September 18, 2002 - The premiere of the spectacular Eco-Speedster concept at this years Paris Motor Show marks the start of a diesel offensive by Opel/Vauxhall.
From now until the end of 2003 Opel and Vauxhall will introduce four all-new diesel engines with power outputs up to 177 hp. The launch of Eco-Speedster marks the start of this new emphasis on diesel power. It demonstrates how lightweight aerodynamic bodywork and a new 1.3 litre CDTI common-rail diesel engine can achieve an amazing top speed combined with miserly fuel consumption.
During initial testing the 112 hp concept car reached a maximum speed of more than 155 mph while fuel consumption on the combined cycle was an incredible 113 mpg.
The prototype is based on the mid-engined Opel Speedster (Vauxhall VX220) and features new carbon fibre bodywork with improved aerodynamics. With significantly reduced drag (Cd = 0.20) and even lower weight (reduced to 660 kg), the Eco-Speedster is powered by the new compact ECOTEC 1.3 CDTI engine, which uses multi-jet common-rail fuel injection, four valves per cylinder and variable-geometry turbocharger.
The four-cylinder engine, a manifestation of the first joint venture from FIAT-GM Powertrain, is scheduled to make its production debut in 2003 and will meet Euro 4 emission limits. In the Eco-Speedster it is mated to GMs Easytronic automated manual transmission, as fitted to the Corsa.
Explaining the background of the prototype, Opel CEO Carl-Peter Forster said: The Eco-Speedster is the symbol of our comprehensive diesel offensive and at the same time demonstrates the engineering expertise of Opel in powertrains, lightweight design and aerodynamics.