New Opel auto
Opel has recognised that traditional torque converter automatic gearboxes can be a prohibitively expensive option for some buyers, especially when fitted to a smaller car. In an effort to simulate the benefits of such transmissions, but at a lower cost, the humble manual gearbox has been adapted to allow automatic functionality. Developed in conjunction with transmission specialist ZF, Opel's Easytronic 3.0 promises lower fuel consumption by automatically selecting the most fuel-efficient gear using electro-hydraulic actuators, and holds a weight advantage over a regular automatic transmission. This is coupled with start-stop to increase efficiency, especially during urban driving. The ratios of the five forward speeds have been chosen to keep engine revs to a minimum at higher speeds, once again helping fuel economy and reducing cabin noise. The transmission also features a 'creep' mode similar to that found in regular automatics, along with a 'launch' option for rapid acceleration off the line. Manual shifting, if the mood takes you, is available via the gear lever.
The Easytronic 3.0 is available as on option on the Karl, Adam, Corsa and Astra ranges, and is optimised for engines of smaller capacity. Opel quotes fuel consumption of 4.2 litres/100km for the new Astra 1.0-litre ecoFLEX fitted with Easytronic 3.0, along with CO2 emissions of 96g/km.
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