The revolutionary Opel Ampera today celebrated its world premiere at the 79th Geneva Motor Show.
General Motors Europe president, Carl-Peter Forster, unveiled the extended-range electric vehicle and announced plans to put the car into production in late 2011.
The Opel Ampera will also be offered with right-hand drive in the United Kingdom by Opel’s sister-brand, Vauxhall.
“The Opel Ampera further demonstrates GM’s leadership in the electrification of the automobile,” said Carl-Peter Forster. “Its ground-breaking Voltec electric propulsion system is the kind of game-changing technology the automotive industry needs to respond to energy and environmental challenges.”
The five-door, four-seat Ampera is influenced by Opel’s award-winning design language of sculptural artistry meets German precision, incorporating several styling cues from the innovative Flextreme and GTC Concept show cars
“There could not be a more fitting way to celebrate Opel’s 110 years of innovation in the car industry than by revealing the Opel Ampera,” said Alain Visser, GME Vice President Opel.
The Ampera’s wheels are turned electrically at all times and speeds. For journeys up to 60 km (MVEG), it runs on electricity stored in the 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery, and emits zero CO2. When the battery’s energy is depleted, electricity from an engine-generator extends the Opel Ampera’s range to more than 500 km. The Ampera can be plugged into any household 230v outlet for charging. GM Europe is analyzing the requirements of a recharging infrastructure for plug-in electric cars with energy companies, including Iberdrola of Spain.
Electrifying Opel Ampera Combines Opel Looks in Efficient Hatchback
- Influenced by Opel’s design theme of sculptural artistry with German precision
- Sleek aerodynamics support emission-free driving
- Offers the comfort and accoutrements expected in a 21st century car
GM’s design team has created a practical, efficient electric car that builds on Opel’s award-winning design direction. The Opel Ampera offers optimal passenger space, futuristic equipment features in an aerodynamic, premium design.
“The Opel Ampera shows all the opportunities advanced propulsion technologies offer for car design. We had to maximize the aerodynamic efficiency but still offer ultimate everyday driving comfort,” said Phil Zak, Director, Exterior Design at GM Europe. “All of that is presented in an upscale, sporty look that builds on Opel’s theme of sculptural forms and expressive lines.”
Sculptural artistry gives Opel Ampera its dynamic exterior
The Ampera’s exterior design takes up cues from the Opel Flextreme and GTC Concept show cars. For example, it features dramatic, boomerang-like headlights that seamlessly integrate with the lower fog lights. The car has a dynamic, almost aggressive low stance seen most prominently in the front and tail. The new, bold Opel logo emblazes the front grill and the chrome bar across the back.
Vertical slots in the outboard edges of the rear bumper not only give the car a low sporty look but also play a key role in creating a clean separation feature for the air, supporting the highly efficient aerodynamic performance. Its unique Pearl White Diamond color with matching rocker panels and rear bumper underline the dynamic appeal of the car.
Maximum efficiency through optimal aerodynamics
Aerodynamics, too, play a particularly important role in maximizing driving range. GM engineers and designers worked together to optimize the air flow around the front fascia and outside mirrors of the Opel Ampera. Significant attention was also given to the rear with a specifically designed spoiler and clean separation features. Lightweight materials were added in the form of clear polycarbonate covers to the front grille and disk inserts on the 17-inch, five-spoke sport alloy wheels. These helped to reduce aerodynamic drag in critical airflow areas.
All amenities of an upscale hatchback combined with the latest technology
The Ampera offers the space, comfort, and convenience features that customers expect in a car with five-doors, four-seats and storage capacity of 301 liters. The interior features a Jet Black interior combined with Spice Red accents and Dark Argent Metallic paint on the instrument panel’s center stack for a sporty look.
The doors’ décor picks up on the car’s electric nature through the use of iconic themes. With an integrated shifter, two information displays and touch-sensitive infotainment center, the Ampera delivers an all-electrical user experience.
“On the Ampera we’ve continued to challenge the norm and have searched for new and exciting color and material combinations. To support the car’s innovative character we’ve worked with experimental trims and paints that you will see more of in future Opel models” said John Puskar, Director, Interior Design for GM Europe.
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