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Opel Ampera Wins Monte Carlo Rally for Green Cars

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Opel Ampera has won the 13. International Monte Carlo Rally for electric cars and alternative propulsion in which it competed for the first time.

Some 130 competitors from about 30 manufacturers took part, among them seven Ampera, including one private Ampera team.

Four Opel Ampera EVs ranked among the top 10 vehicles. The French duo Bernard Darniche and Joseph Lambert managed to beat the entire competitive field. On Sunday, the final day of the contest, the revolutionary electric vehicle reached the finish line in the capital of the Côte d’Azur principality.

The other contenders included a Renault Fluence Z.E., a Tesla Roadster, a Mitsubishi i-MiEV and a Peugeot iOn. Apart from the overall victory, the Ampera teams with Charlotte Berton and Olivier Sussot ranked third, Jean-Claude Andruet and Patrick Lienne came in 7th and Hanns Werner Wirth and Daniel Riesen finished 8th, completing the fantastic result.

After it was named ‘Car of the Year 2012’ in earlier this month, Opel Ampera now added some light racing credentials.

The “Rallye Monte-Carlo Des Énergies Nouvelles” took place for the 13th time and has established itself as the oldest motorsport event for vehicles with alternative propulsion. The Monte Carlo Automobile Club has organized the competition since 1995.

Endurance test for alternative propulsion
The rally started in the three towns of Annecy-le-Vieux, Clermont Ferrand and Lugano for 550 kilometers via Digne-les-Bains, the capital of the French district (département) Alpes-de-Haute-Provence to Monaco. On the second day, the teams had to complete a distance of 272 kilometers, leading them through Monaco and the original route of the Monte Carlo Rally through the French Maritime Alps. In these two days the teams were subjected to regularity tests and had to prove their driving skills by pushing their vehicles to the limit.

Apart from the regularity tests, the focus lay with fuel consumption. With the help of a ratio derived from vehicle weight, CO2 emissions, the energy density of the fuel and its consumption, the organizers were able to calculate a comparison value and draw up an overall ranking. “The sophisticated technology of the Ampera was always reliable and enabled our tremendous success,” says the French rally co-pilot, Joseph Lambert who celebrated the victory with driver Bernhard Darniche. Darniche already won the legendary Monte Carlo Rally in 1979 and has more than 10 times been successful in winning the special stage over the famous Col de Turini.

The Opel Ampera features a 16 kWh lithium ion battery powers the 111kW/150 hp electric motor. Depending on the style of driving and road conditions, distance of between 40 and 80 kilometers can be covered in the purely battery-operated mode, completely free of emissions. The electric propulsion system delivers instant torque of 370 Nm enables zero to 100 km/h acceleration in around nine seconds and a top speed of 161 km/h.

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