- Two are better than one: the new Opel Astra Sports Tourer is home to a pair of sharks
- Origin: the shark tradition started with a good idea of a child
- The shark is a symbol: the passion of Opel designers for the smallest details
Rüsselsheim. Every time Opel launches a new model, true fans of the German brand start the hunt. Not of the many advanced technologies included in standard equipment, but of the marine creatures hiding inside the car: sharks. Small avatars of the animal at the top of the marine food chain have been entertaining Opel drivers and passengers for years – and the same is happening now in the new one. Opel Astra Sports Tourer.
In the cockpit of many Opel models, such as the award-winning ones Opel Mokka-e and Opel Corsa-e, somewhere the shark is hidden, the latest generation of compact assets is home to two – one near the front and the other towards the back. Exploring the new Opel Astra Sports Tourer in search of sharks – for example in the plug-in hybrid version (combined fuel consumption WLTP1: 1.2-1.1 l/100km; CO emissions2 27-25 g/km) – almost as fun as driving it.
“The small sharks hidden in the new Opel Astra and Opel Astra Sports Tourer show our designers’ passion for the smallest details,” said Karim Giordimaina, Design Director. “Our customers can see this passion, and at the same time Opel sharks have become very popular, showing the availability of the Opel brand.”
From an idea to a cult object: The story of the Opel pope begins in 2004
So how do these little sharks hide in Opel cars? On a Sunday afternoon in 2004, Opel designer Dietmar Finger was at home working on a project for the new Opel Corsa. He was making an unremarkable exterior panel for the passenger side glove box, which remains invisible most of the time, covered by the door. However, when the compartment is open, this panel must ensure its stability, which occurs thanks to the transverse ribs integrated in the plastic surface. Finger was just drawing these ribs when his son looked at the drawing and said, “Dad, why don’t you draw a shark?” “Why not?” thought the ostrich and gave the ribs the typical shape of the famous marine predator.
The then chief designer of the Opel Corsa, Niels Loeb, immediately accepted the idea. The shark in the glove box went into production and thus began the story of the “Opel Sharks”. Then it was the turn of the Opel Zafira, where Karim Giordimaina, head of interior design at the time, hid three sharks in the driver’s seat of the compact MPV. Others followed, first in the Opel ADAM, then in the Opel Astra and other vehicles as practice Opel Crossland and Opel GrandlandSUV brand flagship.
Since then, every interior designer has put a shark or two into every new Opel. The exact location is always a secret, even to the heads of the Creative department. The fish remain hidden until cast, making the hunt attractive to all shark lovers, both on and off the farm.
Those sharks will continue to appear on future Opel models. Where exactly they will be hidden in the cockpit is still a mystery, but customers can already imagine how happy it will be to go looking for them.
 These values were calculated using the Worldwide Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), which is closer to reality and replaced the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), which was the previous type approval cycle. Fuel consumption, CO emissions2 and various types of vehicles depend not only on energy efficiency but are also influenced by driving style and other non-technical factors. Information on fuel consumption and emissions is not specific to a particular vehicle and is provided for comparison purposes only.
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