bags or jackets.
The standard “Follow-me-home”-light function is another useful feature – after parking the car, its head lights stay on for 30 seconds, illuminating e.g. the path from the car to one’s home.
Customers can choose between three different equipment lines, numerous options and a range of custom-made accessories for the Tigra TwinTop. The Enjoy model is the entry into the “Tigra World” and primarily appeals to a trend-oriented, price-conscious clientele, while the Sport and Cosmo models differentiate themselves by additional optical elements.
The Tigra TwinTop Enjoy already comes with comprehensive standard equipment: height-adjustable sport seats, height-adjustable steering wheel, power windows with one-touch function for driver and passenger, heated power exterior mirrors, remote-controlled central locking, fog lights, ESP and four airbags (driver, passenger and side airbags). The rear window is heated and made of scratch-resistant glass. Customers can choose two-tone upholstery fabric (anthracite/blue, anthracite/red) instead of the anthracite-colored standard seat cover free of charge.
Details such as the two-tone combination anthracite/steel-grey for the Tigra’s sport seats, silver-colored seat belts, the leather-wrapped sport steering wheel, aluminum pedals, matt chrome applications on the gearshift knob and hand-brake lever are characteristic for Tigra TwinTop Sport.16-inch alloy wheels in 10-spoke sport design with 205/50 R16 tires enhance the sporty look. The so called “boomerangs“ – available only in the Sport and Cosmo versions – are two matt chrome colored bars that optically connect the center console with the transmission tunnel.
The Tigra TwinTop Cosmo is equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels in 11-spoke design and 205/50 R16 tires. Optionally the rear part of the roof is available in matt Star Silver or matt Moonland, as with the Sport version. The sport seats feature side bolsters covered with anthracite-colored leather, while the cushion is covered with steel-grey fabric. A steering wheel trimmed with perforated leather and chrome-ringed gearshift knob give the cockpit an elegant touch. With Easytronic transmission as well as in the Sport version the gearshift gate comes in matt chrome design.
In addition customers can choose from numerous extras. These include air-conditioning, leather seats with seat heating, an on-board computer, cruise control, 17-inch alloy wheels and a wind deflector. Three modern infotainment systems are available for the Tigra: the Radio CD30 MP3 with CD-player, MP3 function, four loudspeakers and Triple Info Display, the Radio CDC40 Opera with enhanced output, 6 x CD-changer, Graphic Info Display, four loudspeakers and remote controls on the steering wheel, and the CD-Radio CD70 Navi with integrated GPS.
A special range of accessories offers customers even more possibilities to individually equip their Tigra TwinTop according to their taste. This includes a high-quality five-piece luggage and bag set perfectly fitted to the trunk and a leather bag exactly fitted to the 70 liter interior compartment, making traveling with the two-seater even more comfortable and convenient. Fans of a more pronounced sporty look can order a body kit consisting of five add-on parts – front and rear aprons, side sills and a rear spoiler – which together with 17- inch OPC-line aluminum rims give the Tigra TwinTop an even more dynamic appearance.
The Tigra TwinTop is available with two four-cylinder ECOTEC gasoline engines. The 1.4 liter entry-level engine produces 66 kW/90 hp and is equipped with TWINPORT fuel-saving technology. The powerhouse is a 92 kW/125 hp 1.8 liter gasoline engine. Both engines already comply with Euro 4 emission standards which are mandatory from 01.01.2006 and boast refined performance and low fuel consumption.
This especially applies to the 1.4 TWINPORT-ECOTEC engine that requires only 6.1 liters of gasoline (Easytronic: 6.0 liters) per 100 kilometers. The TWINPORT technology for four-valve gasoline engines with displacements of up to 1.6 liters employs variable inlet control and uses high rates of exhaust gas recirculation to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 10 percent under real everyday driving conditions. At partial load up to 25 percent of the cylinder charge is made up of already burnt exhaust gas which is delivered through an additional line, while performance and fuel efficiency remain unchanged and can even be improved at full load. The Tigra TwinTop 1.4 reaches a top speed of 180 km/h (Easytronic: 178 km/h) and accelerates from 0-100 km/h within 12.4 seconds (Easytronic: 13.4 seconds).
The 1.8 ECOTEC engine with 92 kW/125 hp has a variable intake manifold that enables a balanced torque curve over a wide speed range and ensures a brisk drive. The Tigra TwinTop 1.8 needs only 9.4 seconds to accelerate from 0-100 km/h and reaches a maximum speed of up to 204 km/h while fuel consumption is 7.7 liters per 100 kilometers.
A five-speed manual transmission is standard in all Tigra models. Easytronic automated manual transmission, in which electronically operated control motors replace the clutch pedal, is available as an option with the 1.4 liter TWINPORT engine. Easytronic combines the operating comfort of an automatic transmission with the sportiness and economy of a manual transmission. In addition drivers have the option of choosing between manual and automatic shifting modes at any time.
The Tigra TwinTop chassis combines agile handling, driving comfort and a high degree of active safety. The DSA-chassis (Dynamic Safety), familiar from the Opel Corsa GSi, was further enhanced for the Tigra and fine-tuned in terms of driving dynamics. The engineers lowered the body at the front suspension by 5 millimeters and 20 millimeters at the rear and widened the track by 28 millimeters at each end. These measures contribute to the dynamic driving characteristics of the front-wheel drive (wheelbase: 2491 millimeters) two-seater, as do the sporty dampers and the extremely torsionally rigid body for a vehicle in this category (8859 Nm/degree). Specially reinforced steel pipes in the side sills and doors as well as sturdy cross members in the underbody behind the seats ensure high rigidity even when the roof is open.
A latest generation ABS system, ESP as well as disk brakes all around provide a high degree of active driving safety. In addition, a two stage brake booster with brake-assist function that disproportionately reinforces brake pressure in the event of emergency braking helps reduce braking distance.
As of spring 2005, a special sport chassis will be available. It enables even more precise handling, improved road grip and a more immediate steering responsiveness than the already sporty standard chassis. This is achieved by reinforced stabilizers on the front suspension that further reduce the rolling tendencies of the body and modified torsional profiles on the rear suspension.
Passive safety in the Tigra is bolstered by the extremely stable passenger compartment. The passenger cell features deformation zones on the front, sides and rear which transform impact energy through their controlled deformation in the event of a collision. The a-pillars are reinforced with pipes made of high-strength steel, and the wave-shaped bar made of hydro-formed aluminum is anchored to a stable transverse beam located in front of the luggage compartment.
The comprehensive package for passive safety includes four airbags (driver, passenger and side airbags), lap-and-shoulder seat belts with pyrotechnical seat-belt tensioners and belt-force limiters, the patented Pedal Release System (PRS) and height-adjustable head restraints. On request the Tigra TwinTop can be equipped with seat occupancy detection for the passenger seat. This prevents the deployment of the front and side airbags on the passenger side when the seat is not occupied. Furthermore a receiver in the seat cushion recognizes when an Opel child’s seat fitted with a transponder is in the passenger seat. In this case the system deactivates the front and side airbags for the seat.
The new Opel Tigra TwinTop’s economic ECOTEC engines are fundamental for its low maintenance costs, as they offer low fuel consumption and comply with Euro 4 emission standards, thus ensuring their owners considerable tax advantages. This is underscored by long maintenance intervals of 30.000 kilometers or two years.
Factors decisive for the total cost of ownership are fuel costs, taxes, low purchase price, insurance rating, maintenance and repair costs and the expected resale value, as they ultimately make up the actual total costs for the customer. This is why Opel set high value on maximum quality as well as service and repair-friendly design during the development of the new Tigra TwinTop.
As a consequence, the Tigra TwinTop has bolted instead of welded joints in many places on the body, which enables fast and low-cost repairs in the event of an accident, as do easily accessible components and optimized fastening elements. The cooling system, headlights or heater controls, for example, are components that can effortlessly be dismantled and thus minimize cost-intensive downtimes. The front bumper cross member consists of a square, four-chamber aluminum element, which is bolted to the body on pivoting mounts through so-called “crash boxes”. In offset head-on collisions these trapezoidal components reduce the risk of frame damage to both sides. If necessary, these “crash boxes” can be replaced quickly and inexpensively. Even broken headlight bases – typical damage after a minor collision – are bolted-on repair parts. This saves the Tigra owner the expense of having to replace an otherwise intact headlight unit.
On the rear of the new Tigra, high-strength steel frame side rails with a bolted-on bumper cross member made of extruded aluminum perform the task of crash energy management. Special attention was paid to the position of the trunk lid, which is connected to the roof and tailgate with its intricate electro-hydraulics. The trunk lid and tail lights were carefully positioned so that they are outside the rear impact zone, thus keeping repair costs as low as possible.
All these measures contribute to favorable insurance ratings for Tigra TwinTop owners.
An absolute novelty in the automotive industry: Within 14 days Opel will provide an entirely new, lacquered bodyshell in the event the Tigra TwinTop has suffered massive, cost-intensive body damage. All undamaged vehicle components, such as drive train, chassis or the interior are taken over from the crashed into the new body. And since the new body shell is not painted over, but newly lacquered, customers can decide to keep the original color or choose a different one for their “new car”.
Independent of this, Opel grants a 12-year anti perforation warranty on the Tigra’s body, as well as a two-year manufacturer’s guarantee on the entire vehicle. While many other brands refer solely to dealers’ warranty for defects, Opel is the only German car manufacturer to offer its customers a two-year new car manufacturer’s warranty in addition to this legally-required guarantee.
This guarantee obliges the seller to answer only for defects the vehicle had right from the start. The customer must prove after six months that the vehicle already had the faults when purchased. The voluntary new car warranty from Opel, however, allows claims for free-of-charge repairs of any defects falling in the manufacturer’s area of responsibility – regardless of when the problem occurs within the two-year warranty period.