The all-new Opel Vectra opens an impressive new chapter in Opel’s successful history in the midsize market segment in Europe. The model range has been completely revised with what is said to be a new, driver-oriented design with pioneering technology like IDS (Interactive Driving System) – an innovative chassis system – higher comfort and a particularly spacious interior. Distinctive new styling will characterize the appearance of Opel cars in the future, and the new Vectra’s style is a preview of this.
Developed at a cost of 750 million Euros (about RM2.45 billion), the new Opel will be available first as a 4-door sedan with 4-cylinder ECOTEC engines, ranging in power output from 90 kW/122 bhp to 108 kW/147 bhp (petrol) and from 74 kW/100 bhp to 92 kW/125 bhp (diesel). There will be a 5-speed automatic transmission with “Active Select”
function for the first time on the Vectra. The sporty Vectra GTS which is coupe-like will also be offered, this having a 155 kW/211 bhp 3.2-litre V6. It is claimed to be the most powerful Vectra ever with 300 Nm of torque and a top speed of 248 km/h.
The new Vectra model range will be extended next year with the introduction of two additional bodystyles as well as new engines and transmissions. Just like the new 4-door sedan and the coupé-like sport GTS, the new models will appeal both to traditional as well as totally new Opel customers. Together with the progressive increase in production capacity, including assembly at the modernized Ellesmere Port plant in England, these will pave the way for the Vectra’s return to the top of the European midsize market.
Opel’s worldwide success in this segment dates back to 1970, as documented by three generations of the Ascona (4.4 million units) and two of the Vectra (4.5 million). The Vectra was not only the national best-seller in its class in many countries, it also led the total European midsize segment from 1996 to 1998.
The new IDS chassis system consolidates the advanced control and safety functions of the individual chassis components. Fundamentally, it consists of a MacPherson strut front suspension and a new multi-link, independent rear axle, both with aluminium components to reduce unsprung weight.
In addition, there is map-controlled electro-hydraulic power-steering and a 4-channel ABS with CBC (Cornering Brake Control) and EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution). The result is claimed to be: significantly improved handling and ride comfort with high safety reserves.
An even greater degree of driving stability is provided by a further technical highlight on this third-generation Vectra: ESPPlus . In contrast to conventional electronic stability programs, which prevent severe understeer by braking the rear wheel on the inside of the corner only, the Vectra’s standard ESPPlus enhances stability by applying the brakes at up to three wheels. The stabilizing correction is therefore significantly more progressive and effective.
The body of Opel’s new midsize contender is said to meet the highest demands in its class for stability, safety, comfort and quality, thanks to lightweight, high-grade materials such as boron-alloy press hardened steel, dual-phase steel and high-strength steel alloys, as well as magnesium and aluminium. Compared with the previous model, the torsional rigidity of the new Vectra has thus increased by a significant 74% and the bending rigidity by 62%.
The new Vectra’s confident, distinctive design is a template for future Opel models. Its clear-cut contours emphasize the larger dimensions: Thanks to the longer 2.70-metre wheelbase (+ 63 mm), wider tread and the higher roof, the new model offers significantly more interior space than its predecessor. The aerodynamic form (CD: 0.28) and sophisticated sound-attenuation measures are claimed to make the new Vectra especially quiet, both inside and out.
The Vectra’s ambitions are reflected in the design and selection of the interior materials and in the variety of equipment aimed at improving the comfort and safety of the driver and passengers. For example, there is an all-new integrated electronics system, intelligent Electronic Climate Control with air quality sensor, a wide range of communication and entertainment systems, eight-way adjustable front seats, a tyre-pressure monitoring system, a rain sensor and “Park Pilot”.
In addition to the stable passenger compartment, the passive safety equipment includes as standard front, side and Full-Size Curtain Head Airbags, Opel’s patented Pedal Release System, and further improved Active Head Restraints for protection from whiplash injuries.