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Opel Ampera to debut at Geneva

Tue, 27 Jan 2009 00:00:00 -0800

Opel (GM’s Euro division, and the Euro version of Vauxhall) has today revealed teaser images of the Opel Ampera, which is to debut at the motor show in Geneva in March.

The Ampera is GM’s salvation – they believe. Based on the Chevvy Volt concept, it is a pure electric car. True, it has a petrol engine, but that is only used to charge the batteries once the initial charge is gone (around 40 miles on batteries alone). Which apparently will suit European drivers who do an average of only 30 miles a day.

Opel Ampera - GM's great white hope.

But how close to reality is it? Frankly, that’s anybody’s guess. Bob Lutz, boss of GM, has gone on record as saying that the Chevvy Volt (on which the Ampera is based) needs battery technology that doesn’t exist yet. A Toyota guy referred to the Volt as ‘Vaporware’ – in other words it’s an idea, not a reality.

It seems that there is a lot of hope attached to the Volt/Ampera. GM is in dire straits, and the concept is just what the public/investors/governments want to see for GM going forward, instead of the dinosaurs it makes at present. But how much the car is a case of hope over reality, and a desperate bid to stay in business long enough to see the Volt/Ampera in production, is anybody’s guess.

Still, great concept if they can pull it off.

By Cars UK