Port Elizabeth – Opel’s three-cylinder ecoFLEX engine has been singled out by South African motoring magazine – CAR – as the best of its ilk.
In their March issue, which features the editors’ annual Best Buy choices, they selected the turbopetrol one-litre – which does duty in both the ADAM and Corsa ranges – as their Powertrain of the Year. They lauded it for its “gutsy performance and frugal consumption,” and went on to describe it as “a prime example of engine downsizing.”
They also praised it for being refined and characterful.
The 1.0 litre ecoFLEX was introduced to the South African market in the ADAM at the end of 2014 and rapidly went on to become a firm favourite in the marketplace thanks to its exceptional refinement, low-end torque and efficiency. When the fifth-generation Corsa was launched locally early last year, the triple – also in 85 kW/170 Nm guise – became available in Opel’s supermini.
Confirming its status as a benchmark engine is that derivatives from both nameplates, powered by identical ecoFLEX powerplants, were under the bonnets of Opel’s two finalists, the ADAM and Corsa, in the South Africa Guild of Motoring Journalists’ Wesbank Car of the Year competition.
ADAM was the first Opel to receive this new, direct injection engine, developed at the manufacturer’s International Technical Development Centre in Rüsselsheim, Germany.
Combined cycle fuel consumption is a mere 5.1-litres per 100 kilometres, with CO2 emissions of just 119 g/km. In the Corsa application the headline numbers are 5.0 litres and 117 g/km respectively.
These outstanding numbers are especially impressive given the generous power output and high torque. Maximum torque is already available at just 1 800 rpm and remains at 170 Nm until 4 500 rpm.
Compact dimensions and low mass are achieved with features that include an all-in-one cylinder head and exhaust manifold, and a tiny, low-inertia turbocharger. It even boasts a switchable water pump, which is disengaged when the engine coolant is cold in order to accelerate warm-up, contributing further to the low fuel consumption. Other efficiency enablers include direct fuel injection, variable valve timing and weight-saving all-aluminium construction.
A host of features have all but eliminated noise, vibration and harshness, with the result that the 1.0 ecoFLEX is not only more refined than other three-cylinder engines, it’s also quieter than many four-cylinder units.
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