Opel - Sustainability Milestones
Opel Milestones - Innovation

Innovation Milestones

Discover the many ways in which you benefit from our innovative spirit.

Opel’s innovation milestones
Opel Design Milestones

Design Milestones

See how emotional appeal and practical breakthroughs define Opel’s design over the ages.

Opel’s design milestones


It’s been a long time since we realized that we have to act responsibly with our resources. We have invested decades of work into environmental innovation to reduce pollution and raise our overall sustainability.

Sustainability Milestones - 2012 Zafira Tourer 1.6 Turbo CNG

2012 Zafira Tourer 1.6 Turbo CNG

Independently chosen by the German ÖKOTREND institute and the magazine AUTO TEST as the most eco-friendly vehicle in its class, the Opel Zafira Tourer 1.6 Turbo CNG proves comfort and performance can be combined clean, lean motoring. With just 129 g/km CO2 emissions on CNG and even better CO2 balance on combined CNG and Biogas the eco-sphere can breathe that bit more easily.

Sustainability Milestones - 2012 Opel Ampera wins International Engine Award

2012 Opel Ampera wins International Engine Award

Seventy six journalists from 35 countries voted the Opel Ampera the “International Engine Of The Year Award.” This recognizes the combination of green technology, enhanced range and running cost efficiency. The title complements the titles of “World Green Car of 2011” and European “Car of the Year 2012”, that the Opel Ampera had already won.

Sustainability Milestones - 2010 New Corsa and Astra ecoFLEX Models

2010 New Corsa and Astra ecoFLEX models

With CO2 emissions of just 109 g/km and combined fuel consumption of 4.1 liters per 100 km, the new Astra 1.3 CDTI ecoFLEX brings even greater efficiency to Opel’s recently launched compact car. The Corsa ecoFLEX 1.3 l CDTI offers exceptionally low CO2-emissions of just 98 g/km for the 3-door variant.

Sustainability Milestones - 2009 Opel Reveals Ampera Electric Car at Geneva Motor Show

2009 Opel reveals Ampera electric car at Geneva Motor Show

Opel presents its revolutionary extended-range electric car. The Ampera’s wheels are turned electrically at all times and speeds. For journeys between 40 - 60 km (MVEG), it runs on electricity stored in the 16 kWh, lithium-ion battery, and emits zero CO2. When the battery’s energy is depleted, electricity from an engine-generator extends the Ampera’s range to more than 500 km.

Sustainability Milestones - 2008 ecoFLEX Range Introduced

2008 ecoFLEX range introduced

Opel introduces low-emission ecoFlex variants of its car lines. The first models are Corsa 1.3 CDTI, Meriva 1.3 CDTI, Zafira 1.6 CNG and Astra 1.7 CDTI. The Corsa 1.3 CDTI ecoFLEX emits just 119 grams CO2 per kilometer and has an average consumption of just 4.5 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers.

Sustainability Milestones - 2007 Opel Presents Flextreme at the IAA

2007 Opel presents Flextreme at the IAA

The Flextreme concept car is the forerunner of the Ampera and features an electric engine which receives its power from batteries. A combustion engine is onboard solely to charge the batteries. With the completely new, environmentally friendly E-Flex system, commuters can travel up to 55 kilometers every day while emitting no CO2-emissions.

Sustainability Milestones -2003 Particulate Filter Needs No Maintenance

2003 Particulate filter needs no maintenance

Thanks to its innovative regeneration process, the maintenance-free Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) system requires no additives and has almost no impact on fuel consumption, CO2 emissions or output.

Sustainability Milestones - 2000 Natural Gas Premiere

2000 Natural gas premiere

Opel unveils a Zafira concept car with natural gas propulsion at the AAA car show in Berlin at the end of October. The Zafira 1.6 CNG features a monovalent propulsion unit optimized for natural gas operation. The Zafira CNG’s greatest strength is its high economy: compared to a similarly sized gasoline engine variant, the Zafira CNG’s fuel costs are around 50 percent lower.

Sustainability Milestones - 2000 Fuel Cells on the March

2000 Fuel cells on the march

GM/Opel presents the HydroGen1, a fully serviceable fuel cell-powered Zafira with hydrogen propulsion. It is powered by a 55 kW (75 hp) three-phase engine, whose electrical power is supplied by a pure hydrogen-operated fuel cell unit. The HydroGen1 has a top speed of 140 km/h, a range of around 400 km and, thanks to its revolutionary engine, produces no emissions.

Sustainability Milestones - 1995 Lower Consumption Thanks to Lower Weight

1995 Lower consumption thanks to lower weight

The Corsa ECO3 is the first “three-liter” car in the world. Its diesel consumption of just 3.4 liters per 100 km is primarily achieved by radically reducing the car’s weight, by using carbon-fiber-reinforced composite materials instead of sheet-metal panels on the hood, doors and fenders.

Sustainability Milestones - 1989 Catalytic Converter as Standard

1989 Catalytic converter as standard

Opel becomes the first European automaker to fit all its cars with a catalytic converter as standard, from the smallest to the largest model. We are also the first to introduce a recycling loop for plastics.

Sustainability Milestones - 1989 Aerodynamics World Record for Calibra

1989 Aerodynamics world record for Calibra

The new Calibra sets a further aerodynamic record. The coupé variant has a sensational drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.26.

Sustainability Milestones - 1981 Water-Based Lacquer

1981 Water-based lacquer

We are the first automaker to use water-based lacquer in series production at our Rüsselsheim paint shop. These lacquers are largely free of organic solvents and considerably reduce the impact on the environment.

Sustainability Milestones - 1972 Opel GT Sets Diesel World Record

1972 Opel GT sets diesel world record

A modified Opel GT with a 95 hp, 2.1-liter turbo-diesel engine sets a number of diesel world records at Opel’s test center in Dudenhofen, and reaches a top speed of 197.5 km/h. Shortly thereafter, the Opel Rekord 2.1 D became the first Opel diesel passenger car on the market.