While the automobile market in both Europe and Germany has grown only slightly or even stagnated for a number of years, new registrations in the compact van segment have continuously increased. From 1999 to 2004, the compact vans’ share of the passenger car market in Europe climbed from 2.4 percent to more than seven percent. Forecasts predict further growth and levels of over ten percent in the year 2010. If the Meriva compact van segment is added, experts predict a share of the overall passenger car market as high as 17 to 18 percent in 2010. Opel is well positioned with these monocabs and has strongly influenced this segment’s growing importance with pioneering innovations. The Zafira debuted in spring 1999 as the first seven-seat compact van with the Flex7 system’s fully retractable third row of seats. This was followed in the summer of 2000 by the Agila, the first microvan from a European manufacturer, and in 2003 by the Meriva with the multi-variable FlexSpace concept in the minivan segment.
Successful trendsetter: Around 1.4 million first-generation Zafira
The first-generation Opel Zafira successfully defended its position as a trendsetter despite ever-increasing competition in the segment. Its success story is unrivalled. As the first van with fully retractable seats in the third row, it surpassed all expectations from the very start and redefined the market for compact vans – accompanied by decidedly positive media coverage as well as numerous prizes and awards. These included “Car of the Year” in various European countries a number of times, and readers of the German specialist journals “AUTO Strassenverkehr” and “mot” chose the Zafira as the “Most Attractive Car” in the compact van class four consecutive times.
In Germany the Zafira immediately went to number one in its class when it was launched, and stayed there for four years in a row. The seven-seat van was equally successful elsewhere in Europe and was market leader in compact vans in Belgium, Great Britain, Austria and Switzerland for a number of years. A total of around 1.4 million first-generation Zafiras were built and sold.
Two factors were decisive for the Zafira’s success: it was the first fully-fledged seven-seat model in the compact van segment and with its Flex7 seating system, offered a still unrivalled versatile seating concept that was extremely easy to operate. With a few simple adjustments, Flex7 turns the Zafira from a comfortable seven-seater into a six, five, four, three or two-seater with generous cargo space in a matter of seconds, without having to remove or cumbersomely stow away the seats.
The new Zafira is ideally positioned to continue its predecessor’s success story. The unique, versatile Flex7 seating system, which has been refined, is complemented by a host of new, attractive features, including:
- dynamic design and driving performance
- high quality and interior with high-class look and feel
- a driver-oriented cockpit
- a comprehensive safety concept
- the world’s first panorama roof system
- an incomparably wide range of engine/transmission combinations
- a maintenance-free particulate filter standard with diesel versions
- two-year manufacturer´s warranty with no kilometer limit
- extraordinarily diverse program of comfort, convenience and high-tech equipment, including systems available for the first time in this class, such as Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL) with dynamic curve light and IDSPlus chassis with Continuous Damping Control (CDC)
- the FlexOrganizer system for clever cargo management
Conquest rate potential of up to 40 percent predicted
With the Zafira, Opel addresses families with children – parents aged between 31 and 55 have accounted for almost 70 percent of buyers in this segment so far – as well as active people of any age who need a very versatile car with plenty of space.
Thanks to its qualities as a multi-functional seven-seater, its dynamic design and driving behavior, together with its many innovations and novel panorama roof with integrated storage compartments, the new Zafira will also attract the attention of drivers of other car brands. Opel marketing experts anticipate a high conquest rate - depending on the country, up to 40 percent of buyers could be tempted away from the competition. This is strengthened by the three new, exceptionally economical, state-of-the-art 1.9 CDTI engines (100, 120 and 150hp), all available with diesel particulate filter as standard. These common-rail units will enable the Zafira to capture a significantly larger share of the diesel compact van segment.
The largest markets for the new Zafira remain Germany at the top of the list, as well as Great Britain, France and Italy. Marketing experts at Opel expect to find large customer potential within the ranks of previous Zafira owners, as satisfaction with their car gives them more than enough reason to remain loyal to the Opel brand.
- Harmonious front end styling with integrated pedestrian protection
- Best aerodynamics in compact van class
The new Zafira’s looks are dynamic, sporty and confident. Its front end is unmistakably related to the successful Astra, but with the formal language reinterpreted in compact van format. The design of the Zafira’s front end also had to satisfy additional pedestrian protection requirements. Malcolm Ward, its Chief Designer, is particularly proud of the result: “We have transformed legal requirements relating to pedestrian protection from a potential disadvantage into an visual advantage. The harmonious, pioneering front-end design of the new Zafira will make its mark in the compact van class.”
From the front, from the side, from the rear – the new Zafira is dynamic from every angle. This dynamism comes from the van’s balanced proportions and the ideal relationship between length (4467 mm), width (1801 mm with folded mirrors) and height (1635 mm without roof rails). From this starting point the designers have made use of technically configured details, distinctive graphic elements and the interaction of taut surfaces with striking lines to create an emphatically dynamic appearance that clearly distinguishes the new Zafira from its competitors.
The front end is dominated by the wide, trapezoidal-shaped, chrome-framed radiator grill with Opel logo and characteristic chrome crossbar, which flows seamlessly into the engine hood. With its prominent crease, this is a classic Opel design feature. The central fold and the athletic V-shape are major elements of a common styling approach running through the interior to the rear. Together with the large, central air intake beneath the front bull bar, they further underline the dynamic front end styling.
The dynamic front end conceals a new safety concept
Although not evident at first glance, Opel’s designers and engineers have incorporated advanced passive pedestrian protection measures into the Zafira’s front end concept. Energy-absorbing elements around the bumper and an engine hood specifically designed for improved cushioning in the event of an impact help to reduce the risk of serious leg and head injuries to pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists in the event of a collision. The new Zafira is the first Opel model and one of the first cars at all to comply with EU pedestrian safety guidelines for new models that will come into force on October 1, 2005.
Formal harmony and development of Opel’s design language
Strongly-defined, arrow-shaped “tucks” at the front and rear make the Zafira appear shorter than it actually is – even though the new model is 150 millimeters longer than its predecessor. The newcomer’s compact, well-proportioned dimensions, with the width (+ 59 mm) also increased, are emphasized by the three-dimensional design of the headlamps integrated into the Zafira’s profile. Their facetted surfaces and technically interesting details are further evidence of Opel design language moving towards greater self-confidence and autonomy.
An aerodynamic roofline and a bold profile define the silhouette
A striking feature of the Zafira’s silhouette is the roofline, the rear section of which slopes gently away, and the tapered lateral belt line, which interact with each other to create a visual impression of dynamism. This is strengthened by the long wheelbase (2703 mm). Added to this are the flowing transition of the A-pillar into the front side panel of the body and the C-pillar, positioned well back, which facilitates access to the rear seats and also enhances the view for their occupants. In addition to the steep side panels, the broad, powerful shoulders extending through from front to rear enhance the impression of stability and strength. The side view is also notable for the distinctively shaped wheel arches suitable for wheels up to 18 inches in diameter, which are available for the new Zafira in this size from the factory for the first time. Together with the wide track (1488 mm at the front and 1510 mm at the rear), the well-defined side sills underline the vehicle’s athletic visual image.
The roof of the new Zafira slopes away gently at the rear, thereby emphasizing the aerodynamic lines of this compact van, which has a drag coefficient of cD = 0.31 – the best in its class. The passengers do not incur any loss of space, however. On the contrary: despite its dynamic exterior lines, the new Zafira offers the generous interior space for which Opel is well known. Many of its dimensions are again greater than those of its predecessor. The spacious feeling is further enhanced by the upright side windows, which convey a pleasantly light, airy sensation. The large rear doors provide easy access and simplify the fitting of children’s safety seats in the second row. The long door windows improve both the view for rear passengers and all-round visibility for the driver.
A powerfully-shaped rear end with easy access to the load area
The new Zafira’s dynamic stature is also evident when it is seen from the rear. The designers have transferred the V-shape of the front to the tailgate and rear bumper as a distinctive styling element. The wide, panoramically curved rear window provides an ideal view out of the back of the vehicle and creates an even greater impression of power. The three-dimensional tail lamp units with chrome surrounds highlight the body’s broad shoulders. An elegant chrome strip, the center of which conceals a sensor field for unlocking the tailgate, joins the tail lamps visually. The third brake light (which uses light-emitting diodes) lies flush within the upper edge of the tailgate. The distinctive rear-end design has practical benefits: the tailgate lifts to a wide angle to provide access for loading, while the low loading lip permits easy loading and unloading of the spacious, versatile load area.
Innovative panorama roof makes an outstanding design statement
The optional panorama roof (standard on the Cosmo) celebrates its world premiere in the new Opel Zafira and makes a very special kind of visual statement. With its dark tinted glass, the system, together with the silver-colored roof rails, makes the compact van highly elegant in appearance, and also offers passengers a particularly pleasant, bright atmosphere.
Four large glass panels ensure a light-filled interior and at the same time provide a view out of the top of the vehicle – especially welcome during trips to the mountains, for example.
When the sun’s rays are strong, the dark tinted glass prevents the interior from becoming too warm. A fully-synchronized power-operated shading system can be activated if required: each of the four glass panels is simultaneously covered with a sunshade. A further benefit of the panorama roof is that the middle section houses a roof console extending along its full length and incorporating five different-sized, outward-opening storage compartments. The special design of the panorama roof means that headroom at all seven seats is virtually unchanged.
Opel presented its concept of a panoramic glass roof system with integrated storage compartments for the first time in the “Snowtrekker” compact van study. This concept vehicle had its debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2000 and was well-received by the press and the public. Opel designers and engineers have now developed this innovative roof concept to production readiness for the new Zafira.
Interior and equipment
High-quality interior and unrivalled flexibility
- A driver-oriented cockpit and even more space for passengers and luggage
- Unrivalled Flex7 seating system is now even easier to use
- World innovation: panorama roof with integrated storage compartments
- High-tech extras available for first time in compact van segment
Four wide-opening doors and a generously dimensioned tailgate mean plenty of space and easy access for passengers and luggage in the new Zafira. Get into it, and two things are immediately evident: increased space and a sense of high quality feel throughout. Side trims or seat upholstery, instrument panel or roof lining – high-class workmanship and selected materials create an impression of distinction in the new Zafira down to the very last detail.
The spacious interior features high-quality materials, high-class finish and perfect ergonomics. The driver-oriented cockpit is an excellent example: all the controls are clearly arranged and ergonomically positioned in easy reach of the driver. The principal infotainment and telephone functions (depending on the system) can be remote-controlled from the high-grip three-spoke steering wheel (standard in Edition upwards). The three-dimensional anti-glare instruments (tachometer, rev counter and fuel gauge) are back-lit and ringed in matt chrome (standard in Edition upwards); they are easily readable and located below a compact hood. The center console contains the state-of-the-art infotainment systems with an intuitive operating concept in double radio-panel format, including units with DVD navigation and Bluetooth technology and the module for heating/ventilation or air conditioning (standard in Edition upwards) or electronic climate control. The central display screen in monochrome or color – measuring up to 6.5 inches depending on the model – is positioned high up above the center console for the best possible readability.
Another notable feature is the new gear shift lever layout: it has been moved back to a half-height position where not only is it particularly convenient for the driver but also provides sufficient space for a U-shaped handbrake lever integrated in the center console.
The innovative design of this lever, reminiscent of the controls in an airplane cockpit, has tangible functional benefits. For instance, it leaves room for a large central tray. There is also less risk of the handbrake being released unintentionally, as the release catch is at the side of the lever, which has to be pulled up slightly at the same time. Less effort on the part of the driver is needed to apply or release the handbrake, as the necessary tension is built up by simultaneous pressure on the brake pedal. Finally, acoustic decoupling when the handbrake is applied deadens the characteristic ratchet noise.
More headroom and shoulder room in all three rows
The new Zafira’s extra length (+ 150mm) and width (+ 59mm) compared with the previous model benefit the occupants first and foremost. Not least as a result of the long wheelbase (2703mm) and the intelligent interior layout, up to seven passengers now have even more space in all three seat rows. For example, shoulder room at the front has been increased by 25 mm and in the middle row by 24 mm. In addition passengers at all seats now enjoy even more headroom, which has increased by 26, 17 and 14 mm in the first, second and third seat rows respectively. This has been made possible by careful detail design of the seating. The driver above all benefits for example from a slighter lower seat, which, in conjunction with the redesigned cockpit and the improved gear shift position, provides more intimate, sportier contact with the vehicle.
The versatile Flex7 seating system is now even easier to use
The Opel Zafira’s seating is an entirely new development, with one exception – the patented Flex7 seating system, with its still unrivalled versatility, which derives in principle from the previous model. Frank Leopold, Manager Vehicle Packaging, explains: “During development of the Zafira interior concept, we looked at various different systems and came to the conclusion that our Flex7 system is still the best. No other van based on a compact car model offers adequate space for up to seven people and a comparable level of variability and user friendliness.” Detail aspects of this highly praised system, which can provide up to seven seats, have been further optimized, with the result that the new Zafira offers even greater practical value and user convenience.
New operating elements make it even easier to adjust the second row of seats, while the height of the head restraints in the first and second rows can be varied more easily thanks to a user-friendly press-button mechanism. Practical benefits remain: in a matter of seconds and with child-like ease, the Zafira can be converted from a seven-seater into a six-, five-, four-, three- or two-seater, without having to remove seats or stow them away inconveniently. The front passenger’s seat can also be ordered with a folding backrest and a fold-down table on the seat back as an optional extra. The folding front passenger seat back enables loads measuring up to 2.71 meters in length to be stowed safely and easily inside the vehicle.
Up to 1820 liters of storage space provide plenty of room for luggage
Not only can the new Zafira accommodate up to seven people, it can also be converted into a two-seater with impressive load volume with just a few simple operations. The new compact van has a maximum loading capacity of 1820 liters – 120 liters more than its predecessor. In the five-seat configuration, a generous load space of 645 liters – an increase of 45 liters – is available. Depending on the equipment line, up to 30 storage compartments and pockets, which can be used for both large and small items, are of particular benefit to families and during long trips. They include, for example, a drawer beneath the passenger seat (standard in Edition upwards), a compartment with drinks holders in the tunnel console, storage compartments next to the front seats, a compartment for glasses in the roof lining (standard in Sport) and cup holders in the rear side panels or in the back of the central second-row seat.
The tire repair set is easily accessible in a compartment in the right-hand load-area side trim; the warning triangle and first-aid kit are securely located in the tailgate trim, where they can be easily reached at any time. If the full complement of seven seats is used, the roll-up load-area cover (standard in Edition upwards) is placed in a holder behind the third seat row.
The FlexOrganizer system keeps the Zafira’s load area tidy
The tried and tested FlexOrganizer system as featured in the Astra and Vectra station wagon is now also available for the Zafira. This clever load management system comprises various transportation and storage elements.
The system is based on four horizontal rails on the sides of the load area; these have adjustable mounting points for the attachment of various retaining straps, hooks, dividers and storage boxes. In this way, almost every type of cargo can be transported safely, comfortably and neatly. In order not to detract from the functionality of the system, the lower seat belt mounts for the third seat row can be released and secured to a magnetic holder above the rails.
Glass panorama roof system with five integrated storage compartments
The optional panorama roof (standard in the Cosmo) with integrated storage facilities makes its world premiere in the new Opel Zafira . The system occupies the entire roof area, and, with its four large glass panels, offers passengers a light-filled interior and a unique journey experience. Tinted glass provides protection against strong sunlight. A power-operated shading system can be operated if required: it simultaneously covers each of the four glass panels with a sunblind. The center console running along the full length of the roof contains five different-sized compartments for additional storage space. The easily accessible compartments, which open in the direction of travel, offer around 20 liters of storage space in total.
Four Zafira equipment lines from the start
Opel will be introducing the new Zafira in four model lines – the Zafira, the Edition, the Sport and the Cosmo. The particularly sporty, exclusive OPC variant will be launched in the fall. Even the entry-level Zafira model has an extraordinarily comprehensive range of standard equipment. The entire SAFETEC safety system is standard on all Zafira models: it includes IDS suspension (Interactive Driving System), ESPPlus, ABS, Brake Assist, a flashing brake light in the event of ABS braking and automatic activation of the hazard warning flashers if an airbag or seat belt tensioner is triggered. SAFETEC also includes front, side and head curtain airbags, seven head restraints (of which the two front restraints are of active design), three-point safety belts for all seats and disk brakes front and rear.
Standard equipment also includes convenient, functional features such as power heated exterior mirrors, power windows in front, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, tachometer, cruise control, a height and reach-adjustable steering column, electro-hydraulic power steering, a pollen filter, green-tinted heat-absorbing glass and remote-control central
locking, not to mention numerous storage compartments and drinks holders. A foldable, easily cleaned carpet supplied as standard protects the floor of the load area against dirt.
The Zafira Edition has color-keyed door handles, exterior mirror housings and protective side moldings. Other additional features include air conditioning, the powerful stereo-CD-radio CD 30, six loudspeakers and remote operation from the steering wheel, chrome-ringed instruments, a removable load-area cover, a stainless steel loading edge protector, a drawer under the passenger seat and an extra pocket on the back of each front seat.
The Zafira Sport has agile settings for its IDS sport suspension and can be identified externally by its 16-inch alloy wheels in wide 5-spoke design and 205/55 R 16 tires. Inside, this Zafira model owes its special sporting style to the leather-covered steering wheel, the sport front seats (with an adjustable lumbar support in the driver’s seat), special upholstery materials, chrome decor applications and center console as well as perforated aluminum sport pedals.
The Cosmo is currently the top model in the Zafira series. Its extensive equipment line is similar to that of the Zafira Sport, but does not include IDS sport suspension. Instead, its passengers can enjoy the glass panorama roof with integrated storage compartments and electrically-operating shading system, which comes as standard in this version of the Zafira. The Cosmo also features stainless steel window trim moldings, decorative aluminum front door sill trim strips and illuminated inside front door handle recesses. There is also an illuminated make-up mirror in the passenger’s-side sun visor.
For individual needs: equipment packages and individual options
In addition to the four equipment lines, Opel offers a comprehensive choice of custom extras for the new Zafira – some grouped together into packages, others also available as individual options. Seven different packages offer lots of options for customizing the Zafira to meet personal preferences and needs.
High-tech extras available for the first time in the compact van segment
A big choice of high-tech accessories that Opel launched for the new Astra generation is now available as optional extras for the Zafira and in some cases for the first time in this class.
For example Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL) with dynamic curve light and adaptive highway light functions including bi-xenon headlamps for high and low beams. Another segment first is the IDSPlus suspension system with CDC (Continuous Damping Control). Further highlights are TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System), the ‘Quickheat’ heating system, that prevents windows from fogging or icing up during the winter after they have been scraped clear, and the Hill Start Assist. The HSA enables comfortable and safe start on uphill slopes, preventing the car from rolling backwards without requiring use of the handbrake.
Open & Start for even greater convenience
As another optional extra, the new “Open & Start” keyless driving authorization system offers a high level of user convenience. The doors and tailgate can be opened manually without key activation if the driver is carrying the electronic key. Briefly touching the sensors in the door handle locks the vehicle. The doors and tailgate can of course also be opened or closed by remote control. The “Open & Start” system is operated by antennas in the vehicle, which communicate automatically with the key. The engine starts when the start/stop button next to the steering column is pressed.
An extensive program of high-quality infotainment systems
Six different high-quality infotainment systems are available for the new Zafira, ranging from the CC20 stereo cassette/radio to the DVD 90 Navi, a stereo CD/radio with a DVD-supported navigation system, color info display and an MP3-compatible CD player. In contrast to the CD Navi 70 system that is also available, the DVD 90 Navi has a digital travel guide with a convenient search and select function and the additional advantage of map and navigation software for 21 European countries on a DVD-ROM.
The Twin-Audio System can also be supplied on request. Additional headphones for the second seat row enable the driver/front passenger and those at the rear to listen to different programs. All systems are perfectly integrated into the Zafira’s interior design and feature a user-friendly, easy to understand operating concept.
A comprehensive range of accessories for varied customer requirements
Already extremely versatile and practical, the Zafira can be made into an even more multi-purpose, individual vehicle with a host of different Opel accessories. For example, an innovative mobile phone pre-installation kit including a hands-free device, optionally with Bluetooth technology. This system is compatible with all conventional mobile telephones. It comprises a universal console and a phone-specific adapter. Once installed in the console, the mobile is fully networked with the Zafira’s infotainment system (CD 30 system upwards) and can be operated via the steering-wheel remote controls. The menu-guided graphic info display shows the system status.
Other accessories are a choice of attachments for the roof rack system, age-specific child’s seat systems and multifunctional boxes for keeping food and drinks cool or warm as required.
The OPC line package lends the Zafira a sporty look, and comprises a front spoiler and rear apron lip, side sills and a roof spoiler.
Engines and transmissions
Wide Range of State-of-the-art Engines from 100 to 240 hp
- Premiere in Zafira: 1.8 ECOTEC engine with continuously variable camshaft phasing
- All diesels with maintenance-free diesel particulate filter as standard
- New high-performance 240-hp OPC version to join Zafira program in fall
- CNG natural gas variant in the pipeline
The new Zafira generation keeps its promise of convincing driving dynamics with its design, chassis and range of engines and transmissions – the most versatile and one of the most modern in the van segment. At its launch, four gasoline and three diesel engines with displacements from 1.6 to 2.2 liters and power outputs of 74 to 147 kW (100 to 200 hp) are available. In the fall, a 176 kW/240 hp high-performance version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine will be added to the Zafira OPC model. This engine has a maximum torque of 320 Nm, takes the Zafira OPC from zero to 100 km/h in just 7.8 seconds and makes it Europe’s fastest series-production van with a maximum speed of 231 km/h.
As with the previous model, a particularly economical and environmentally compatible natural gas unit (CNG – Compressed Natural Gas) will be available later as an alternative to the gasoline and diesel engines.
All engines feature sophisticated technologies and dynamic driving performance combined with efficient fuel consumption and environmentally-friendly characteristics, as they all belong to the modern ECOTEC engine family and comply with the Euro 4 emissions standard. All the diesels have newest-generation common-rail multiple direct injection and a maintenance-free Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) as standard.
Driving excitement is assured by the high-performance 240 hp OPC model, the 147 kW/200 hp 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine and the powerful 110 kW/150 hp 1.9 CDTI diesel unit with a maximum torque of 320 Nm.
The 1.8 ECOTEC engine debuting in the Zafira delivers sporty performance with moderate fuel consumption. With power output of 103 kW/140 hp, this unit is the first of a new generation of Opel engines and boasts continuously variable camshaft phasing.
The front-wheel drive new Zafira is available with a choice of five transmissions. Five of the seven engines come standard with a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission (2.0 Turbo, 2.2 direct, all 1.9 CDTI). In addition, there is a manual five-speed transmission (1.6 TWINPORT, 1.8) and, as an option, a six-speed automatic transmission with a manual ActiveSelect shift function (available for 120 and 150 hp 1.9 CDTI models), a four-speed automatic (optional for 2.2 direct) and, from the spring of 2006, the further developed “Easytronic” automated five-speed manual transmission with additional sport mode, available for the 1.8 ECOTEC.
Dr. Peter Mertens, Vehicle Line Executive for compact cars, says: “The dynamics promised by the design of the new Zafira are realized with a broad range of powerful, modern, highly efficient powertrains. No other manufacturer offers such a variety in this segment.”
1.6 TWINPORT ECOTEC (77 kW/105 hp): Innovative entry-level technology
The entry-level gasoline engine is the 1.6-liter TWINPORT unit with 77 kW/105 hp and a maximum torque of 150 Nm. This four-cylinder ECOTEC engine boasts compact dimensions, low internal friction, and the innovative TWINPORT concept. This intelligent fuel-saving technology for four-valve gasoline engines with displacement up to 1.6 liters employs variable intake control via a throttle valve in one of the two inlet ports of each cylinder and uses high rates of exhaust gas recirculation to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 10 percent under typical everyday driving conditions. While up to 25 percent of the cylinder charge is supplied over an additional pipe from the exhaust side of the engine at partial load, power output and fuel efficiency at full load are retained – an important bonus for smaller engines, which naturally have to work hard more often. The Zafira 1.6 TWINPORT has a five-speed manual transmission, a top speed of 176 km/h, accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 14.3 seconds and has fuel consumption according to the MVEG test cycle of only 7.1 liters per 100 kilometers.
1.8 ECOTEC (103 kW/140 hp): Continuously variable camshaft phasing
The main advantages of the new 103 kW/140 hp 1.8-liter ECOTEC gasoline engine, newly developed down to the last detail compared to its same-size predecessor, are a performance increase up to 14 percent, approximately four percent lower fuel consumption and improved flexibility and refinement. The main key to these significant improvements is “CamPhase” continuously variable control of both camshafts. Depending on the speed and load range, either power or economy-optimized valve timing can be selected. An extremely compact, lightweight vane-type hydraulic adjuster rotates the camshafts directly to the ideal setting in relation to the crankshaft.
Other technical highlights of this engine, which will probably be chosen by the majority of Zafira buyers, are the synthetic a two-step intake manifold with a rotary sleeve instead of flaps to minimize flow losses; a highly efficient oil-water heat exchanger; a map-controlled thermostat; and a deep drawn exhaust manifold with an integrated catalytic converter. In accordance with the overall weight-saving design concept, the engine weighs three percent less than its predecessor with the same displacement. Including the bearing caps, the gray cast iron engine block tips the scales at only 27 kilograms.
With power output of more than 57 kW/78 hp per liter, the new 1.8 ECOTEC unit is among the leaders in this displacement category. An important feature for day-to-day driving is that 90 percent of the maximum torque of 175 Nm is available all the way from 2200 to 6200 rpm. This creates additional reserves of pulling power, for instance when overtaking, and makes the Zafira 1.8 a good sprinter. Only 11.5 seconds are needed to reach 100 km/h from a standing start, and the top speed is 197 km/h. The fuel consumption of the Zafira 1.8 according to the MVEG test cycle is only 7.6 liters per 100 km.
In addition to the five-speed manual transmission, the 1.8 ECOTEC Zafira will be available in the spring of 2006 with the Easytronic automated five-speed manual transmission. This also has a special Sport mode, which moves the shift points up to higher engine speeds.
2.2 DIRECT ECOTEC (110 kW/150 hp): Highly efficient use of fuel
The 2.2 DIRECT ECOTEC is the first Opel engine to have variable high-pressure direct fuel injection (up to 120 bar pressure). The cooler fuel-air mixture that results from internal mixture formation allows better performance. The compression ratio of 12.0:1 is high compared with an engine using intake-manifold fuel injection. When coupled with the precise six-speed manual transmission (four-speed automatic optional), the 2.2 DIRECT ECOTEC engine accelerates the Zafira from zero to 100 km/h in only 10.6 seconds and reaches a top speed of 200 km/h. The 110 kW/150 hp engine consumes only 8.2 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers according to the MVEG test cycle; this is some six percent less than with a conventional engine. The pleasantly smooth-running direct-injection engine, with its two balancer shafts and dual-mass flywheel, develops higher peak torque of 215 Nm at 4000 rpm. A high-tech design, the all-aluminum engine has four valves per cylinder and variable intake control.
Flaps in the two inlet ports for each cylinder vary the airflow according to the load on the engine. They intensify the swirl of the fuel in the combustion chamber so that the resulting mixture burns more efficiently. At part-load, high rates of exhaust gas recirculation keep fuel consumption low and minimize emissions.
2.0 Turbo ECOTEC (147 kW/200 hp): Smooth-running top performer
The current top-of-the-line engine has even more reserves of flexibility. The 147 kW/200 hp 2.0 Turbo ECOTEC has a maximum torque of 262 Nm at 4200 rpm (250 Nm thereof from 1950 to 5300 rpm). This is the key to its excellent pulling power over a very broad rev band. This top performer among the Zafira engines has a dual-mass flywheel and two counter-rotating balancer shafts, so that its smoothness matches that of a six-cylinder engine. The 2.0-liter engine has a compression ratio of 8.8:1, a water-cooled turbocharger, a computer-controlled waste gate, a bypass valve integrated into the turbo module and a six-speed manual transmission that weighs only 50 kilograms. With its sporty, close ratios, this adds to the powertrain’s spontaneous response and allows the driver to make full use of the electronic (drive-by-wire) gas pedal to extract power.
The Zafira 2.0 Turbo needs only 9.0 seconds to sprint from zero to 100 km/h and 9.8 seconds to accelerate from 80 to 120 km/h in fifth gear. The 225 km/h top speed is also impressive, thanks to the best aerodynamics in this class (drag coefficient cD = 0.31).
Yet it is modest in its noise and exhaust emissions. Two oxygen sensors monitor the double catalytic converters in the exhaust system: a first-stage converter that lights off rapidly and a large-volume main converter. The exhaust gas recirculating system is electronically controlled. According to the MVEG test cycle, this four-cylinder engine with its sequential fuel injection consumes only 9.5 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers.
1.9 CDTI ECOTEC: Three powerful diesels with latest common-rail technology
Three 1.9-liter turbocharged diesels from the ECOTEC program with common-rail direct injection are available for the second generation Zafira. All of them comply with the Euro 4 emissions standard and have a maintenance-free Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) as standard. Standard equipment with all these diesel engines is a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission.
The Zafira entry-level diesel engine has a power output of 74 kW/100 hp and maximum torque of 260 Nm between 1700 and 2500 rpm. With its variable-geometry turbocharger, this unit accelerates the compact van from zero to 100 km/h in 14.1 seconds, and gives it a top speed of 174 km/h. It needs only 6.1 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (MVEG test cycle).
The same low fuel consumption is boasted by the 88 kW/120 hp version, which has maximum torque of 280 Nm at engine speeds from 2000 to 2750 rpm. The 120 hp Zafira 1.9 CDTI reaches a top speed of 183 km/h and accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 12.2 seconds.
The top-of-the-line engine in the Zafira diesel program is the 110 kW/150 hp 1.9 CDTI, which develops a maximum torque of 320 Nm between 2000 and 2750 rpm. The four-valve engine takes the Zafira to a top speed of 202 km/h and gives it a zero to 100 km/h sprint time of 10.4 seconds. Its flexibility is also outstanding: 80 to 120 km/h in fifth gear takes only 9.8 seconds, the same as the 200-hp turbocharged gasoline engine. Fuel consumption is only 6.2 liters per 100 kilometers.
Among the ECOTEC turbocharged diesel engine’s technical highlights is second-generation common-rail multiple direct fuel injection (‘multi-injection’). In addition to the high injection pressure of 1600 bar, it permits the individual injection strokes to be
precisely controlled, and atomizes the fuel more finely, so that exhaust emission levels, initial response and noise quality are improved. This engine family also has variable turbine geometry, charge air intercooling and a host of other technical refinements that underscore Opel’s commitment to maximum performance and environmental protection. They include the electronically controlled throttle, pneumatic-action swirl flaps in the intake ports, precise control of the water-cooled exhaust gas recirculation system and a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter. This filter consists of a ceramic body perforated by microscopic channels. The soot particles collect on the surfaces of these channels, and pressure and temperature sensors identify when the filter needs to be cleaned. A controlled program of multiple fuel injections then starts, so that the exhaust gas temperature rises and the soot particles are completely burned off. This takes place regardless of the vehicle load and with no noticeable effects on driving behavior.
Close-ratio transmissions with high-power performance
All three 1.9 CDTI variants feature the six-speed manual transmission with up to 400 Nm. Close ratios make effective use of the high-tech diesel engines’ performance and fuel-saving potential.
The same applies to the six-speed automatic transmission, optional with the two more powerful 1.9 CDTI engines. A special feature of this unit is the ActiveSelect function: the gear lever can be moved across to a second gate in which manual shifting is possible. In the fully automatic mode, the most suitable ratio is selected adaptively, according to prevailing driving conditions. The driver can also press a button to select the Sport mode, in which the shift points are moved up to higher engine-speeds for sportier driving. The transmission control system reacts in the opposite way when the winter program is activated to minimize the driving wheels’ tendency to spin on slippery surfaces.
Innovative Technology for Dynamic Driving
The second Zafira generation features outstanding driving safety as well as exceptional agility and a comfortable ride. These characteristics are ensured by a body structure even more rigid than its predecessor, a longer wheelbase (2703mm), wider track (1488mm in front and 1510mm in rear), a center of gravity that is low for a van, and the Interactive Driving System (IDS). Familiar from the new Astra, the highly-praised IDS has been further developed by Opel/GM engineers for the second-generation Zafira and specifically tailored to its vehicle architecture.
The adaptive IDSPlus chassis with Continuous Damping Control (CDC) brings a new dimension to driving fun, active safety and comfort in the van segment. Until its entry into the compact class in the new Astra, CDC was only available in luxury and exclusive sports cars. Opel now makes this technology available to compact van customers for the first time.
The new Opel Zafira’s SAFETEC safety package, unique in this vehicle class, is complemented by a host of innovative technologies, including Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL) with steering-linked bi-xenon headlamps, trailer stability program, TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) and “pulsed” brake lights, which flash prominently in the event of emergency braking.
IDS chassis: Components in perfect interaction
The second-generation Zafira´s IDS chassis is distinguished by optimal interaction between its mechanical components and its sophisticated, electronically-aided chassis control systems. Precise handling and driving comfort are ensured by the McPherson front suspension with hydro-formed subframe and the torsion-beam rear axle of double-walled U section, which has been awarded numerous patents. On this solid basis, the networked electronic driving control systems can function to their fullest effect. These systems include the ESPPlus Electronic Stability Program with understeer control logic and targeted braking at several wheels, TCPlus Traction Control, CBC (Cornering Brake Control), the latest-generation ABS and Brake Assist. The Zafira’s dynamic character is further enhanced by Electro Hydraulic Power Steering (EHPS); the power steering is map-controlled (except in Zafira 1.6 TWINPORT) to provide optimal steering assistance in every driving situation.
For driving characteristics that are even more dynamic than those in the standard version, Opel offers the Zafira with a stiffer IDS sport chassis, which comes with a SportSwitch (also standard in Zafira Sport and with IDSPlus). A simple press of this button in the cockpit activates a sport mode that offers more direct steering and gas pedal response.
Horst Bormann, Chief Engineer, Chassis, outlined the challenges that faced his team while working on the interaction between the electronic and mechanical components: “An extremely dynamic yet responsive chassis with high safety reserves is perfectly feasible. A high-comfort design can also be realized without difficulty. The biggest challenge is to reconcile these two extremes. The standard of the result for the new Zafira is higher than ever before in the van segment.”
The IDSPlus chassis system enhances both safety and driving fun
The adaptive IDSPlus chassis system with electronic damping control (CDC) and networking of all driving dynamics systems (ICC – Integrated Chassis Control) is entirely new in the compact van segment and available as an option with the Zafira. Sophisticated electronics architecture with three CAN-bus (Controller Area Network) systems enables the various regulating units to communicate with one another, whereby a high-speed data bus with a transmission rate of 500 kilobytes per second is used for the chassis control.
An integral part of the IDSPlus chassis system, CDC is based on four shock absorbers controlled by solenoid valves that precisely and continuously adjust the damping to ideally adapt to road conditions, vehicle movements and driving style. Together with additional CAN-bus signals (e.g. vehicle speed and steering angle speed), three body and two wheel acceleration sensors supply the electronic control unit with the information needed for optimal damping. The control unit calculates the necessary damping force required at each wheel in real time. The networking between CDC and ESPPlus is particularly advanced. The CDC system is informed continuously of the steering angle and yaw rate and in turn the CDC damping function is controlled by ESP in critical situations. Damping on alternate sides of the vehicle counteracts over or understeering in borderline situations. This dynamic roll rate adjustment integrated in ESPPlus can be described as a “virtual stabilizer”.
The IDSPlus chassis system provides an important safety benefit, with minimized wheel-load fluctuations that enhance the grip of the wide 205/55 x 16 tires (17 or 18-inch available as an option), thereby reducing stopping distances. It also achieves a significant improvement in ride comfort as the damping forces at the individual wheels reduce body movement and balance out ride-height changes, even on extremely uneven surfaces. Brake dive and acceleration squat are almost completely eliminated.
The IDSPlus system also enables the driver to select an even more agile mode by simply pressing the SportSwitch in the cockpit. This controls the shock absorber settings, gas pedal response and the characteristics of the electro-hydraulic power steering. The shift points of automatic and Easytronic automated manual transmissions are raised to higher rpm. The SportSwitch is standard on vehicles with automatic transmission or Easytronic – even those without the IDS sport chassis (standard for the Zafira Sport) or the IDSPlus system – and enables the driver to activate more progressive gas pedal and transmission control characteristics.
Active accident prevention: “Pulsed” brake lights help prevent rear-end collisions
The new Zafira’s ABS with disk brakes all around ensures effective deceleration in all driving situations. In the event of emergency braking, a two-stage brake booster with brake assist immediately increases brake pressure, thus shortening braking distance. When ABS is activated, the brake lights flash at a frequency of up to four pulses per
second to warn following traffic. Visual signals of this kind reduce reaction time by valuable fractions of a second and thereby help to prevent rear-end collisions. The Zafira is one of the first vehicles in the world to incorporate this innovative safety feature.
Trailer stability program stops yawing motion
Problem-free towing is ensured by various options such as fully automatic levelling control, Hill Start Assist (HSA) and the innovative trailer stability program, which comes with the detachable tow hitch. The trailer stability program immediately recognizes and corrects any yawing movements of the trailer. As soon as the ESPPlus sensors detect a deviation from the chosen path, the engine is throttled back and the brakes applied, repeatedly if necessary, to quickly stabilize the car-trailer combination until it is safely back on course. The trailer stability program does not, however, intervene in drivers’ actions, for instance during extreme or sudden steering when an avoidance maneuver is necessary. High trailer loads of up to 1500 kilograms are another advantage of the new Zafira.
Additional functions in the new Zafira for increased active safety include:
· Understeer Control Logic (UCL):
If understeer occurs, speed is first reduced by closing the throttle and then by braking the front wheels. When the ESP control range is reached, braking pressure decreases at the outer front wheel and simultaneously increases at the inner rear wheel until the vehicle is back on track again.
· Hill Start Assist (HSA):This system eases drive-off on uphill gradients by preventing the car from rolling backwards without use of the handbrake. Brake pressure is maintained for 1.5 seconds after the brake pedal is released, giving the driver enough time to select a gear and step on the accelerator. Brake pressure is released as soon as the vehicle starts to move forward.
· Deflation Detection System (DDS):
Wheel speed sensors activate a warning lamp when a tire’s rolling circumference decreases as a result of falling tire pressure. The warning signal is triggered when the pressure loss reaches approx. 30 percent.
As the DDS does not require special wheel sensors, it supplements the tire pressure monitoring system, if, for example, winter tires without TPMS sensors are fitted.
· Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS):
TMPS complements the DDS function and shows the tire pressure with an accuracy of up to 0.1 bar. Signals from the four wheel sensors are sent to a receiver inside the car and the pressure is shown on the computer display in the cockpit. The driver is warned if tire pressure drops to 0.3 bar below a preset value.
· Automatic levelling system (Nivomat):
Automatic levelling control provides the optimum vehicle ride-level under all load conditions, thus maintaining driving comfort and safety even with a car-trailer combination or when the car is fully loaded. The “Nivomat” is installed at the rear axle instead of conventional spring/shock absorbers (not available with IDSPlus and IDS sport chassis) and automatically raises the rear of the vehicle to a defined level after it has been driven for a few meters. It obtains its energy from the relative movement between the axles and the body. This gives the “Nivomat” a fuel economy advantage compared to externally powered levelling systems.
Premiere in compact van segment: Steering-linked bi-xenon headlamps
The Zafira is the first compact van to feature an AFL bi-xenon headlamp system with dynamic curve light. The steering-linked headlamps of the Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL) system improve illumination on twisting country roads and highways by up to 90 percent. The swivelling motion is regulated by a computer-controlled stepping motor depending on driving speed, steering wheel and front wheel angle parameters registered by the sensors. At higher speeds along a straight road (highway light), the low beam automatically rises slightly to project longer beam distance, while a beam width regulator prevents the light from blinding oncoming traffic.
Automatic Lighting Control (ALC) is also an important active safety feature. Two sensors on the windshield analyze light levels: the ALS (Ambient Light Sensor) measures brightness in the immediate vicinity, while the FSS (Far Sight Sensor) measures light conditions further ahead of the car. If both sensors register poor light, the headlamps are switched on automatically.
Three load paths absorb impact energy
The new Zafira’s optimized crash behavior is based upon proven Opel safety research principles. For instance, the energy generated in a head-on collision is absorbed by three load paths. The rigid, bending-resistant front cross members, the bumper and the front axle enable distribution of the impact energy over a wide area through the front-end structure, where kinetic energy is absorbed primarily by systematic deformation of the front frame, wheel assembly and subframe. The high-strength occupant cell is the next energy-absorbing stage after these defined deformation zones. Various design measures further significantly reduce the risk of footwell and front firewall intrusion compared with the previous model.
The new Zafira is also particularly safe in side-impact collisions, since the force of the impact is channeled over a wide surface area into the body structure by reinforced A and B-pillars, sills and doors with a reinforced, bending-resistant door well and wide, ultra-high-strength steel impact protection guards. The large bow-shaped door handles are not only a sign of solidity and quality, but also make it easier to access the interior if an accident should occur. The energy absorption zone for rear-end collisions is restricted as far as possible to the area behind the third row of seats. The high-strength occupant cell is located in front of this deformation zone. The rear frame and wheel housings are made from tailored blanks, thus minimizing the chances of damage to the plastic fuel tank and tank filler pipe in the event of a collision.
SAFETEC system includes all active and passive safety elements
The particularly stable, rigid bodyshell with sophisticated energy-absorbing deformation zones forms a solid base for the new Zafira’s SAFETEC system, which includes all standard active and passive safety elements. While numerous active safety systems such as ABS, ESPPlus and Brake Assist help to prevent accidents before they happen, a comprehensive network of protective devices ensures the highest level of passive safety should a collision occur. The new Zafira’s restraint system includes front airbags for the driver and front passenger, thorax/pelvis side airbags in front which also protect the hip area, and head curtain airbags for the front and the two outer second-row seats. All seats are fitted with three-point safety belts. These are height-adjustable in the front and outer second-row seats; those for the driver and front passenger seats are also fitted with safety belt tensioners. The front seat occupants also benefit from active head restraints that help to reduce the risk of whiplash injury in the event of a rear-end impact. These head restraints are height-adjustable, as are the five others in the new Zafira. Designed to maximize driver protection, the Pedal Release System (PRS) is an Opel patent which automatically decouples the clutch and brake pedals from their mountings at a particular level of impact, thus minimizing the risk of injury in the footwell in the event of a frontal collision.
In order to prevent multiple pile-ups and warn other road users of a hazardous situation, the hazard warning lights are activated as soon as an airbag or belt tensioner is triggered. The doors are unlocked at the same time to ease access to or exit from the vehicle.
Zafira one of the first vehicles to meet new EU pedestrian protection directive
The new Zafira is one of the first vehicles at all and the first Opel model to already comply with European Union guidelines on pedestrian safety for new cars, which come into effect throughout the EU on October 1, 2005. For instance, the law requires conducting tests with a special test-dummy lower leg, as well as impact tests with a pre-determined head impactor. Because the implementation of future standards had a major impact on styling, body structure and packaging, and had to harmonized with other objectives as well, Opel formed interdisciplinary teams in which engineers specializing in design, production, vehicle integration, vehicle safety, type approval testing and simulation worked closely together.
This resulted in a number of design-related measures intended to reduce the risk and level of injuries to pedestrians in the event of lower leg or head impact, including resilient foam in front of the aluminum bumper cross-member and special bumper reinforcement. A series of design measures relating to the engine hood was also required. For example, the hood panel itself is a thin steel sheet only 0.6 millimeters thick, strengthened by a lean steel structure just 0.5 millimeters in thickness with circular cutouts and recesses (“muffin tin” design). The hood hinges are deformable, as are the side fender mounts. There is a defined deformation zone in the impact-damage area under the engine hood, and the components located directly below it are designed to yield under load, for example the plastic servicing panel with perforation points and the multi-section water deflector.
Wolfgang Hahn, Manager, Vehicle Safety, at the International Technical Development Center (ITDC) in Rüsselsheim, explains: “The Zafira is one of the first vehicles on the market to satisfy the new EU pedestrian protection directive. It makes an important contribution to the protection of more vulnerable road users and underlines Opel’s expertise in implementing innovative safety concepts. By working in interdisciplinary teams, we were able to solve issues arising from the conflicting objectives of sometimes contradictory requirements.”
Computer simulation ensures high quality and development efficiency
Opel has a long history of using state-of-the-art computer technology to develop new vehicle models. A simulation-based development process including a much improved finite element method was used for the new Zafira. The level of detail in this simulation model is evident from the number of elements used in the calculations. For example, at almost 2.3 million, the total number utilized in the head-on crash model was seven times higher than for the previous model. As a result – just like the first time, when the new Astra was being developed – a series of expensive hand-built prototypes was not needed. The computer simulations enabled the engineers to define and implement problem-solving methods more quickly and with greater precision. Computer simulation was also indispensable for compliance with the new EU pedestrian protection directive, but its applications are not restricted to areas in which safety is a primary concern. For instance, the new Zafira spent just 410 hours in a “genuine” wind tunnel during optimization of its aerodynamic properties. In addition, almost 100,000 CPU hours - hours per processing unit in the ITDC’s high-performance computer - were spent on the simulation. State-of-the-art technology also enhances occupant comfort. In the aeroacoustics area, for example, it was possible to reduce interior wind noise by 2.5decibels. The new Zafira now boasts the best aerodynamics in its vehicle class.