Opel’s innovative Signum has been launched in Germany. Its main feature is the FlexSpace concept that allows rear passengers to choose between maximum leg room or more cargo space.

Opel’s innovative Signum has been launched in Germany. Its main feature is the FlexSpace concept that allows rear passengers to choose between maximum leg room or more cargo space.

As reported by CARtoday.com, it was first seen in production form at the Geneva motor show this year. The Signum offers more space and comfort for the two passengers on the outer rear seats and offers a variety of storage possibilities.

The iFlexSpace concept makes it possible to shift the two outer rear seats lengthwise by 130 mm, and to adjust the angle of the rear seatbacks from an upright position to a 30 degree angle for more comfort. The centre rear seat can also be folded down and turned into an armrest with two integrated cup holders. Folding all three-rear seats down flat produces a maximum cargo area of 1 410 litres.

The Signum comes with a long wheelbase and stretched body-style. With a length of 4 636 mm the Signum is only 40 mm longer than the Vectra saloon, while its 2 830 mm long wheelbase is 130 mm longer, with a correspondingly short rear overhang. At 1466 mm it is only a few mm higher than the saloon.

The Signum range consists of seven petrol and turbo-diesel ECOTEC engines, including three new powerplants. With the 3,0-litre V6 common-rail turbo-diesel, Opel is offering for the first time a direct-injection diesel with six cylinders in a V-arrangement. It provides 130 kW of power and develops maximum torque of 370 N.m.

The new 2,0-litre ECOTEC turbo engine has maximum torque of 265 N.m. The four-cylinder is based on the proven 2,2 ECOTEC aluminum unit and has 129 kW. The third new power unit in the series, a 114 kW four-valve unit, is also a descendant of the 2,2 ECOTEC aluminum engine generation and is the first petrol direct injection engine from Opel.

The new V6 CDTI ECOTEC diesel and the 2,0-litre turbo petrol engine both come with a new six-speed gearbox. The 2,2 direct-injection ECOTEC unit has a manual five-speed transmission as standard equipment. An adaptable five-speed transmission with “ActiveSelect” manual shift function is available with various engines.

The Signum comes with a range of comfort and safety features as standard equipment including: air conditioning, front and rear power windows, central locking with remote control, full-size front and side airbags, full size head curtain airbags, and active head restraints for all front and rear outer seats.

After the saloon, hatch and the GTS sports saloon, the Signum is the fourth model based on the latest generation of the Opel Vectra. A station wagon variant will be introduced later this year as the fourth independent Vectra model.

reports that Opel hopes to sell 70 000 Signums in Europe between July 2003 and July 2004, with about 25 000 units expected to be sold in Germany.

"By the end of 2003, 30 000 Signums will be driving on Europe's roads," said Opel marketing director Rainer Treitz.

Treitz said the Signum target group consisted of people in their late thirties to early fifties who drive at least 20 000 km per year.

Original article from Car