The natural gas variant of the new Opel Astra, voted 2016 European Car of the Year in February 2016, is now available in Germany. The Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) -powered variant will be presented at this year’s International Automobile Exhibition in Frankfurt (14 to 24 September) and will soon roll out to the dealers.
As a business model Opel Astra 1.4 ECOTEC CNG, the five-door sedan with the alternative drive costs 23,020 euros, the spacious Sports Tourer is available from 24,120 euros (respectively USD 27,450 and 28,760).
The 81 kW / 110 hp 1.4-liter turbo of the Astra CNG is based on the full-aluminum petrol engine from Astra and Mokka X. The four-cylinder was optimized for the use of natural gas, biogas or any mixture thereof (CNG consumption according to New European driving cycle: 5.7-5.6 kg / 100 km in the city, 3.4-3.3 kg / 100 km in the outskirts, combined 4.3-4.1 kg / 100 km, CO 2 emissions combined 116- 113 g / km).
The natural gas supply is provided by two Type 4 carbon fibre composite cylinders with a total capacity of 19 kilograms (117.5 litres), backed up by a 13.7-litre petrol reserve. The engine offers a torque of 200 Nm between 2000 and 3600 rpm and comes as standard with six-speed manual transmission.
The advantages of natural gas drives are obvious: thanks to the CNG’s tax incentive, which has been fixed in Germany until 2026 , the fuel is significantly cheaper than gasoline. On the other hand, natural gas vehicles emit less CO 2 than comparable engines.
“Thanks to the high availability, lower CO2 emissions and economic costs, natural gas and biogas (renewable natural gas) can already help to make the car more climate friendly,” says Opel development engineer Christian Müller. “By combining the advantages of these fuels with the dynamic Astra, we have created an extremely attractive car for environmentally conscious customers.”