DOCTOR WATSON'S FIRST REPORT
The hero’s explanations turned out to be so appropriate that at some point he imagined - he was sitting with me in a new station wagon and was watching with interest what was happening. I no longer felt lonely in an unfamiliar, overgrown with legends land - and even with left-hand traffic, where when leaving the main road it is customary to look to the right. Yes, and overtake on the right side.
The first car I got (us!) Was relatively modest. Equipped with one of the new “Opel” diesel engines with direct fuel injection (1.7 l, 100 hp) and a six-speed transmission, the station wagon made it clear that speed was not the main advantage of the Caravan. However, among the "asters" -universals there are very frisky ones (see table).
It struck me that in the trunk, in addition to travel bags, it would be possible to place a skeleton, for example, a Neanderthal who lived here and to deliver it to the paleontological museum intact. And Dr. Watson would certainly have noticed that a runaway convict from Princeton prison could have buried himself in the bowels of the luggage compartment - much better than hiding in the swamps and finding death at the sight of a terrible dog.
The engine seemed a bit noisy and weak. By formal indicators, everything was fine: up to 100 km / h, the Astra needed 12.5 s, the maximum speed ended at 180 km / h. However, the high environmental requirements of Euro IV completely deprived this diesel engine of its main advantage - low-speed propulsion. But it will be a godsend for those who decide to save on fuel. In a friend’s notebook of Sherlock Holmes, I would read clearly deduced: “Not every full-size station wagon boasts an average consumption of 5.0 l / 100 km.”
WATSON SECOND REPORT
I was able to get acquainted with the most “charged” “Opel-Astra Caravan” the next day. Watson was already waiting in the car. He recorded a two-liter engine and alloy 17-inch wheels. Do not miss the extra equipment.
On this version, an electro-hydraulic amplifier is installed (on modifications weaker - an electric amplifier), which makes control more sensitive in comparison with other "asters". But the main difference between the car lies in the adaptive chassis: it provides a balance between smoothness and active safety. A single suspension control unit here controls the dynamic stabilization system (ESP), ABS and continuous damping control (CDC - Continuous Damping Control), which was previously used only on luxury cars and some sports. It turned out that the electronics monitors the condition of the roadway, the movement of the car and the actions of the driver. Based on these data, an optimal suspension and control tuning algorithm is developed (see ZR, 2004, No. 5).
Watson rightly remarked that the roads in Devonshire, although they became noticeably better, did not change in essence. We had to move along "deep ruts laid centuries ago between high mounds on which fleshy horsetails and wet moss grew." The roads, squeezed on both sides by pastures and walls of greenery, are rather narrow passages. You won’t accelerate to them, but you will appreciate the accuracy of control and maneuverability of a rather large car with a wheelbase extended to 2.7 m.
Having stumbled along the colorful, but narrow local paths, I simply took my soul on a half-empty highway, having covered ten kilometers at a speed of two hundred. Naturally chose the "sport" mode, increasing the stiffness of the suspension. At the same time, the noise from the tires slightly increases. Perhaps this is a feature of local asphalt, in which there is more rubble.
Slowing down and going into comfortable mode, I asked Dr. Watson to draw up a portrait of the owner of the Astra Caravan. The answer struck with laconicism: in his opinion, these are fans of classic wagons. All those who love sporty low-ride and dynamic driving style. And he would have preferred a good English cab. I realized that a self-respecting British gentleman was probably driving too fast.
The astra Caravan’s impressive ability to tow a trailer weighing up to 1400 kg did not escape the doctor’s experienced gaze. Together with a removable tow hitch, an electronic trailer stabilization program is offered. If the ESP sensors detect excessive yaw, the vehicle’s speed is automatically reduced by covering the throttle and braking the wheels until stability is restored.
The top version of the Astra is equipped with another interesting device - it monitors the pressure drop in the tires. The warning light comes on when it drops by 30%. For a high-speed car, such a warning is very important.