Never underestimate the power of a high-quality nose job. Although the Opel Ampera will arrive in the European market in 2011 with exactly the same mechanical specs and operational capabilities as its Chevrolet Volt platform mate, the Geneva debut of this new Opel confirmed that the European variation packs a good deal more visual punch if no more practical advantage. Early teaser pics indicated that the Euro-styled Ampera would handily outpoint the Volt in the curb-side shock and awe department, but the Opel incarnation of GM's Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) platform looks even more flagrantly futuristic in the flesh. One can only wonder if its more aggressive front fascia treatment might influence the direction of the Volt's first mid-life restyle. Or perhaps be morphed into a twin-port take for a possible Pontiac-badged variation on the Volt theme, if and when that division ultimately gets recast into its newly-assigned "boutique" capacity.
Even as the Ampera turns heads at the Geneva Auto Show, General Motors is pondering exactly what role Opel will play in its future. GM is seeking to divest itself of 25 percent or more the German automaker in hopes of having Opel attract more than $4 billion in additional support funding, either from the German government or from other state or individual investors in the area.