Offering a first look at the potential of applying GM's Voltec technology to a larger mid-size/full-size package, the Opel Flextreme GT/E Concept mixes its E-REV (Extended-Range Electric Vehicle) powertrain with sleek, unique styling and a megadose of advanced technology that further expands its user-friendly character. Frank Weber, Vice President, Corporate and Product Planning, says the Opel Flextreme GT/E Concept is much more than just a one-off show car: "Bold, expressive and highly efficient, it represents the product strategy we will apply to all our future vehicles, large and small, across all market segments."
A five-door hatchback with a coupe-like roofline, the Opel Flextreme GT/E Concept makes a striking first impression. Its tautly sculpted contours, low, wide stance and unique greenhouse treatment are the first elements to grab your eye -- and contribute to a package that boasts an exceptional 0.22 projected coefficient of drag. But it's the Flextreme GT/E's detailing that adds a whole new dimension to the mix here. Complementing its striking front and rear lighting treatments are access-easing rear-hinged rear doors. The center glass roof panel has adaptive translucency to help minimize energy requirements in both hot and cold temperatures and the 21-inch alloy wheels fitted with 195/45 low-rolling-resistance tires feature clear, flush mounted inserts to trim air turbulence.
Beyond the obvious, there's loads more lurking out of direct view in the Opel Flextreme GT/E's bag of design tricks. Lightweight carbon fiber composite body panels surround an aluminum understructure while polycarbonate replaces conventional glass to trim even more weight. The wind-cheating efforts also go several steps beyond the expected, highlighted by proximity sensors that replace conventional door handles and minicams that are used instead of outside mirrors. The Flextreme GT/E even boasts a bit of shape-shifting capability. At speeds over 31 mph, a vertical panel extends from the air extractor slot behind each rear wheel to more efficiently channel airflow around the tail of the vehicle.
Motivating the Opel Flextreme GT/E Concept is the same Voltec package that will be used in the Chevrolet Volt and its European alter ego, the Opel Ampera. Here, the combination of an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery abetted by a range-extending 1.4-liter gasoline engine will deliver up to 31 miles of pure-electric travel and go ten times that distance before needing to have it fuel tank refilled. Opel also claims the Flextreme GT/E should be able to get from 0-60 mph in less than nine seconds and top out at 124 mph.