Opel Vectra : New Face in Mid-Size Segment
- Striking front-end in new Opel design language, high-quality interior
- New top-of-the-line aluminum V6 turbo gasoline engine with 230 hp
- All diesels with particulate filter as standard, new 1.9 CDTI version with 100 hp
- Enhanced IDS chassis offers optimized handling and increased comfort
- Unique: Continuous Damping Control, bi-xenon curve and cornering light
Rüsselsheim. The new Vectra and Signum models are on the starting grid: sales of the new versions of the successful Opel mid-size models will start September 17, shortly after they premiere at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt. Highlights include a completely new, striking face in dynamic Opel design language, an extensively modified engine range with a brand new, top-of-the-line 230 hp 2.8-liter V6 turbo unit, as well as an array of unique technical features. The new Vectra and Signum models also feature new chassis tuning including optimized steering precision for more distinctive driving dynamics with improved comfort.
The IDSPlus (Interactive Driving System) chassis with electronic CDC (Continuous Damping Control) is still unique in this class and now also available with the 2.2 Direct engine. Also best-in-class: bi-xenon headlamps with curve and cornering light (AFL – Adaptive Forward Lighting), as well as the maintenance-free diesel particulate filter system fitted as standard with all diesel variants, including the new 100 hp 1.9 CDTI. Additional features include a state-of-the-art cellular phone console with Bluetooth technology, and the innovative Trailer Stability Assist, which prevents dangerous yawing of the car-trailer combination.
“The new front clearly expresses the superb driving dynamics of the new Vectra models and new Signum. Combined with numerous class-leading technical innovations, the course is set for continued success in the mid-size segment”, says Hans H. Demant, Vice President Engineering, General Motors Europe. Like their predecessors, the new Vectra and Signum will be produced in the state-of-the-art Rüsselsheim plant.
Shortly after the launch in 2002, the Vectra already became one of Europe’s most successful sedans in the classic mid-size segment, and held on to this position in the first half of 2005 with a segment share of over 10 percent in a highly competitive environment. In total, over 600,000 third-generation Vectras have been sold worldwide to date. This model range also played a major role in Opel’s 30 top results in numerous tests carried out by German and European automotive press since 2004. The Signum also achieved excellent results in customer satisfaction in the latest J.D. Power Report in Germany: the Signum was named best German car in the survey, which also assesses reliability.
New Vectra and Signum buyers benefit not only from a fresh design, improved driving dynamics and many refined details, but also from the same competitive entry-level prices of their respective predecessors, with Vectra prices starting at 20,350 euros and Signum prices at 23,680 euros (recommended retail prices ex works in Germany including VAT).
Design: Dynamic front in new Opel design language and high-quality interior
The most distinctive feature of the new four and five-door Vectra sedan, Vectra station wagon and Opel Signum is the newly designed front end – a further development of the new Opel design language. Together with the characteristic shoulder line, the front expresses dynamics and sportiness. Further distinctive characteristics are the typical Opel crease in the engine hood, sharper tapering of the front bumper and, most notably, the new headlamps, which stretch into the newly-formed fender and hood. With their cylindrical, chrome-colored lamp units behind clear glass, the headlamps are the eye-catching highlight of the front of the Vectra and Signum. A wide chrome crossbar with large Opel emblem is the dominant feature of the grille.
A black lattice structure and large side air-intakes with integrated fog lamps emphasize the dynamic appearance of the Vectra’s front end. To visually underline the special position of the Signum as a prime example of dynamics and elegance combined with unique interior flexibility, the designers set additional accents in the front design of the new version. A central air-intake surrounded by a U-shaped chrome frame and chrome-ringed fog lamps emphasize the vertical lines and communicate a discreet elegance.
The interior of the Signum and Vectra is more than ever defined by high quality look and feel. The top sections of the instrument panel and door trim have a new, leather-look grain.
The cockpit makes a lighter, more elegant impression, thanks to the new contours of the instrument panel, the rounded corners of air vents and the chrome-colored controls (from Edition). This is all complemented by newly designed décor trim with inlays in wood, aluminium, or carbon-look “Silver Line” (from Edition in dual-color) and a sweeping dome over the instruments. All versions of the new Vectra and Signum feature a sporty, three-spoke steering wheel.
Engines: New top-of-the-line 2.8 V6 turbo engine, extended diesel range, DPF standard
A wide range of modern ECOTEC engines is available for the new Vectra and Signum – five gasoline engines (1.6 – 2.8 liter, 100 – 230 hp) and four CDTI common-rail diesels (1.9 – 3.0 liter, 100 – 184 hp), which are equipped with a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter as standard. All engines comply with the Euro 4 emissions standard.
The most powerful engine for all versions of the Vectra and the Signum is an all-new
2.8-liter aluminum gasoline six-cylinder unit with a twin-scroll turbocharger for plenty of power in all driving situations. The sixty-degree V6 with variable valve control delivers 90 percent of its maximum torque of 330 Nm at 1500 rpm. Peak torque is provided across a wide range from 1800 to 4500 rpm. Driving performance with this engine is equally impressive: only 7.3 seconds are required for the zero to 100 km/h sprint and top speed (electronically limited) is 250 km/h – a new record for the Vectra.
The top-of-the-line diesel engine is the 3.0 V6 CDTI with 135 kW/184 hp and maximum torque of 400 Nm available from 1900 rpm. The Vectra sedan boasts fuel consumption of only 6.9 liters per 100 km with this engine. New to the diesel range is a 100 hp version – in addition to the 120 hp and 150 hp units – of the 1.9 CDTI engine. The 1.9-liter units feature newest-generation multiple direct injection and high torque values (260 to 320 Nm) with low MVEG average fuel consumption (5.7 to 5.9 liters per 100 km).
Depending on the engine, either a five or six-speed manual or automatic transmission is available for the front-wheel drive Vectra and Signum. Apart from the 1.6 and 1.8-liter entry-level gasoline units, all engines are equipped ex works with a six-speed manual gearbox, while an adaptive six-speed automatic with ActiveSelect is available for the 2.8 V6 Turbo, the 150 hp 1.9 CDTI and the 3.0 V6 CDTI. With this transmission, it is also possible to change gear manually in a second shift gutter. In addition, the engine adapts to prevailing driving style and conditions.
Chassis: Improved handling and more comfort
The enhanced IDS chassis (Interactive Driving System) provides even better vehicle control while offering a noticeable increase in comfort. New tuning of the front and rear suspension, as well as of the steering, improves straight-line stability and enables more sensitive steering response in the straight-ahead position. In addition to the chassis fine-tuning, optimized front and rear-axle bushings are primarily responsible for increased comfort.
The IDSPlus chassis with electronic Continuous Damping Control (CDC) and networking of all driving dynamics systems is still unique in the mid-size segment, giving Opel a leading position in adaptive chassis systems. As part of the new Vectra and Signum chassis modifications, specialists at the International Technical Devel opment Center (ITDC) in Rüsselsheim also refined the CDC software, resulting in even more driving dynamics and increased comfort.
Technical highlights: Class-leading range further extended
Highlights in technical innovations include IDSPlus with CDC and steering-linked AFL (Adaptive Forward Lighting) headlamps. This adaptive bi-xenon system for the Vectra and Signum is the only application worldwide to offer dynamic curve light with static cornering light and adaptive highway light in one unit. Further highlights include the climate-controlled, orthopedically recommended MultiContour driver’s seat, which can be precisely adjusted to perfectly match the individual needs of the driver, as well as three new innovative features: Trailer Stability Assist, which prevents dangerous yawing of the car-trailer combination, Quickheat heating system, and a cellular phone console with Bluetooth interface and voice control.
Variety: Extensive model range to meet customers’ needs
The four-door Vectra sedan is offered in the equipment lines Vectra, Edition and Cosmo. The five-door hatchback, station wagon and Signum are additionally available in the
Sport variant, which can be recognized on the hatchback (from 1.8-liter ECOTEC) by the “GTS” badge. All models, including even entry-level versions, are equipped with the comprehensive comfort package as standard.
This includes air conditioning, remote control central locking for all doors and trunk, height-adjustable driver’s seat, power windows in front, reach and height-adjustable steering wheel, as well as heated power exterior mirrors.
While the sedans already boast generous passenger and luggage space (four/five door models: 500 to 1050/1360 liters), the Vectra station wagon continues to set the benchmark in the mid-size segment with a maximum load capacity of 1850 liters (VDA norm). In addition, the Vectra station wagon is available with numerous clever and highly practical extra features, such as the versatile FlexOrganizer system for the luggage compartment, a remote control power tailgate and a pivoting tow hitch.
Innovative: Signum concept unites station wagon advantages with sporty coupé lines
Its innovative body concept, which combines the spaciousness of a station wagon with the sporty lines of a coupé, and its unrivalled interior versatility ensure the Signum a special place in the model range and in the whole mid-size segment. The Opel Signum has the same wheelbase (2830 mm) as the Vectra station wagon, which is 130 mm longer than the sedan´s. With its unique, innovative FlexSpace concept, the Signum provides optimum flexibility with a dynamic and elegant appearance. Just a few quick and easy adjustments are needed to turn the five-seater into a four-seater with exceptional comfort usually only found in luxury cars. Each outer rear seat slides 130 mm to provide maximum legroom or more luggage space. With all three rear seat backs folded forward, a completely flat cargo area is created. In this configuration, up to 1410 liters of luggage space is available.
- New dynamic face, three-dimensional headlamps
- Signum’s special position accentuated by elegant design details
- Good drag coefficient ensures low fuel consumption and high noise quality
- Comprehensive standard safety equipment for all passengers
Stylish Looks - New Opel Mid-Size Models
With a completely new face and other new design details inside and out, the new Opel Vectra and Signum models are real eye-catchers. Both successful mid-size class models now have a more striking, sportier look. The distinctive look, which also impresses with the exemplary low drag coefficient of 0.28, expresses the superb driving dynamics of the front wheel drive cars. The enhanced interior is defined by high-quality look and feel.
The most distinctive feature of the new models is the newly designed front end – a further development of the new Opel design language. Further distinctive characteristics are the newly-formed fender and three-dimensional headlamps, which stretch into the hood. With their cylindrical, chrome-colored lamp units behind clear glass, the headlamps are the eye-catching highlight of the front of the Vectra and Signum. At the same time, they emphasize the elegance of the new look with their extended form. The headlamps are available combined with a dash of sportiness on the "Sport" version of all four and five-door sedans, as well as the station wagon and Signum models, with chrome-ringed, black tinted lamp cylinders providing the appropriate look.
Other distinctive features of the new Vectra and Signum generation are the typical Opel crease in the engine hood, sharper tapering of the front bumper, and the prominent grille. Designed as a stand-alone component, a wide chrome crossbar with large Opel emblem is the dominant feature of the grille. The black lattice structure of the center and lower air-intakes, as well as the large side air-intakes with integrated fog lamps, emphasize the dynamic appearance of the front end.
Small but refined differences to Signum front end
Designers focused on setting different accents to emphasize the Signum’s special place in the mid-size class range. Vanes in the grille and in the center air-intake, which is mounted in a U-shaped chrome frame, and chrome-ringed fog lamps emphasize the vertical lines and communicate a discreet elegance. Redesigned side sills with shortened contours mark a further difference in the Signum’s coupé-like profile. Together with the short rear overhang and very wide C-pillar, they give the Signum an even more harmonious and sportier look from the side, in spite of its long wheelbase of 2.83 meters. The sills are now color-keyed, as on all Vectra sedans.
Harmonious body lines
Pronounced wheel arches, large bow door handles and a high waistline define the characteristic shoulder line of the Signum and Vectra. Matched to this dynamic profile is the wide selection of wheels for the new Opel mid-size class range. In all, there are 16 steel and alloy rims with different designs available. The choice ranges from the 6.5J x 15 up to the 8J x 19 format. New additions to the range are an elegant and modern 16-inch alloy wheel with ten spokes, and a sporty 17-inch rim with five double spokes, which is standard with the five-door sport sedan GTS and all Sport equipment lines.
A major contribution to the overall harmonious body lines is made by the rear end, with the distinctive stainless steel trim between the wrap-around light units and the lower edge of the trunk lid. And below the Signum’s rear window, which stretches like a dome around the rear of the car, a black panel between the two exhaust pipes underlines the vehicle’s sporty character when it is equipped with the 2.0 or 2.8-liter turbo engine.
Stylish cockpit with new materials and contours
The interior of the new Vectra and Signum is more than ever defined by high quality look and feel. Quality is apparent not only in the materials used, but also in details such as an attractive leather-look grain in the top section of the instrument panel that flows into the door trim. The cockpit makes a lighter, more modern impression, thanks to the new contours of the instrument panel, the rounded corners of air vents and the chrome-colored controls.
Redesigned décor trims with large inlays (from Edition in dual color) in wood, aluminum or carbon-look “Silver Line”, a more sweeping dome over the instruments, and a sportier gear knob are also new accents. All models have new three-spoke steering wheels.
Flow line: Aerodynamic optimization benefits consumption and acoustics
Top figures for aerodynamic quality are a traditional feature of Opel automobiles. Consequently, the four and five-door Vectra sedans, with a drag coefficient of 0.28, are among the aerodynamically best mid-size class models ever – beneficial for low fuel consumption, and important for high driving stability. At the same time, good figures are an advantage when it comes to comfort.
The Vectra and Signum are also among the quietest cars in the segment thanks to their low wind noise. A sophisticated sealing system on the windows, doors and exterior mirrors contributes to these excellent figures, and a sealing profile between A-pillar and the front windshield prevents wind noise in this area. It also reduces air resistance at this point and helps to keep the side windows free from dirt.
Interior and Equipment
- Ample space for passengers, luggage, sports equipment, etc.
- Station wagon’s spaciousness unrivalled in its class
- Signum offers plenty of space and unique versatility
- Four equipment lines, many practical extras
- State-of-the-art communication via Bluetooth cellular phone
Opel Mid-Size Range: Sets Standard for Space and Comfort
The Vectra sedans and, to an even greater extent the station wagon, set new standards when it comes to providing generous space for passengers and luggage or other cargo. The all-rounder Signum also makes its mark, offering flexible interior space that can accommodate even unwieldy sports and leisure equipment. Clever packaging - the efficient use of a car’s space – has long been a particular strength of Opel designers and engineers. Opel “space miracles” like the Meriva and Zafira or the station wagon models are just a few examples of this. But just as important for on-board comfort is a car’s equipment. To this end, Opel has designed four equipment lines with clearly differentiated characteristics for the new generations of the Vectra and Signum. Additionally, there are a wide range of extras, including the innovative dual-zone electronic climate control, an electrically adjustable driver’s seat with Memory Function, the practical Quickheat heating system, as well as the innovative and versatile cellular phone console with Bluetooth interface and voice control.
A single glance at the interior space dimensions makes it clear that the Vectra notchback and hatchback sedans (length/width including exterior mirrors/height:
4611/2036/1460 millimeters) offer more space than mid-size class cars usually do, not least thanks to their long wheelbase of 2700 mm. The rear headroom (985 mm) and legroom (928 mm) are among the best in this segment. All Vectra variants and the Signum also offer plenty of space in the front seats, with a width of 1415 mm in the shoulder area.
Comfortable entry and exit
To make the large interior space of the mid-size segment models easily accessible, Opel engineers gave a great deal of thought to the process of getting into the car. The front door sill is comfortably low, and the wide door opening makes it easy to get into the car and sit down without uncomfortable twisting and turning. The rear door apertures are also large, simplifying entry into the car without any danger of bumping one’s head against the C-pillar.
There is not only generous space for passengers - both Vectra sedans also have space above the class-average for luggage and other cargo. The easily accessible trunk also offers ample stowage space with its capacity of 500 liters (VDA standard). With the rear bench seat folded down, the four-door sedan offers up to 1050 liters and the five-door Vectra has a maximum load area capacity of 1360 liters. The rear bench seat back can be easily folded forward in a standard 60:40 split without requiring removal of the three headrests.
Station wagon features load area capacity of up to 1850 liters
With its ample and versatile space, the Vectra station wagon is the result of Opel designers’ unique experience and expertise spanning 50 years of trendsetting cars. Because of its long wheelbase of 2.83 meters (130 mm more than the sedan’s) and its total length of 4.84 meters, the “space miracle” among the Vectra models not only offers a great deal of space for the driver and passengers, it also boasts the largest trunk in its station wagon segment (VDA: 530 – 1850 liters). For the first time in this class, the trunk can be separated into different sections, thanks to the optional FlexOrganizer system. This organizes the cargo and prevents it from moving around or being damaged during the journey.
The Vectra station wagon also sets standards in maximum load area length: over two meters up to the front seats, and up to three meters when the front passenger seat back is folded down. The back of the rear bench seat features an integrated load-through hatch and can be folded in a 1/3 – 2/3 split, without requiring the removal of the headrests. The tailgate opens wide (optional with remote control, powered by an electric motor), which is a great advantage when loading and unloading. The standing space beneath the open tailgate is 1.90 meters. Another convenient, easy-to-use feature is the swiveling tow hitch.
Even the Signum’s second-row seats are first class
The Signum offers a completely new and unique mid-size class vehicle concept, providing maximum individual flexibility coupled with outstanding packaging and proportions. With its length of 4651 millimeters, it is only 40 mm longer than the Vectra sedan, but its 2830 mm wheelbase (the same as the station wagon) exceeds that of the Vectra sedan by a full 130 mm, with a correspondingly short rear overhang. Rear passengers in particular benefit from this longer distance between the axles, as it offers them more space and lots of flexible possibilities for storage, work and entertainment. With the clever FlexSpace concept, each outer rear seat slides 130 mm to provide maximum legroom or more luggage space. This flexibility was only customary with the front seats in the past. And, like the front seats, the back seats can also be steplessly reclined by up to 30°, ranging from an upright position to an especially comfortable reclined position. Maximum legroom is 985 mm, more than in any other mid-size class car.
Comfortable seats with good visibility
The rear seat system has even more to offer: Opel engineers designed the middle seat with maximum versatility, so that it can be transformed into a work or storage surface. Additionally, the seat back can be folded forward to create a center arm rest. All three rear seats can be folded forward to form a completely level cargo area. In this configuration, the available space for luggage or sports equipment is 1410 liters. Otherwise, cargo space is up to 550 liters, depending on the position of the rear seat backs. The Vectra’s rear seats also have a special feature to ensure good visibility and a comfortable ride: passengers sit in a slightly raised position, offering them an excellent forward view. The higher seating position also provides an especially comfortable leg angle.
The front seats of both the Signum and Vectra also meet the highest standards. The driver’s seat is height-adjustable as standard and, in combination with the steering wheel, which is height and reach-adjustable, enables drivers to find the ideal seating position. The optional, climate-controlled 18-way MultiContour driver’s seat offers even greater versatility and is orthopedically recommended. With a number of additional adjustment possibilities, this seat can be precisely adjusted to suit the driver’s individual needs.
The MultiContour seat includes a lumbar support that is adjustable vertically and horizontally as well as a seat cushion extension that provides a longer support area for the thighs. Seat heating and ventilation ensure comfortable seating in all temperatures.
High-quality audio enjoyment
In addition to the comfortable seats, a number of especially user-friendly infotainment systems with intuitive operation and first-class sound quality also contribute to a pleasant ride on board the Vectra and Signum.
Five system combinations are available:
- Stereo CD-radio CD 30 MP3
- CDC 40 Opera with integrated 6 x CD changer and dual tuner
- CD 50 Phone with integrated telephone
- CD 70 Navi with integrated navigation system including dynamic route guidance and graphic Info display
- DVD 90 Navi with integrated DVD navigation system and Color Info Display
With this extraordinarily powerful system – a stereo CD-radio combined with a navigation system that includes a digital travel guide, map and navigation software for 21 European countries on DVD-ROM – there is no need to change the CD during trips abroad. All infotainment systems can also be combined with a “Twin Audio” system, which offers independent audio enjoyment for the rear seat passengers: while the front passengers are listening to the radio, the rear system can be switched to CD – and vice versa.
All Opel mid-size class models feature a display screen in combination with an infotainment system. This so-called Board Info Display is positioned in the top of the instrument panel where it is easy to read and shows time, date, outside temperature and audio system settings as well as onboard computer data. The monitor is also available as a Graphic Info Display or with a color screen (Color Info Display) as an option (standard from CDC 40 Opera and in combination with electronic climate control).
Easy and rapid telephone connections for all conventional cellular phones
The display is also an important element of the state-of-the-art cellular phone portal. The core of the system is the universal console, located in the lower third of the center console. A connection terminal/adapter corresponding to certain cellular phone models can be plugged into the universal console. Currently, these connection terminals are available for a total of 13 cellular phones from the four largest manufacturers Nokia, Motorola, Siemens and Sony-Ericsson. The advantages of this feature: family members’ or passengers’ different phones can all be connected to the system. And whenever a new phone is used, it is not necessary to replace the entire hands-free system - which is built into the system in Opel cars - , only the adapter.
Dialing and selection via voice control or steering wheel remote control
As soon as the telephone is in the terminal, it is fully networked to the car’s infotainment system. Menu navigation and status display are via the Graphic Info Display. Depending on the car model, individual functions of the cellular phone are controlled either through the push-and-turn button for the displays or the steering wheel remote control. The top-end version of the cellular phone console offers even more comfortable communication options, as all functions are voice-controlled. In addition, this version is equipped with Bluetooth technology, making it possible for suitably equipped cellular phones to communicate with the system from all seats. In this case, the adapter terminal is only required to charge the phone or to connect it with the exterior antenna.
Choice of four equipment lines and many comfort-enhancing options ex-works
The four-door Vectra is available in the equipment lines Vectra, Edition and Cosmo. All other Vectra versions and the Signum are available in the equipment lines Vectra/Signum, Edition, Sport and Cosmo. The Sport variant can be recognized on the hatchback (from 1.8-liter ECOTEC) by the “GTS” badge.
The entry-level versions of all models are equipped with extensive standard comfort features, including air conditioning, radio remote control central locking of all doors and trunk, height-adjustable driver’s seat, power windows in front, height and reach-adjustable steering wheel, heated power exterior mirrors, and the practical “Follow me home” light function. This keeps the headlights on for 30 seconds after the car engine has been switched off – a particular advantage in unlit driveways and the like. The following chart shows the main differences between the individual equipment lines:
Engines and Transmissions
- Brand new 230 hp high-tech V6 turbo gasoline engine
- Additional 1.9 CDTI variant with 100 hp
- 3.0 CDTI now with more power and performance
- Particulate filter with all diesel engines as standard
- Five and six-speed manual and automatic transmissions
State-of-the-art: Powerful, Fast, Economical and Pro-Environmental
A wide range of modern, powerful gasoline and diesel engines is available for all new Vectra and Signum models, turning the promise made by their distinctive design into action on the road – outstanding driving dynamics, economical fuel consumption and optimal emission purification. This applies not only to the top-of-the-line unit, the new 230 hp V6 turbo gasoline engine that makes the mid-size class Opel faster than ever before with a top speed of 250 km/h (electronically limited), but also to the advanced CDTI diesel engines with common-rail direct injection and Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) as standard.
For the new edition of the Vectra and Signum, the 1.9-liter CDTI range has been extended with a 100 hp entry-level version. The power output of the 3.0-liter V6 CDTI, the most powerful diesel in the range, has been increased by seven hp, now boasting 184 hp. There are now more engine/transmission combinations to choose from, with the front-wheel drive cars available with both five and six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.
The top-of-the-line engine for the Vectra and Signum models is the 2.8-liter unit, newly developed by GM Powertrain, with numerous high-tech features. The turbo unit shares many of these features with the two six-cylinder naturally aspirated engines (2.8 and 3.6-liter), which are also part of the new fully aluminum range, used worldwide by General Motors. As well as a classic cylinder angle of 60 degrees and overhead camshafts driven by dual chains, common features with the 24-valve unit include variable valve control and a four-bearing crankshaft made from micro-alloyed forged steel – a material also commonly used in racing engines.
Details such as friction-reducing coated pistons highlight the extensive design work that went into the V6 engines. The pistons are equipped with hard anodized ring slots for a longer life cycle, run in cast iron bushes and are oil-spray cooled. Sintered connecting rods, exhaust valves filled with sodium for better cooling, and the oil sump, which is especially rigid due to its die-cast aluminum construction, also represent state-of-the-art technology.
Top turbo: Twin-scroll turbocharger and variable camshaft control
The twin-scroll turbocharger is reserved for the 9.5:1 compression ratio top-of-the range unit for the Vectra and Signum. The intercooler system, which is centrally mounted above the transmission, has an integrated waste gate and supplies the engine with a maximum of 0.6 bar excess pressure. The turbine wheel is made of a high-quality special steel composition. Due to its twin-scroll design, the turbine is fed simultaneously from both rows of cylinders. Separate channels – one for each bank of cylinders – separate the exhaust gas pulses. On the one hand, the operating principle minimizes turbocharger energy losses and, on the other hand, it has a positive effect on the exhaust gas flow and efficiency.
Rapid response and excellent torque even at low engine speeds are also provided by the continuous, electronically controlled, hydraulic phasing of the inlet camshafts. They can be adjusted over a range of 50 degrees with respect to the crankshaft, in order to optimally vary the valve timing and thus optimize the charge cycle to suit the engine load and speed. Like the outlet shafts, the inlet shafts are also made from high-strength aluminum. This makes them particularly light, heat-resistant and durable.
250 km/h top speed: New record for Opel mid-size class
Along with the turbocharger response, the rapid and smooth power development is mainly thanks to the 32-bit Bosch Motronic engine management system. The control unit software, which has been specially adapted to suit the Vectra and Signum models, controls all key functions such as ignition timing, fuel injection, turbocharger pressure, air mass measurement and the throttle valve position. Like the technical data, the new engine’s power development is also impressive. The 2.8-liter unit provides 90 percent of its 330 Nm maximum torque at only 1500 rpm. This top figure in its displacement class is then available over a wide range of 1800 to 4500 rpm. The engine’s driving performance is equally impressive.
Only 7.3 seconds are required for the zero to 100 km/h sprint, and top speed is 250 km/h (electronically limited) – a new record in Opel’s mid-size segment range. This is all complemented by an MVEG average consumption of only 10.3 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers.
100 hp common-rail diesel engine extends 1.9-liter CDTI range
State-of-the-art common-rail diesel engines are playing an increasingly important role in the sales success of the mid-size class models and are now ordered by the majority of mid-size segment customers. Consequently, Opel has extended the diesel range with a new entry-level version: the new 1.9-liter CDTI variant has a power output of 100 hp. It uses the same modern diesel technology as its 120 and 150 hp 1.9-liter counterparts, although the engine electronics are controlled by different software. Like the 120 hp version, this new engine also has two valves per cylinder, while the 150 hp unit is equipped with four valves per combustion chamber. The core of all three common-rail units is a highly efficient multiple direct injection system (injection pressure: 1600 bar), which ensures low fuel consumption, excellent exhaust gas values and smooth, quiet running.
The top-of-the-line diesel engine in the Opel mid-size class range is still the 3.0 V6 CDTI. However, the power output of the new generation of the six-cylinder fully-aluminum engine with common-rail direct injection is now 184 hp, an increase of seven hp, and its maximum torque has risen by around eight percent from 370 to 400 Nm.
Like the 1.9-liter turbo diesel, the powerful V6 is also fitted with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) as standard. The system is maintenance-free and thanks to its innovative technology, does not require additives.
Automatic transmission with additional manual function
Apart from the two entry-level gasoline engines with displacements of 1.6 and 1.8 liters, all units are combined with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. For the more powerful engine variants, a five-speed automatic (2.2 Direct) or a six-speed automatic with ActiveSelect function (2.8 V6 Turbo, 150 hp 1.9 CDTI and 3.0 V6 CDTI) are also available. In addition to the fully-automatic mode, ActiveSelect gives the driver the option of changing gear manually in a second shift gutter by simply tapping the gearshift lever. Both transmission units are adaptive, adjusting automatically to prevailing driving style and road conditions. The increased ratio spread in sixth gear improves performance, while reducing fuel consumption. Light transmission oil, which has been newly introduced and does not need to be changed during the unit’s entire life-cycle, also contributes to optimal fuel consumption.
From Two to Six-Speed – The Successful Progress of Opel’s Automatic Transmission
It was something that car drivers of the early Sixties could only dream about: a five or six-speed automatic transmission, with the option of changing individual gears manually. Something that is optionally available to Vectra and Signum buyers today, thanks to the automatic transmission with ActiveSelect function, was inconceivable in Germany at that time. With the launch of the Kapitän A and Admiral A in 1964, Opel drivers rejoiced that the automatic transmission was available with Opel cars for the first time – with two speeds. "Hydra-Matic" was the magic word for the technical achievement concealing the Powerglide transmission from General Motors (GM) , which had now been modified for Opel’s luxury class to suit European traffic conditions and driving habits.
"With the new Hydra-Matic", according to one Kapitän advertising brochure of the day, "you can conduct the whole score from slow train to express train speed with virtuosity. You can hardly imagine it being easier and more convenient." But this was, in fact, to happen. In 1969, with the Kapitän B, the first three-speed automatic developed by Opel came onto the market. Incorporated shortly afterwards into the Rekord, Ascona and Manta models, it made no small contribution to the success of Opel’s mid-size class range in Europe over many years. With the launch of the Omega in 1986, Opel sparked off the next phase, and for the first time produced a four-speed automatic. This was also to become a feature of the smaller Corsa and Astra models at a later date.
These automatic transmissions were and are mainly built in Strasbourg, in the factory of the 100 percent Opel subsidiary "General Motors Alsace", founded in 1968. Since then, however, the manufacturing facility has not only supplied transmission units to Opel and Vauxhall, but also to Cadillac (USA), Holden (Australia), and to other companies including BMW.
Developed, Built and Used Worldwide – New GM V6 Engines
The whole world is talking about globalization. General Motors (GM) – the largest automobile manufacturer in the world – doesn’t only talk about it, but has been operating globally for decades. The latest example of the company’s thinking across countries and continents is the new top-of-the-line engine for Opel’s mid-size class range, the 230 hp 2.8-liter turbo gasoline engine. This state-of-the-art, fully aluminum engine is part of the V6 range, which has been developed in close cooperation between GM Powertrain engineers in America and their European and Australian colleagues (Holden ). Along with the turbo version, this collaboration has resulted in two six-cylinder naturally aspirated engines with 2.8 and 3.6-liter displacements, which are produced in factories in Canada (St. Catharines) and Australia (Melbourne). More internationalism required? As well as the Vectra and Signum, the engines – carefully adapted to suit the requirements of the respective brands – ensure high performance and low fuel consumption, for example in the Cadillac CTS, some American Buick models, the Saab 93 Aero and several Holden models.
In order that the engines, the costs of which are minimized by sharing up to 90 percent of their parts, could be used throughout the world, they were designed to fulfill the different requirements of the markets around the globe. Depending on the location or model, they have different valve timing in order to ensure optimum power development and best-possible emission behavior in the respective traffic and climate conditions. A further indication of the versatile and worldwide application of GM’s new V6 range is its intelligent basic design. It allows engines to be mounted transversely or longitudinally, and enables variants with intake-manifold fuel injection, turbo versions and variants with direct injection. Overall, the state-of-the-art, six-cylinder units cover a power output and torque range from 203 to 320 hp and 267 to 485 Nm respectively.
Chassis and Body
- More agile handling, increased comfort
- Innovative IDSPlus chassis now also available with 2.2 Direct
IDS Chassis: Improved Driving Dynamics, Comfort
While the chassis of the Opel Vectra and Signum was already exemplary in its comfort and safety, the new models boast even more agile handling, improved comfort and more precise steering. Further development of the chassis has produced impressive results: distinctive driving dynamics for even more driving fun with added comfort.
With the Vectra and Signum’s IDS chassis system (Interactive Driving System), already known for its comfort and safety, Opel engineers had an ideal basis for their modification work. So when it came to the modifications for the new mid-size class models, they were able to concentrate on precision fine-tuning. For example, the vehicle suspension compresses more easily, due to the newly positioned stabilizer which reduces friction on the front axle, thereby better aligning it to the damping of the car. It is most noticeable during slow driving on bumpy roads. The front wheel drive cars now glide even more smoothly over bumps and uneven surfaces.
More sensitive response to all road conditions
The design of the mid-size class range’s four-link rear suspension also helped to reduce friction, which consequently enables easier suspension compression. This was achieved with the help of a total of six new bushes in the wishbones. With additional intermediate plates, the bushes enable a noticeable improvement in the movement of the axle – which leads to considerably more smoothness, especially in the case of one-sided suspension compression. The next stage of the chassis modifications involved the alignment of the shock absorbers to the lower breakaway torque of the springs, which results in more direct suspension response. Chassis specialists at the International Technical Development Center (ITDC) in Rüsselsheim thereby achieved increased comfort, without compromising agile handling.
But not only were the dampers of the IDS chassis re-tuned - no fewer than the around
130 parameters in the software of the adaptive electronic IDSPlus chassis with Continuous Damping Control (CDC) were adjusted to correspond to the modified chassis. The increased driving dynamics are also a result of the modified rack-and-pinion power steering, noticeable in improved steering precision in the straight-ahead position.
Electronic Stability Program ESPPlus to safely stay in lane
The basic design of the IDS chassis, which combines the different control and safety functions of the individual chassis components, remains unchanged in the new Vectra and Signum model year. IDS is comprised of a MacPherson strut front axle anchored to the subframe, and a four-link rear axle, both with aluminum components to reduce unsprung mass. Additional features of the IDS system include four-channel ABS with Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Traction Control TCPlus with engine and brake intervention (from 1.8), as well as brake assist.
A particular highlight is the Electronic Stability Program ESPPlus, which is standard in the latest generation (from 1.8) and ensures even greater driving stability and increased active safety. The "Plus" refers to the enhancement of conventional systems. Braking forces are applied to up to three wheels to compensate extreme understeer situations. As a result, course correction is carried out much more sensitively and more effectively. All Vectra model variants have large disc brakes and the front discs are internally ventilated for optimal heat dissipation.
Comfortable and safe thanks to the unique IDSPlus chassis
The adaptive IDSPlus chassis with electronic Continuous Damping Control (CDC) ensures a constant optimum balance between driving comfort and stability. This networked high-tech chassis system, which is unique in the mid-size class, is standard with the new 2.8 V6 turbo gasoline engine and the 3.0 V6 CDTI unit.
It is available as an option for the ECOTEC 2.2 Direct, the 2.0 turbo models and the 110 kW/150 hp 1.9-liter common-rail diesel engine. The electronic CDC is based on four shock absorbers controlled by solenoid valves, which precisely and continuously adjust the shock absorbers to ideally adapt to prevailing road conditions, vehicle movements and individual driving style within milliseconds.
This ensures the highest possible suspension comfort and optimal road grip under all driving conditions. IDSPlus networks all dynamic driving systems such as ESPPlus, TCPlus, ABS and CDC via CANbus (Controller Area Network), forming an integrated chassis control system.
This networking forms the basis for optimized handling performance in terms of comfort, safety and dynamics on an even higher level. Calibrated damper adjustment improves steering performance, allowing later and thereby significantly more sensitive ESP activation. When braking, the system adjusts the shock absorber settings to adapt to the road surface for optimal ABS control, which improves braking characteristics, especially on bumpy roads. Thanks to minimized wheel vibrations, braking distance on roads with loose or uneven surfaces is reduced by up to five percent – a decisive advantage, considering the deteriorating quality of roads. In addition, IDSPlus enables a measurable increase in safety when individual wheels are on a different type of surface, or on wet roads, ice or snow.
Sport function: More fun with sporty driving at the touch of a button
The IDSPlus chassis system also offers the choice of a tighter, even more agile setup at the touch of a button. The SportSwitch function not only regulates damper characteristics, it also enables more direct gas pedal response and the map-controlled electro-hydraulic power steering switches to a more sporty, higher steering effort level. In conjunction with automatic transmissions, the gearshift points are set at higher rpm to allow for a sportier driving style.
Body: High-Strength Materials
- Clever mix of materials: high-strength steels, aluminum and magnesium
One of the few similarities between the 2005 Opel Speedster turbo and a 1965 Opel Rekord 6 is their curb weight. A comparison between the Speedster, which boasts an extremely lightweight construction, and the six-cylinder sedan built 40 years ago is an impressive example of the challenge that lightweight construction poses to modern automobile development. High demands on safety and comfort, and to a certain extent the increase in size, would have made modern cars even heavier, had it not been for the increased use of lightweight materials. The Opel Vectra (curb weight 1375 kg) and Signum are examples of a consistently lightweight construction with no compromises in passive safety.
Light and stable: Aluminum and magnesium reduce car’s weight
Opel engineers also achieved weight reductions through the use of aluminum and magnesium. Aluminum bumpers, for example, weigh as much as 14 kg less than steel structures. The hood is also lightweight aluminum, making it 45 percent lighter than conventional sheet steel hoods. Numerous chassis components of the Vectra and Signum, including all transverse control arms, are also made of aluminum. The instrument panel cross member is made of magnesium, which is even lighter and stronger. It weighs only 6.2 kg.
Signum: Active head restraints now also for rear seats
Standard safety equipment includes front and side airbags, head curtain airbags in front and rear, three-point safety belts for all seats, seat belt pretensioners in front (also in the rear of the Signum with sliding rear seats), belt-force limiters in front and rear, as well as height-adjustable safety belt pivot points in front and rear. This is complemented by the Opel SAFETEC safety system, which includes the patented automatic Pedal Release System (PRS) and, in the Vectra, active head restraints in front with seat back support to further reduce the risk of whiplash. As the first automaker worldwide, Opel also offers this innovative protection system in the Signum’s outer rear seats as standard. Head restraints on all seats are height-adjustable. The extensive passive safety equipment is rounded off by the Interactive Driving System (IDS), which has been improved especially for the new Vectra and Signum models and provides a high standard of driving precision and active safety.
As an option, the Vectra and Signum are also available with a seat occupancy detector for the front passenger seat, which prevents the two front passenger seat airbags from deploying when the seat is not occupied. Additionally, a sensor in the seat detects whether an Opel child’s seat that is equipped with a transponder has been fitted in the front passenger seat. When a child’s seat is detected, the system deactivates the front passenger seat airbags, while the side head curtain airbag remains activated.
High-strength materials guarantee rigid passenger cell
The new generation Vectra and Signum are impressive proof that it is possible to combine lightweight construction and safety with high quality. Thanks to the extensive use of lightweight yet extremely high-strength materials, both models have very rigid passenger cells that provide a large survival area in all accident scenarios. In the event of a collision, the energy is absorbed by a number of main load paths, high-strength cross bars, as well as predefined deformation zones behind and on the side of the extremely rigid passenger cell. In a frontal crash, the impact is absorbed by the frame structure, the front axle subframe and the wheelhouse braces, while in a rear end collision, the energy is absorbed by the frame under the passenger cell and directed over the highly stable C and D-pillars as well as the wheelhouses into the roof structure. Crash boxes bolted onto the frame create an additional buffer between the bumpers and the frame.
The design and construction of the doors minimize the consequences of a side collision thanks to their integrated steel barriers and additional high-absorption cushioning elements, B-pillars made of high-strength boron alloy steel, a B-pillar/roof cross member structure made of high-strength PHS (Press Hardened Steel) as well as large, stable door sills. The higher rigidity of the high-strength steels used for plates and crossbeams means that they are thinner and, consequently, lighter. These high-tech materials make up 52 percent of the body-in-white weigth.
Better visibility thanks to AFL – enhanced safety for night driving
The Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL) system with bi-xenon headlamps, an Opel innovation for mid-size class automobiles, makes a significant contribution to safety. This advanced system, which was introduced in 2003 and is still leading-edge, is the first to combine dynamic curve light with static cornering light and adaptive highway light. In curves, the steering-linked headlamps swivel up to 15 degrees into the curve the car is traveling through – a considerable plus in active safety and comfort.
An additional reflector provides wide-angle illumination of intersections and tight curves, dependent on turn signal, steering wheel position and speed (up to 40 km/h).
AFL also features a special highway light function: on straight stretches at speeds above around 120 km/h, the low beams automatically shift slightly upward to ensure optimal illumination without blinding oncoming traffic.
All Opel mid-size class models feature adaptive brake lights as standard, ensuring added safety. In the event of heavy braking and deployment of ABS above speeds of 30 km/h, any following traffic is warned via the flashing of all three brake lights at a frequency of five hertz. If the car comes to a standstill, the flashing brake lights remain active for three seconds; if the car does not brake to a standstill, the lights continue to flash for two seconds when the brake pedal is pressed. Opel is the first carmaker to introduce this technology into the mid-size class. More comfort and safety is also offered by the Automatic Lighting Control system ALC: with the help of two sensors in the windshield, the headlights are automatically turned on in tunnels, parking garages or as darkness approaches.
When the car returns to a brighter environment, ALC automatically turns them off. Opel offers this system together with rain sensors, photochromatic rearview mirror and automatically regulated instrument panel illumination in the Visibility package.