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GM Shows Versatility of Environmental Initiative in Frankfurt

At a press conference at the IAA Frankfurt this morning, General Motors underlined the versatility of its environmental strategy. "We will offer a broad range of clean and efficient vehicles, powered by different sources of energy, to respond optimally to local consumer needs around the world," said GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner. The Opel Flextreme Concept car at this year's IAA symbolizes this versatility. The vehicle combines electric propulsion technology and a diesel engine in a way that is fundamentally different to previous hybrid propulsion designs. Wagoner: "We are the industry leader in this technology, and we are making very good progress in our effort to bring it to market. Given the huge potential that E-Flex offers to reduce oil consumption, reduce oil imports, and reduce carbon emissions, this is for sure a top priority program for GM."

Additional highlights of General Motors' environmental strategy are two vehicles that make their European premieres in Frankfurt: the HydroGen4 fuel cell vehicle and the Volt electric car. The GM HydroGen4 is the European version of the Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell. In fall 2007, the first of these fuel cell cars - a global fleet of more than 100 vehicles is planned - will be on the roads in the USA. The HydroGen4's fuel cell stack consists of 440 series-connected cells. The entire system produces an electrical output of up to 93 kW. With help from a 73 kW/100 hp synchronous electric motor, acceleration from zero to 100 km/h takes around 12 seconds. The front-wheel drive vehicle's top speed is around 160 km/h. Like the Flextreme, the GM Volt is based on General Motors' electric vehicle architecture E-Flex and is always electrically powered. A second engine is only on board to produce additional energy and thereby extend the operating range.

Opel at the IAA: ecoFLEX initiative and new Agila

Part of Opel's environmental strategy includes the introduction of low-emission ecoFLEX versions in Opel/Vauxhall's high-volume model lines. These cars combine economy and driving fun with low consumption and reduced CO2 emissions. The premiere model in the Opel/Vauxhall ecoFLEX range is a Corsa 1.3 CDTI, which produces just 119 g/CO2 per kilometer. The Corsa ecoFLEX debuts at the IAA 2007 and is available from 2008.

Natural gas is another alternative fuel. Opel currently offers two models ex works with this especially environmentally friendly and economical form of propulsion: the Zafira CNG and Combo CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) consume just 5.0/4.9 kg of natural gas per 100 km (138/133 g CO2/km respectively). The seven-seat Zafira CNG emits just under 20 g CO2 per kilometer and seat.

With five doors and five seats, the new Opel Agila is not only as practical as its predecessor, which sold around 440,000 units across Europe, but is now also much more dynamically designed. The smallest Opel makes its market debut in spring 2008 and boasts Opel-typical balanced proportions, soft curves and a distinctive side graphic. Passengers still sit high and upright, but the roofline has been dynamically lowered and now blends into a smooth arc toward the rear. This helps create the Agila's aerodynamic drag coefficient of 0.35 - a relatively low figure for a vehicle of this size. The urban car is now 20 centimeters longer, six centimeters wider, but seven centimeters lower than its predecessor.

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