Opel and Citroen plug-ins land in NZ

Damien O’Carroll
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Auto Distributors New Zealand (ADNZ), distributor of Peugeot, Citroen and Opel in New Zealand, is launching a new product offensive with the local launch of three new plug-in models: the Opel Astra GSe PHEV, the Opel Grandland SRi PHEV and the Citroen e-C4 BEV.

The two Opels share the same plug-in hybrid powertrain that pairs a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine and 8-speed automatic transmission with an 81kW/320Nm electric motor to produce a combined total output of 165kW/250Nm in the Astra GSe hatch and 165kW/360Nm in the Grandland SUV.

The Astra gets a 12.4kWh battery that gives it an electric-only range of up to 61km, while the Grandland gets a 13.2kWh unit for a range of up to 67km. In hybrid operation, both PHEVs have WLTP-rated consumption and emissions of 1.0L/100km and 1.0g/km of CO2, meaning both are eligible for a $4025 Clean Car rebate.

Like a number of other distributors of low emission ICE/hybrid/PHEV vehicles, Opel has realigned some of its prices after the tweaks to the Clean Car programme that changed the amount of fees and rebates, as well as altering eligibility.

"Last year when we launched Opel in New Zealand, we said that we were launching a German challenger brand," said Noah Robertson, Opel New Zealand's commercial manager.

"Our original vision of success hasn't changed, but we've had to make some changes to remain true to the proposition of being a challenger brand."

As such, the company is offering special launch pricing on the two PHEVs, with the Astra GSe kicking off at $64,990 before the Clean Car rebate (which reduces it to $60,965) and on-road costs, while the Grandland will launch at $69,990 before the rebate (which drops it to $65,965) and on-road costs.

The launch pricing will be available until the end of September or while stock lasts, after which they will revert to $71,990 for the Astra GSe and $77,990 of the Grandland.

The third plug-in vehicle launched by ADNZ was the new Citroen e-C4, the all-electric version of the company's small hatch (that has morphed into something more resembling an SUV coupe in its current incarnation) that shares its underpinnings with the Astra, Mokka and Corsa, as well as the Peugeot 208 and 2008.

As such, the electric powertrain is the familiar 100kW/260Nm electric motor on the front axle paired with a 50kWh battery that provides a range of up to 363km under the WLTP test cycle.

While the powertrain may be familiar, the Citroen differentiates itself from its platform-mates by using Citroen's "Progressive Hydraulic Cushion" dampers for an impressively plush ride.

The e-C4 will launch with an introductory price of $65,990+ORCs before the Clean Car rebate of $7015 drops that to $58,975+ORCs. After the introductory period ends, the e-C4 will revert to its $69,990 list price.


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