The new Opel Astra K— the ninth generation of Opel’s best-selling vehicle — will debut its sleek new sheetmetal to the public at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September. Similarly, Opel will also use the show to debut another crucial ingredient found under the hood of the new Astra — a new, all-aluminum 1.4L Ecotec Direct Injection Turbo engine.
The new turbo four comes available in two states of tune: 125 hp or a slightly zestier 150 hp, and we’re told that the 1.4L can produce maximum torque of 245 Nm (180 pound-feet) from 2,000 RPM through to 3,500 RPM. Opel says it paid much attention to “dynamic responsiveness and high performance”, while also aiming to curb fuel consumption. Opel is also confident that the new engine will outperform even the 2.0L powerplants it currently offers and, as a result, says that the new unit will replace them as well.
Opel also says that it paid close attention to Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) levels during development, just like it did with the 1.0L three-cylinder motor, even designing a “sound absorbing cam cover” and trimming the timing chain in order to maximize quietness.
Good news are also to be had in the weight department, as the new 1.4L Direct Injection Turbo uses an aluminum engine block, shaving ten kilograms (22 pounds) of mass compared to the cast-iron block found in the current 1.4L engine. Additional weight-saving measures like a hollow-cast crankshaft also help keep the new Astra trim.
Opel says the new 1.4L engine is the “big brother” of the 1.0L, three-cylinder unit first seen in the ADAM ROCKS (and now in the new Corsa), a tiny yet punchy powerplant that’s already received rave reviews from more than a few critics. Both engines are members of what GM calls the “small gasoline engine family”, a group of three or four-cylinder engines that displace 1.6L or less.
It’s a name that’s only befitting of the size of the engines, as they are key players in the biggest engine offensive in Opel’s history, a plan that sees 17 new engines brought to market from 2014 to 2018.
“We have world class flexible engine plant in Hungary and it plays a key role in our product strategy. Congratulations and a huge thanks to the entire team here – eight million engines is something to be very proud of and I am sure that we will be able to celebrate even more milestones here in the future,” said Peter Christian Küspert, Vice President Sales & Aftersales Opel Group.
The GM Authority Take
Expect to see this world-class engine in a host of other GM vehicles around the world, including city, sub-compact, and compact vehicles.