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2009 Geneva Auto Show - Opel Ampera to head GM's environmentally friendly vehicle offensive

Opel Ampera (select to view enlarged photo)
Alain Visser, Vice President Opel, presents the Opel Ampera at the Geneva Motor Show

Geneva March 3, 2009; With the premiere of the Opel Ampera, General Motors Europe presented today at the Geneva Motor Show its line-up of products poised to move the company forward in these tough economic times.

“The Ampera is a new category of car that closes the gap between hybrids and battery electric vehicles,” said Carl-Peter Forster, President of GM Europe at the GM press conference. “Its ground-breaking Voltec electric propulsion system is the kind of game-changing technology the automotive industry needs to respond to energy and environmental challenges.”

For journeys up to 60 km, the five-door, four-seat hatchback runs on electricity stored in a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery and emits zero CO2. When the battery’s energy is depleted, electricity from an on-board engine-generator extends the Ampera’s range to more than 500 kilometers. When it arrives in dealerships in 2011, the Ampera will be the first extended-range electric car in Europe.

While concentrating on measures to right-size the business, GM remains focused now on providing high quality, attractive brands and leading technologies especially in the field of environmental compatibility, Forster added.

For example, under Opel’s ecoFLEX roof, the brand houses a range of low emission, fun-to-drive cars, like the new Opel Insignia ecoFLEX, which features a 2.0-liter CDTI turbo diesel engine that produces 160 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque. This car is among the leaders in the mid-size sedan segment with emissions of less than 140 g/km of CO2.

The Opel Corsa 1.3 CDTI gives 75 horsepower and emits only 109 g/km CO2. The Opel Astra 1.7 CDTI with 119 g/km CO2. offers ten percent lower consumption yet has 22 percent higher output than the previous engine. The Zafira CNG Turbo combines clean Compressed Natural Gas with a turbo kick, giving this family van 150 horsepower, a top speed of 200 km/h and emissions of 144 g/km of CO2.

World Premiere of the Chevrolet Spark

Also premiering in Geneva, Chevrolet’s mini-car, the Spark, features a new 1.2 liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine with fuel consumption below 5 liters per 100 km and less than 120g of CO2 emission. Production of the Spark starts in October, with the first cars on European roads in early 2010.

Chevrolet now offers across its entire range cars powered by Liquefied Petroleum Gas – a fuel that offers a cost-effective, cleaner alternative to petrol or diesel. At around 60 euro cents per litre, LPG costs about half that of gasoline – with no impact to performance – and a 15% reduction in CO2 emissions over a petrol engine.

Saab provides first view of 9-3X, enunciates Eco-Power Technology

Saab’s latest entry onto the world market is the 9-3X, a versatile sport wagon equipped to handle rough terrain with a raised ride height and sure-footed grip, combining for the first time Saab’s cutting edge XWD system with E85 alternative fuel.

The 9-3X and new diesel models with lower CO2 offered on the 9-3 are the latest moves Saab has taken to enunciate its Eco-Power Technology strategy, which embraces turbocharging, engine rightsizing, Saab BioPower, aerodynamic performance and weight reduction.

European premiere of the Cadillac SRX

Also on the luxury end of the GM portfolio, Cadillac presents the European premiere of the Cadillac SRX crossover featuring improved efficiency, maximum safety and a design that is dynamic and expresses power. With the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, GM has developed the world’s first hybrid luxury SUV, powered by the brand’s innovative 2-Mode Hybrid system, developed in collaboration with other premium manufacturers, led by GM. It delivers over 40 percent better fuel economy in city driving, with no sacrifices to performance.