Opel wants people to think of its Adam minicar as a lifestyle model similar to the Fiat 500 or Mini hatch, but that hasn't stopped the German automaker from chasing cost-conscious consumers as well. This is why Opel / Vauxhall added an LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) version to the Adam's lineup in Europe.
The new Adam 1.4 LPG ecoFlex is optimized to run on the cheaper and cleaner fuel, but can also run on gasoline. When in LPG mode, the 86hp Adam averages 6.9 liters per 100 km (34.1 US mpg), corresponding to CO2 emissions of 112 g/km, while in gasoline mode it returns a combined cycle fuel consumption of 5.1 l/100 km (46.1 US mpg).
Given that LPG fuel costs less than half the price of gasoline in Germany, Opel says that "compared to a similarly powerful gasoline engine, fuel costs are around 50 percent lower". The difference with the Adam in petrol mode, however, isn't as big as Opel's statement would lead you to believe since the LPG model is around 35 percent thirstier.
To run on LPG, the 1.4-liter ecoFlex engine features reinforced valves and valve seats, plus an adapted engine management system. The 35-liter LPG tank is installed under the vehicle floor in the rear, so that luggage capacity remains the unaffected. The Adam has an LPG driving range of around 500 km (311 miles) in the combined cycle, but when the gas tank dries, it can cover another 700 km (435 miles) on gasoline.
The car is fitted with a range indicator that shows gasoline, LPG and total driving range. Switching between LPG and gasoline is done either automatically or by pressing a button on the instrument panel.
Priced from €16,150 ($21,565) in Germany, the Adam 1.4 LPG ecoFLEX is the seventh Opel nameplate available with LPG, following the Corsa, Astra, Meriva, Zafira Tourer and the facelifted Insignia.
By Dan Mihalascu