PowertrainTo prove that the two-mode full hybrid system is viable for small cars, GM installed a diesel-powered version in an Opel Astra GTC Coupe. In this application, the two-mode hybrid system is equipped with a 125-horsepower, 1.7-liter CDTI diesel engine mated to twin electric motors, one generating 30kw of power and the other 40kw. The Opel Astra GTC Coupe is sold in Europe, and not in North America.
In terms of packaging, the two-mode full hybrid system does not compromise comfort or utility, according to GM. In the Opel Astra Diesel Hybrid Concept, the nickel metal-hydride battery pack is located in the spare tire well to ensure cargo carrying capacity, and since the hybrid system is no larger than a transmission, it is easy to package under the car with the rest of the mechanicals.
Able to run solely on electric power, the Opel Astra Diesel Hybrid Concept will nonetheless accelerate to 60 mph in little more than 7.5 seconds when working in conjunction with the diesel engine, proving yet again that performance and economy are not mutually exclusive concepts when it comes to hybrid vehicles.