The new Opel / Vauxhall Omega

Significantly revised exterior and interior design, along with state-of-the-art technology are set to lift the Vauxhall Omega sales above current levels, and possibly even into BMW territory.

Highlights include a new 143bhp 2.2-litre petrol engine developing 205Nm of torque. The rear-wheel drive DSA (Dynamic Safety) chassis has been further enhanced with changes to the front-axle geometry and new damper and steering settings, resulting in improved ride, agility and road-holding. Enthusiastic Omega drivers will have the choice of a special sports chassis in the MV6 models. Suspension is 20mm lower, with modified spring/damper settings and Sport tyres.

The exterior styling echoes the sharp lines of the Astra and Zafira, with a touch of American influence in the profile. The front view is dominated by new, headlamps and a new bonnet with prominent, V-shaped contours and an integrated, chrome grille. The bumpers and the side-protection mouldings are colour-keyed. At the rear are new tail lamps and a boot lid which can be opened using the remote-control key or from inside the car. Electrically-operated exterior mirrors and new wheels - 16 or 17-inch, depending on the trim level - round off the new car's appearance.

The spacious interior has seen significant changes: steering wheel, instrument panel and centre console have all been redesigned. Front seat active head restraints are standard and all models have an intelligent electronic climate control system with separate driver/passenger controls as well as a dual-zone sun sensor.

The new Omega range continues with the 2.0 l6v 135bhp engine (also available in LPG form). And there is a new 2.2 16v ECOTEC engine equipped with two counter-rotating balancer shafts for smooth, quiet operation which develops particularly high torque of 205Nm at 4000 rpm. The new four-cylinder unit powers the Omega from 0-60mph in 10.1 seconds (manufacturer's claim) and from 50mph to 75mph in fifth gear in 15 seconds, with a top speed of 130.5mph.

At the upper end of the range, the Omega is available with a choice of two ECOTEC V6 petrol engines - a 2.5-litre unit with 169bhp and a 3.0-litre unit turning out 205bhp. For the diesel market Vauxhall offers the 2.5-litre 130bhp straight-six.

The new Omega's standard safety features include two front and side airbags as well as active head restraints on both front seats. In a rear collision, the restraints move forward and upward to cushion the backward motion of the head, significantly reducing the risk of whiplash-related injuries. The estate models also feature an additional load intrusion avoidance system (GM call it "ALIAS"). The two folding rear seat-backs are fixed together securely to offer passengers even more protection against loads moving forward in a frontal collision.
Prices and precise launch date will be announced later.

The Omega is almost a world car. It has American styling but European dynamics.
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