Sunday 22 September 2019

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Opel will launch its first plugin hybrid next year

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019 4:14pm

Opel will kick off its electric car revolution with the Grandland X Hybrid 4 — a four-wheel drive, 300hp plugin hybrid model that will go on sale early next year (complete with optional seventies-style black bonnet).

The powertrain uses a WLTP-certified, Euro 6d-TEMP-compliant 200 hp, 1.6 litre turbocharged direct injection four-cylinder petrol engine specially adapted to the hybrid application.

There’s also an electric drive system with two 80 kW/109hp electric motors, all-wheel drive and a 13.2 kWh lithium-ion battery. The front electric motor is coupled to an electrified eight-speed automatic transmission. The second electric motor, inverter and differential are integrated into the electrically powered rear axle to provide all-wheel traction on demand.

The engine will mostly be driven at medium to high vehicle speeds, while the lower speeds of transient driving are covered by the electric part of the powertrain.

The Opel Grandland X Hybrid4 can cover up to 50 kilometres in pure electric mode in the WLTP driving cycle. Studies have shown that in Germany, 80 per cent of all daily journeys cover a distance of under 50km, so for these customers the Grandland X Hybrid4 could potentially drive with zero emissions all of the time.

The Grandland X Hybrid4 will offer four driving modes – electric, hybrid, AWD and Sport – allowing drivers to tailor the car’s characteristics to their wishes or to specific driving conditions.

For example, choosing the hybrid mode allows the car to automatically select its most efficient method of propulsion, with the possibility of switching to electric mode for zero-emission driving when reaching a city centre. Selecting AWD mode activates the electrified rear axle for maximum traction on all kinds of roads.

As well as making the newest propulsion systems available to all drivers, the Grandland X Hybrid4 shows how Opel always keeps sight of the customer’s needs. For example, the plug socket for charging the battery via the 3.3kW on-board charger (a 6.6kW version is optional) is conveniently positioned on the opposite side of the vehicle to the fuel filler, while the battery is installed under the rear seats in order to optimise space in the interior and the boot.

Charging time depends on the type of charger in use. In addition to the cable supplied with the vehicle for charging from a domestic plug socket, Opel will offer devices for fast charging at public stations and wallboxes at home; the battery charges fully in around one hour and 50 minutes with a 7.4kW wallbox.

In order to further improve efficiency, the Grandland X Hybrid4 features a regenerative braking system to recover the energy produced under braking or deceleration.

In a conventional braking system, the mechanical energy generated by friction in the brakes is lost as heat. By converting this excess kinetic energy into electrical energy, and either using it immediately or storing it in the battery, the all-electric range of the Grandland X Hybrid4 can increase by up to 10 per cent on average.

The driver can even switch to ‘Regeneration on Demand’ for maximum energy recuperation. The drag torque of the electric motor is so high that the brake pedal need not be applied to reduce speed to a full stop in normal traffic. The Grandland X Hybrid4 is thus controlled via the accelerator (one pedal driving).

To further leverage the high voltage (300V) electrical system, the Grandland X Hybrid4 is equipped with an electrical air-conditioning compressor and an electrical heater.

The new Grandland X Hybrid4 belongs to the vanguard of Opel’s next-generation in electrified vehicles. While the Ampera-e remains on sale in selected markets, the manufacturer will globally launch within 20 months the new Corsa, the new Zafira Life MPV, the new Vivaro van and the successor of the Mokka X – each of which will feature a fully battery electric version.

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