Opel GT Concept: A study in avant-garde
Ready to grab its share of the limelight at the Geneva Auto Show, the new Opel GT Concept was “created to capture the bold, emotional spirit of the Opel brand,” according to Mark Adams, Vice President, Design Europe. “It is dramatic, sculptural and full of innovations, which is our great tradition that we intend to continue.” Referring to it as “a template for future sports cars,” the show car embodies same key qualities seen in the firm’s groundbreaking 1965 Experimental GT, which Adams notes, also was the first concept vehicle ever designed by a European manufacturer. He describes the new Concept GT as being “absolutely pure and minimalistic, yet bold and uncompromising,” adding it tangibly demonstrates the continuous development of Opel’s “Sculptural Artistry meets German precision” design philosophy.
A front-mid-engine/rear-drive design that matches evocative body contours with unique details, the Opel Concept GT features large doors with integrated side windows that create a seamless look in the transition from paint to glass. A small touchpad integrated into the red accent stripe on the roof opens the car, and each electric-powered door uses a patented hinge mechanism that lets its forward portion move into the wheel arch to improve entry/exit in tight confines. The car replaces conventional rearview mirrors with a pair of cameras positioned behind the wheel arches and its fast windshield sweeps into a panoramic glass roof. Main illumination come from next-gen Opel IntelliLux LED matrix headlights while the rear lamps incorporate a 3D design that provides a distinctive pattern at night. As for that red front rubber, it’s a nod to the tires found on the Opel Motoclub 500 motorcycle, another concept that turned heads with the same color tires back in 1928.
The Concept GT tips the scales at slightly under 2,200 pounds. Beneath its long hood sits a turbocharged 1.0-liter/3-cylinder engine that makes 144 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. Also used in the current Opel Adam, Corsa and Astra models, this sophisticated all-aluminum GM Ecotec engine is backed by a paddle-shifted 6-speed sequential transmission, a combo that lets the Concept GT sprint from 0-62 mph in less than 8.0 seconds and max out at 134 mph. While Opel is far from ready to officially announce any formal production plans, the automaker is clearly interested in exploring the possibility of putting some form of the GT into showrooms.
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