As we mentioned before, the four-cylinder mill under the hood of the Antara 2.0 CDTi is of Italian origin. The company going by the name of VM Motori designed the RA 420 with vans and SUVs in mind. The DOHC engine delivers 150 horsepower and 320 Nm (236 lb ft) of torque with the help of a VGT turbocharger. The power levels aren't necessarily great, especially considering you can now buy two-liter engines with over 100 hp per liter from the competition, but it's not very low on power either.
Using a latest generation Common Rail system further improves the fuel consumption and diminishes noise levels; too bad that both performance and fuel consumption are counteracted by the immense weight of the car. And to think there's also a 127 hp version of this engine on the Antara...
The engine is also not exclusive for the Antara and is not even built by VM Motori, since its production is carried out under license by GM Daewoo and the Hyundai Motor Corporation. This basically means you're going to find it under the hood of about a dozen other cars. We wonder if it achieves its true performance on other vehicles, since under Antara's hood is a bit... constrained, to say the least.
The five-speed automatic gearbox was quite a nice suprise on the other hand, since it provided almost seamless shifts and didn't provide any noticeable lag moments between gears. Its fuzzy-logic processor isn't quite state-of-the-art but it does "learn" pretty quickly if you're a pilot or a Sunday driver when using the throttle.
Like most other technical bits on the car, the all-wheel drive system isn't designed by Opel, and is the same one found on its Vauxhall/Holden/Daewoo/Chevrolet/Saturn brother. But wait, not only on those cars, but also on the Toyota RAV4 since it was actually developed by the aforementioned Japanese and licensed to other carmakers. It works by using an electromagnetic coupling in the rear differential housing to transfer up to 50% of the power to the rear wheels only when needed. In reality, it either works seamlessly or we didn't quite put it to the test correctly, because we didn't feel the rear wheels pushing even once.Continue reading