Sector: CNG

Opel Astra CNG making a comeback

Although few people may remember it today, there used to be a CNG-powered Opel Astra straight from the factory. After a few generations of absence, the car is set to make a comeback at the 2017 edition of the IAA show in Frankfurt.

The first Astra CNG was a member of the G generation, that is the second Astra since Opel introduced the name in continental Europe having retired the Kadett nameplate. Astras H and J (there never was an Astra I for fear of confusing the letter I with the Roman numeral for 1) were never offered with methane power (they did have LPG autogas variants, though) and now the CNG option is about to be reintroduced in the current Astra K, the European Car of the Year 2016. And rather soon – the IAA will run between September 14 and 24, 2017.

Opel Astra K hatchback© OpelWith a well developed network of CNG refueling stations across Germany to refill at, the Astra should sell like hot cakes

Set to be available in hatchback and estate bodystyles, the methane-powered Astra is said to feature a 1,4-litre turbo engine good for 110 PS of power and 200 Nm of torque (the latter available from as low as 2000 RPM), mated to a six-speed manual transmission. CNG tanks will be made of lightweight composite and able to hold 19 kg of compressed fuel, which should provide approx. 450 km of driving range with fuel economy estimated at 4,1-4,3 kg (5,5-5,7 m3)/100 km. The petrol tank will be reduced to 14 l of capacity, which should be enough for another 260 km of driving. CO2 emissions in CNG mode are supposed to be in the 113-116 g/km.

Boot capacities are 370 l for the hatchback and 540 l for the Sports Tourer (estate), which is exactly the same as in petrol- and diesel-powered equivalents. The prices have already been announced, too: the five-door hatch will be priced at 23020 euros, the ST at 1200 euros more. Interestingly, if you scrap an old diesel when buying an Astra CNG, you will receive a discount of up to 7000 euros. Given oil burners are losing popularity in Germany anyway, it's only right to expect the new offering from Opel will be an instant success. We'll keep our fingers crossed just in case.


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Robert Markowski
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