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Vauxhall/Opel Flextreme GT/E concept (2010)

Thu, 18 Feb 2010

This is the Opel Flextreme GT/E, a new concept that Vauxhall’s sister brand will unveil at the 2010 Geneva motor show next month. It’s Vauxhall/Opel’s second Flextreme show car – the original was revealed at the 2007 Frankfurt show – and previews how GM’s extended-range electric vehicle technology can be utilised in large cars – the GT/E uses the same electrified powertrain that is found in the more compact Ampera.

The GT/E has uses the same E-REV (extended-range electric vehicle) technology that’s been developed for the Ampera. That means an electric motor driven by lithium-ion batteries, and an internal combustion engine that's used as a back up.

In the Flextreme GT/E a T-shaped lithium-ion battery ocated under the floor and rear seats gives a zero emissions range of up to 40 miles. Once the batteries are drained the 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine kicks in, pushing the GT/E’s range to over 300 miles (and thus negating ‘range anxiety’), but Vauxhall claims this still equates to an average of 175mpg, and less than 40g/km CO2.

The electric drive unit produces 273lb ft, so with all that twist going through the 21-inch (but slim 195/45) front wheels the Flextreme GT/E will scrabble to 62mph in under nine seconds. Top speed is over 125mph.

We have – Opel unveiled a Flextreme show car at the 2007 Frankfurt motor show. But while that car was a boxy and bulbous, the new carbon-bodied concept is much sleeker – it’s a heavy hint at how Vauxhall/Opel will further develop the design language already seen on the Insignia and latest Astra.

The design language also incorporates sophisticated aerodynamics – the GT/E has a projected drag co-efficient of just 0.22Cd. The nose section has a low bonnet, energy-saving LED lights and a slim trapezoid grille with the charging socket. The bonnet is vented to draw air out of the engine compartment, there’s a flat underbody, the stubby C-pillars stand proud of the bodywork, and the wraparound boot lid features LED lights.

The GT/E also has suicide doors, but the door handles have been replaced by light sensors to keep the exterior looks uncluttered. Cameras replace the door mirrors, and above 30mph a vertical panel extends from behind each rear wheelarch to direct the airflow and reduce drag.

The Flextreme GT/E will be revealed at the 2010 Geneva motor show next month. Click here for CAR Online's A-Z preview of the 2010 Geneva show.

By Ben Pulman