The new Opel Astra visits the valley of the hour |  Opel

The new Opel Astra visits the valley of the hour | Opel

  • The German precision of the new Opel Astra is comparable to that of Switzerland used for high-end watchmaking
  • In Switzerland, in the canton of Neuchâtel, the watchmaking district is divided between two cities where the most famous brands in the industry are concentrated.
  • The New Opel Astra Plug-In Hybrid brings a new level of exciting efficiency, in line with the ongoing evolution of the sport utility vehicle.

Turin. On the border with France, in the Swiss province of Neuchâtel, about 1,000 meters above sea level, there is one of the best production districts in the world. In the towns of Le Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds, transit times are measured with absolute precision. This is also indicated by the road sign at the entrance to Le Locle, where the words ‘city of precision’ appear, a statement that says a lot about the ambitions of this privileged production site.

Separated by a few kilometers, the two cities are connected by a road that houses the headquarters of the most famous names in haute horlogerie. Urban development also points to this important fact of manufacturing, especially La Chaux-de-Fonds and its development of the inspection board, which comes from the fire that almost completely destroyed the city in 1794.

Visiting a watch valley can also be an opportunity to visit a manufacturer, discover the signs of a watch expert and even build your own watch. The website allows you to plan these delicious activities even before you arrive in Switzerland.

To celebrate the unique dedication to measuring time, several museums in the area dedicate themselves to their important presence. The International Watchmaking Museum of La Chaux-de-Fonds has the task of accompanying visitors in a fascinating discovery, which connects man and time.

The large underground building that is the museum is a real collection of treasures, with historical and contemporary collections that follow a series of events, opening up different thematic areas.

The entrance to the museum leaves you bewildered and fascinated, making you forget the passage of time. On display are not only wristwatches, but also large bell tower clocks, or pendulum clocks, which represent only part of the 36 steps through which the ‘fil rouge’ that tells the story of time measurement grows.

The evolution of production is also emphasized, showing how from the first machines the manufacture of many watches developed into factories with large industrial production structures.

Among the jewels, the possibility to help in the restoration of pieces of the collection, in a large laboratory within the structure. Also not to be missed are the exhibits with amazing enamelled creations, or autographs that have always attracted crowds and royalty.

In the garden next to the museum, a large carillon (with a time signal controlled by radio) attracts every quarter of an hour with its chimes produced by 24 bells, accompanied by games of color and light.

The museum also looks to the future, showing constant evolution in the time scale, always with the aim of the highest possible accuracy. In these places the most modern watches are created, today they are made with small technologies and nanotechnologies.

Shared research in the automotive field with Opel, which with the new Opel Astra Plug-In develops a revolutionary way of high-efficiency motion, for a new and satisfying driving experience.

The Opel Vizor shows the front of the car how the concept of precision can be rejected from a stylistic point of view. The visor extends forward, giving the new Opel Astra a wider appearance and integrating technologies such as the flatter Intelli-Lux LED ® headlights and the Intelli-Vision front camera.

The same German precision is used throughout the passenger area, where the analog instrument is consigned to history: The Clean Panel has two 10-inch screens, perfectly connected to provide a continuous flow of information about the car and the road. Important information and navigation instructions are also taken by the head-up display, which appears directly on the windshield and in the same field of vision as the road.

The infotainment systems are also futuristic and can be operated with voice recognition and in touch mode on the main screen, or again with practical controls on the steering wheel or with simple voice commands in natural language. Finally, compatible smartphones can be connected wirelessly with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, eliminating the need for a cable connection.

With the new Opel Astra plug-in Hybrid, the drivetrain is also moving forward. And only 24 g/km of CO emissions2, the plug-in hybrid nature of the new Opel Astra has been revealed thanks to the Electric mode, which can travel up to 58 km with zero emissions. A further advantage concerns the recovery of energy, thanks to the ‘Brake’ mode which performs an action similar to the effect of the engine brake when going downhill and makes it possible to increase the energy available during deceleration. A new efficiency also comes from the initial climate, which allows you to get the recommended temperature in the passenger compartment, even before getting on board and without using battery power.

When, on the other hand, more powerful driving is chosen, the Sport Mode combines the power of two engines for an exciting driving experience, with 180 HP of power and torque that benefits from the sudden operation of the electric motor, as shown and 7.6 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km / h. The maximum speed of 225 km / h (135 in Electric) further emphasizes its versatile character, supported by the AT8 automatic gearbox and all the fluidity of its 8 ratios. It can also be used in continuous mode, using the paddles on steer straight.

As with high-end watchmaking, the new Opel Astra Plug-in Hybrid therefore follows a continuous evolution with the aim of perfecting those unforgettable moments that defy the passage of time.

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Stephen Virgil
Head of Communications Opel Italy

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