Monday, July 25, 2011

Ampera: test drive

To describe the virtues dell'Opel Ampera need is not reporting his consumption, the most significant of any description given in words. The calculation detected on a total of 129.7 km gave an average of 4.2 km/liter, the optimal value in itself but even more significant because it was obtained without any driving ambition to run economy, including acceleration sharp, continuous on-off, always on radio and air conditioning.

In detail, the electric motor has consumed 10.6 kWh, while the thermal units has been settled for 5:38 liters. Outliers for any other car, unable to replicate a working scheme refined and innovative, all centered around the platform Voltec. A very special dell'Ampera is in fact in its electric motor that delivers 151 hp and is more powerful 1.4-liter four-cylinder petrol engine (75 hp).

This justifies the acronym EREV disproportion, ie extended-range electric vehicle. The ESA plays the role of the main engine and provides a range of between 40 and 80 km, up to more than 500 variables when it comes in because the thermal unit. The driver can choose between four modes: Normal, Sport, Mountain (a horse is paid extra) and Hold, using only the gasoline engine.

The latter takes over after the batteries have run out of charge and without any grafting gentle tug. The four-cylinder moves the car and in the meantime keeps charging the batteries, which never remain "dry" and always guarantee a boost in acceleration power more decisive. The electric motor is powered by a lithium ion battery with T-shape, which is positioned longitudinally and consists of 298 cells.

The total capacity amounts to 16 kWh, even if it is only half used for maximum efficiency and a duration of 10 years or 240mila km. And 'possible to recharge the batteries from the electrical outlet, using the cable placed in the trunk and connecting it to the jack under the left side mirror.

Recharging time is calculated in four hours. The driving position keeps the setting of the Astra and Insignia and proves very comfortable, not at all tiring. On the excellent leather seats, well-profiled and the right consistency, you do not have electric adjustments but they offer the heated seat: Opel engineers can recommend to use this accessory rather than the warming itself, so as not to involve the motor heat.

On the impact of the instrument panel and center console, both futuristic, while the main screen shows all in a clear and immediate information regarding the consumption and battery condition. Not entirely satisfactory materials used to coat the bridge, hard to the touch even if well-assembled.

Little curiosity: the Ampera have a second horn, fainter, operated by the lever left and intended to warn pedestrians more distracted when the car moves in EV. Negative opinion for the rear passenger room, which lacks inches in height: the pavilion tapered obliges passengers taller than 1.80 meters to bend his head.

Finally the boot has a regular shape, but just enough volume (301 liters). Just a few miles behind the wheel dell'Ampera to formulate a new opinion about alternative fuel cars. The Opel hatchback is anything but bolsa, appaante little, but actually turns out to be pleasant and almost fun to drive.

The ESA offers its 370 Nm from the first meters (the 0-100 km / h is covered in just 9 seconds), then ensuring a constant pull and adjust. This power flow is supported by the change in unique relationship, good in making virtually unnoticeable the handover between the two engines. The four-cylinder, it is small (86 hp, 130 Nm), instead accusing some shortness of breath, and only the help of the battery gives satisfactory performance, still less to use electricity only.

Rather good dynamic behavior, because of the relationship in the near-perfect weight distribution: the more than 1,700 pounds comply declared almost 50:50, a factor that gives all'Ampera enviable precision and poise. It also helps you place the 198 pounds of batteries under the floor in order to lower the center of gravity.

The goodness of the frame has enabled engineers to develop a structure rather than soft, comfortable even on rough but free from rolling or pitching even when you force the gaits. However, emerging high-speed steering defects, soft when it should not be. The Ampera will be on sale from the first half of 2012.

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