Vienna, Austria — Earlier this month Opel Austria Powertrain GmbH revealed further details of production plans for its new 6-speed manual transmission developed by Fiat-GM Powertrain. Sixty variants will ultimately be produced for the most important model series of the Fiat, Opel, Alfa Romeo, Vauxhall and Saab brands. Construction of the new M 20/32 will take the place of the current F13 gearbox on 42,000 square meters adjacent to continuing production of the F17 gearbox (480,000 units in 2002).
The last F13 gearbox leaves Aspern just-in-time at the end of November 2002. In December the dismantling of the system begins and should be final by March 2003. In the second reconstruction phase until May 2003, the ground will be prepared for the new production equipment. Phase three begins with the delivery and installation of 340 new machines and systems, and will end with test production starting in February 2004.
Large-scale production is scheduled for April 2004. Output in the first year is to begin at 40,000 units and is intended to increase to an ambitious 600,000 units by 2005. Starting from 2006 a capacity of 800,000 units per year will be available in three-shift operation. The 6-speed gearbox will be used universally for petrol and diesel engines up to a capacity of 2.2 liters and a torque of 320 Nm, and an automated version (Easytronic) for efficient propulsion will also be provided. It is also designed for all-wheel-drive applications.