Is This What Should Be? – Opel Astra e

Why do we use electric vehicles? Because they are more efficient and environmentally friendly. So, why do we misuse the instant torque production capability of electric motors?

Electric vehicles draw their energy from the battery, not the grid, during travel. When a powerful electric motor draws high current from the battery, it shortens the range, causes the battery-motor duo to overheat significantly, and significantly reduces the battery’s lifespan. If we want to use electric cars in a manner consistent with their nature, we should use them gracefully, much like a delicate dance, rather than aggressively, like “show-off” antics.

Opel has taken a similar approach (or should we say, Stellantis?). Focusing entirely on efficiency, Opel equips its electric models with sufficient power and an adequate battery. In the Astra family’s first fully electric model, the Astra e, Opel has achieved an impressive range despite the relatively small batteries. By proportionally reducing the weight, and thus the electric consumption, with a weight that can be considered relatively light for an electric car at 1679 kilograms (thanks to the small batteries), Opel offers a range of 418 kilometers with the Astra e, featuring a 54 kWh battery pack.

The Astra e, which shares the same exterior and interior appearance as the standard Astra, has not compromised its already sleek design, and in my opinion, it has been enhanced with more aerodynamic 18-inch wheels. The one-piece front grille, referred to as “Visor” by Opel, is also the same as the internal combustion model, which is an interesting touch.

The Astra e, with 156 horsepower and 270 Nm torque, completes the 0-100 kilometers per hour acceleration in 9.2 seconds. In normal mode, the power output is 136 horsepower and 250 Nm torque, while in Eco mode, these values decrease to 108 horsepower and 220 Nm. You can access the maximum power of 156 horsepower in Sport mode and during kickdown in any mode.

With an energy consumption rate of 14.8 kWh/100 km, the Astra e is quite ambitious, offering a range of 418 kilometers in the WLTP cycle. If we calculate based on the 10 kWh/100 km value achieved by Opel’s top executives in city driving, it is possible to cover up to 540 kilometers with the Astra e in urban areas through economical driving.

As the model that should technically have the best road handling in the current Astra lineup, the Astra e is designed with a split battery pack placed under the front and rear seats. Opel lowers the center of gravity by doing so and distributes the weight more evenly to all four wheels compared to its siblings. Despite the 1679-kilogram weight making the Astra e approximately 300 kilograms heavier than its internal combustion counterparts, it ensures that the hybrid model is nearly the same weight.

The use of a torsion beam in the rear suspension will be noted as a negative feature in the Astra e’s report card. Despite having a 352-liter trunk volume, which is 60 liters smaller than the internal combustion engine Astras, the hybrid Astra models offer the same capacity. A drawback is the absence of a front trunk, as space from the interior is not used for the battery placement in the Astra e. Despite this, Astra e comes with every safety and driving assistance technology found in other Astras. Additionally, even though it may not come to our country, the Astra e will also be available in a station wagon body style, making it the first European manufacturer to produce an electric station wagon.

Opel Türkiye aims to deter opportunistic practices with a down payment fee of 75,000 TL, and deliveries of the Astra e will commence in September. All Astra e models imported to our country will come with the top-of-the-line trim, the Ultimate package.

What are your thoughts on the Astra e?

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