New course for the electric market
When Opel launched the Ampera on the market around ten years ago, this successful model definitely received plenty of praise, but this electric vehicle wasn’t much of a hit with customers. Its successor the Ampera-e wasn’t any more successful. The latest model to date is the Grandland X, now available at dealers as a rechargeable hybrid with the Hybrid4 add-on.
With this drive technology, two electric motors with a cumulative autonomy of up to 59 kilometres are combined with a 1.6 litre turbo engine, delivering a total output of 300 horsepower (221 kW). With this technology on board, Grandland reaches 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds and can accelerate up to 235 km/h. The electric motor itself can get up to a maximum speed of 135 km/h.
The two electric motors send 110 horsepower (81 kW) to the front wheels and 113 horsepower (83 kW) to the rear wheels. They are powered by a 13.2 kWh lithium-ion battery, which, in the ideal scenario, can be charged at a Wallbox with a charging power of 7.4 kW in around two hours.
The driver is unaware of all of this technology going on, as the various drive units work together unobtrusively, and the transition between electric motor and combustion engine and front- and all-wheel drive is smooth. Only a glance at the screen displaying the different driving modes reveals how the Grandland moves with precision on the road. The eight-speed automatic transmission coupled with the powertrain also works away discreetly in the background when going through the gears.
When you press the start button, you feel like nothing’s happening. The electric Grandland starts electronically, so without a sound. The car doesn’t make a sound either when travelling in electric mode. It’s only when the electric power runs out that the drive system switches to hybrid mode, and from electric to combustion mode if necessary. In addition to these two settings, the driver can also choose between all-wheel drive and sports mode. The e-Save function allows you to store electric energy before going into environmental zones where models with conventional drive systems aren’t permitted. A little blue light comes on the Grandland windscreen to indicate electric drive. In the past, hybrid models were mainly considered as dull and devoid of any dynamic characteristics. The Grandland proves that those days are gone. With its well-balanced chassis, this 18-tonne SUV slinks round bends, and when electric drive is activated to support acceleration, the 300 horsepower and 520 Newton metre torque are pleasantly detectable when you accelerate. While this is happening, the propulsion system continues to deliver power without a sound, leaving driver and passengers to enjoy the high-quality interior in comfort. The driver has access to all kinds of well-organised features, and the controls are arranged so that you don’t have to search through the manual before you press the start button.
Opel gives the fuel consumption as 1.4 to 1.3 litres (measured according to the new LTP measuring method and the special PHEV method). This value can be achieved in optimum conditions on the test bench but, in reality, after an initial journey on country roads, the screen showed 4.7 litres, which is still a decent value, though.
Grandland X Hybrid4 prices start at €51,165.
Image source: Opel
Text source: Ampnet