Image credits: © Opel. GM Corp
2008 Opel Flextreme Concept news, pictures, and information
The Flextreme takes the new design language debuted in the GTC Coupé at the Geneva Motor Show several steps further. With the rear-hinged back doors (FlexDoor®) that enable comfortable access to the interior, a large transparent roof and two tailgate doors that open from the side and swing upwards (FlexLoad®), the concept car embodies Opel's tradition of particularly flexible and practical body concepts wîth attractive designs. This also includes the FlexLoad's additional underfloor luggage compartment the latest in a series of innovative Opel solutions such as the Zafira's seating system (Flex7)
and the integrated rear carrier system FlexFix found in the Corsa and Antara. And the big surprise is the integration of two high-tech electric personal transporters, ingeniously packaged below the cargo floor. They can be used in areas that cars cannot enter, thereby adding an extra mobility option. The electric scooters provide up to a 38 km (23 miles) of clean mobility.
For the IAA, FlexLoad® carries special cargo in tune wîth the Flextreme's electric propulsion: electrically-powered Segway® Personal Transporters (PTs). These high-tech transportation devices (1) have been modified for their mobile garage. With a twist of the handlebar-mounted release, the handlebar telescopically retracts and rotates downwards for easy loading into the Flexload® compartment. Once docked, the batteries of the Segways can be charged along wîth the Flextreme's batteries.
Propulsion: Low-emission mobility wîth E-Flex technology
The Flextreme's drivetrain is a good indication of what low-emission mobility could look like in the mid-term. It is based on General Motors' electric vehicle architecture E-Flex and is always electrically powered. The energy source is a lithium-ion battery, and additional energy comes from a 1.3-liter CDTI engine as needed. This engine is not connected to the wheels; it is only on board to charge the batteries when they are empty and no plug-in facility is available, thereby extending the operating range. The concept car's diesel engine features latest technology that helps to further reduce exhaust and noise emissions. The cylinders' pressure-based closed loop technology is used to control the combustion process. Based on the current European test cycle for plug-in vehicles, the Flextreme is expected to emit less than 40 g of C02 per km.(according to European test procedure ECE R101 for range extender vehicles).
Plug-in – full capacity after three hours of charging at 220 volts
The E-Flex strategy is based on combining various drivetrain systems in the same vehicle architecture, depending on what energy source is readily available in the driver's area. The concept has already been presented in two further versions: at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2007, it debuted wîth a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder turbo gasoline engine designed for operation wîth gasoline or E85 (a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline). And at the Shanghai Motor Show in April 2007, GM presented the electric concept car wîth hydrogen fuel cell propulsion.
Exterior design: Dynamic design language in compact monocab form
The Flextreme body's key characteristics highlight the new elements of Opel design language: more sculpted surfacing molding, clear style elements such as narrow,
boomerang-shaped lights and sloping swage line in the side graphics. The 4796 mm long Flextreme was also designed following the motto of technological efficiency: vehicle weight and aerodynamics are optimized by using advanced materials and simulation technology. The result is a wide range of innovative solutions.
The bottom edge of the windshield has been pulled far forward, so the hood wîth its characteristic crease is very short. The integrated power socket in the cowl panel allows the car to be charged at any mains supply.
A look at the front of the car quickly reveals that the front grill and rims are covered by lightweight transparent trim, which is made from polycarbonate to improve aerodynamics while maintaining visual aesthetics. The same is true for the special light alloy wheels. Their look remains unchanged, yet disruptive air turbulence is avoided.
Like the wheel design, the large boomerang-like curved front light units are visually deceptive. The designers continue a theme which began wîth the GTC Concept that debuted at the Geneva Motor Show, and take it to a new level. The vertically oriented front lights slice up the front end in an unusual manner. The boomerang shaped high tech LED headlamp unit houses lightweight crossbeam, fog lamps and air intake for brake cooling which are particularly small in comparison to current trends. The optical illusion continues wîth the tail lights: at first glance, the concept car appears to have none. The curved rear lights are completely integrated into the tailgates and hidden beneath glass.
Just like all the other windows and a large part of the roof, the windshield is made of especially light polycarbonate. The Flextreme's panoramic windshield provides a light and spacious interior ambience and stretches over most of the roof, which is reinforced by a spine-like composite structure that extends all the way to the rear floor.
Doors: Únconventional and practical
In keeping wîth the vehicle's extraordinary features, access to the FlexLoad® luggage compartment is through two butterfly rear tailgate doors that individually swing open upwards along the central axis of the vehicle. The advantage is that the Flextreme's trunk is accessible from the side when parked tightly against a wall or another vehicle.
Another key Flextreme innovation is the trademarked FlexDoors® driver and passenger doors: while the front doors open in the conventional manner, the rear doors are
rear-hinged. And as there is no center roof pillar (B-pillar), opening both doors on one side creates a large opening for easy entry. The large side opening makes it much easier for parents to secure children in seats in the rear than is the case wîth conventional doors.
Interior: Futuristic and top technology
|Engine : 1.3 L., 3-cylinder|
Innovative lightweight construction is used for the seats which are anchored to the car's floor by a mono track rather than the usual two, creating more foot space in the rear. The seats have a light and elegant look thanks to refined upholstery, wîth some parts in fabric/mesh and corners made of especially soft material. The §teering wheel hub also houses a high-tech feature: a full-size driver airbag that is packaged wîth a special vacuum technique that reduces its overall volume to the minimum.
Set directly under the windshield, the large panoramic display (size: 1.20 m x 0.10 m) in the interior is especially eye-catching. The display fields are configurable. They can show a complete all-around view of the car's surroundings, for example, as instead of exterior mirrors the Flextreme has two side cameras, one front-facing and one rear-view camera. Alternatively the displays can also show information about the car, radio, phone, etc.
One touch is enough
A second display on the center console features touch-screen operation. At the top, the programmable one-touch buttons are designed like computer shortcuts. They provide easy access to various intuitive menus, including air conditioning, communi¬cation/infotainment and navigation functions. The buttons can be freely programmed and adapted to new infotainment systems. Slightly further down is the Flextreme's touch screen drive selector gate wîth three driving positions: D, P and R (drive, park and reverse). The gears can also be comfortably selected via touch screen control.
A clever storage system at the front and back of the center tunnel offer brand-typical flexibility. Front and rear passengers can stow items such as mobile phones, MP3 players, iPods and PDAs in two drawers. The best part: the electrical devices are recharged in the
drawers by induction and Bluetooth-capable systems can transmit their data to the onboard infotainment system.Source - Opel
General Motors Corp. today unveiled the Opel Flextreme concept electric vehicle, which based on the current European test cycle for plug-in vehicles is expected to emit only 40 g of C02 per kilometer (km), at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt.
The Flextreme uses a diesel version of GM's E-Flex electric-drive system. In contrast to conventional vehicles and hybrids, E-Flex uses an electric motor, powered by a large lithium-ion battery, to propel the Flextreme for up to 55 km (34 miles) of electric-drive-only range. A 1.3 L turbo-biodiesel onboard engine creates additional electricity to replenish the battery and extend the vehicle's driving range to a total of 715 km (444 miles). Fully charged, the Flextreme's 55-km all-electric driving range is enough for most daily commuters in Europe to travel without using any diesel fuel or emitting any CO2.
'The Opel Flextreme diesel concept, the third variant of our E-Flex system, is a natural for the Opel/Vauxhall brand in Europe, where it has long been known for technological innovation and strong design,' said Bob Lutz, GM Vice Chairman Global Product Development. 'Commutes to major city-centers in Europe will do nothing but grow more challenging in the future, and we see E-Flex vehicles as an elegant solution for commuters.'
With the E-Flex system, the generator, battery technology, plug and electric motor are the same in each variant – the source of additional electricity is what varies. The Opel Flextreme's 1.3 L common-rail diesel engine, which is not connected to the wheels, features a cylinder pressure-based closed loop process to control the combustion process and further reduce the vehicle's exhaust emissions.
The E-Flex system was first shown in the Chevrolet Volt concept, which had its debut in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Volt is powered by a 16 kWh lithium-ion battery to power the vehicle for 64 km (40 miles) of all-electric range. A small biofuel engine wîth a generator is used to extend its range to more than 1000 km (640 miles).
A second E-Flex variant was shown in Shanghai wîth GM's new fifth-generation fuel cell propulsion technology and an 8 kwh lithium-ion battery to provide up to 483 km (300 miles) of petroleum- and emissions-free electric driving.
GM has initiated production engineering for the E-Flex System. Production timing is dependent on continued advances of key enabling technologies – specifically the development of lithium-ion batteries for hybrid and electric vehicle applications.
'We fully intend to bring this technology to market,' said Frank Weber, Vehicle Line Executive and Vehicle Chief Engineer for the E-Flex system. 'Although the battery required for the E-Flex system is still being developed, we're increasingly confident that our strategic battery partners – Compact Power, Inc.; and LG Chem, Continental Automotive Systems and A123Systems – will be able to deliver a production-ready battery in the near future.'
The presentation of the E-Flex biodiesel variant is the latest step in GM's global efforts to diversify transportation away from petroleum and reduce CO2 emissions wîth a range of alternatives. These include:
• The 2008 launch of the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa 1.3 CDTI, the premiere model in the ecoFLEX range of vehicles, which emits just 119 g/km of CO2.
• Globally, GM is the leading producer of E85-capable biofuel vehicles, wîth more than 2 million on the road. This year, Saab will expand the availability of BioPower engines across its 9-3 and 9-5 portfolios, and E85 will be available on Cadillacs this autumn in Europe.
• The introduction of eco-Turbo engines that offer lower consumption and CO2 emissions, wîth no trade-off in acceleration or top speed compared to the large-displacement engines they replace.
• The introduction of the HydroGen 4 fuel cell vehicle and its inclusion in a global demonstration project to better understand the steps required to move hydrogen fuel cell vehicles toward commercialization.
Source - Opel
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