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Opel Astra TwinTop: Winter to spring in... 30 seconds

Opel Astra TwinTop Coupe / Cabriolet

Opel Astra TwinTop Coupe / Cabriolet

Astra TwinTop, with its CarTopSystems (CTS) retractable steel hard-top.

APN,
21st September 2005.

Opel's new Astra TwinTop got its world premiere at this year's Frankfurt International Motor Show (September 15–25), displaying both open-top pleasure and hard-top coupe safety and rigidity, in one lower-medium sized car

At the touch of a button, five sections (the three-part retractable steel roof  and the two C-pillars) go through a sequence of moves with the help of five electric motors, eight hydraulic cylinders, 13 sensors and a 14-joint kinematics, in what the engineers dubbed it the “Lambada” dance.

Another advantage comes from the fact that the Astra TwinTop's roof components are smaller than in conventional systems and thus require less space when stowed in the trunk.

Developed in cooperation with specialists from CarTopSystems (CTS), the Astra TwinTop's retractable steel hard-top was designed with interior space in mind, allowing comfortable traveling for adults in the rear .

Opening (and closing) the top is fully automatic, at the touch of a button located on the upper edge of the windshield, or via remote control in the car key.

3-part steel roof , 2 moving C-pillars, 5 electric motors, 8 hydraulic cylinders, 13 sensors and 14-joint kinematics.

Opening - Getting into the cabrio mood starts with the frameless side windows moving a few millimeters downward out of their moldings, then the trunk lid tilts up towards the rear of the car, while the front roof element simultaneously eases out of its fixtures. Then, the three roof sections move backwards, pivoting on the two main bearings located in the area of the rear seat-backs. At the same time, the rear window moves forward out of its fixtures on the C-pillars and the cover behind the rear head restraints rises up, so the three roof panels slide underneath and store themselves neatly in the upper half of the trunk.

Opel Astra TwinTop Coupe / Cabriolet

Opel Astra TwinTop Coupe / Cabriolet

Reasonable rear space for 2 adults, in a lower-medium sized cabrio.

Closing -  Before the panel behind the rear head restraints and the trunk lid return to their closed positions, two small flaps fold out for each, nestling tightly against the body flanks to seal the gaps. In almost 30-second, the side windows move back upward into their original positions. A subtle acoustic signal marks the complete closure.

The opening procedure can be initiated only when the internal divider in the trunk is in place. Connected to a contact sensor, the protective cover divides the luggage compartment horizontally and defines the usable space when the top is down, preventing the roof panels from crowding pieces of luggage.

Another innovation comes in the power loading assistant Easy Load: the luggage capacity of 200 liters in the cabrio configuration can be fully utilized. At the touch of a button, the horizontally stacked roof panels in the trunk are raised 25 centimeters. Luggage and shopping bags can thus be easily removed or stowed under the protective divider, keeping the luggage easily and readily accessible, even when the top is down.

Opel Astra TwinTop Coupe / Cabriolet

Opel Astra TwinTop Coupe / Cabriolet

Boot capacity goes from 440 litres (closed top) to 200 litres (open top).

In addition to its size and format, the Astra TwinTop’s approximately 440-liter luggage compartment make it suitable for everyday use. The slim construction of the trunk lid linkage also makes a space-saving contribution. Instead of a bulky tubular frame construction, a complex 14-joint kinematics, which moves the trunk lid during opening and closing, makes its premiere in theAstra TwinTop.

The trunk floor has been lowered by three centimeters compared to the Astra hatchback, creating additional space. The practical and convenient design of the trunk is accentuated by storage compartments in the sides, the load-through hatch for skis and the spare-tire well, in which a spare wheel or four-part wind deflector and tire repair kit can be stored.

Despite the fact that the concept broke new ground and had to meet extremely high standards in terms of quality and functionality, the Astra TwinTop was developed in a just 17 months, due to efficient use of computer simulation programs as well as engineering partner CTS’ long-term involvement in the development and production processes.

The four-seat cabrio-coupé will roll off the production line in Antwerp, Belgium – where the entire roof module will be installed on site – at the beginning of 2006.

Recent similar topic: the new VW Eos coupé convertible.

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