Open GT concept previews baby coupe
Opel GT concept rear-wheel drive surprise
The much-anticipated Opel GT coupe concept has been revealed ahead of its world premiere at the Geneva motor show in March, and it’s packing a few surprises.
The rather stunning little two-door is a “purebred, pared down, yet unashamedly avant-garde” coupe billed as a look at the company’s future sports cars.
The Opel GT concept appears smaller that we expected — it’s about Mazda MX-5 sized and weighs less than 1000kg — and like that car offers a proper rear-wheel drive setup.
This puts paid to the idea that the concept would be top-hatted onto the Astra’s D2XX front-drive architecture — at least in concept form. What platform is this car on? It’s unclear. Production is a few years off at best.
Still, we have unusually thorough details. The baby-sized GT concept sports a 107kW/245Nm 1.0-litre turbocharged three-pot matched to a six-speed sequential gearbox. This engine is familiar from the Adam, Corsa and new Astra. Opel claims a 0-100km/h time of less than eight seconds.
The official release of the Opel GT appears to have come shortly after two images of the concept were Tweeted by Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann.
Befitting the Opel GT concept’s positioning as a cool, youth-focused preview of its future, Neumann opted to reveal the radical little two-door in a cool, youth-focused way. *Drops mic*.
The Opel GT is a concept we’ve been keeping a close eye on, as you can read and watch here. It is expected to preview a future production coupe that will form a key part in the GM-owned car maker’s plan to “reinvent itself”.
In a welcome development, this iteration of the Opel GT name harks to the classic 1968 Opel GT coupe, which used parts from the humble Kadett B but resembled a shrunken C3 Chevy Corvette.
It also pays homage to two significant motor show cars: the 1966 Vauxhall XVR and the 1965 Opel Experimental GT, which the company considers to be the “first true concept vehicles to appear from the design houses of a European manufacturer”.
The 2016 GT Concept, penned by Brit Mark Adams, is also a logical step on from the larger and more upmarket 2013 Monza concept.
On the spectrum of concept road-readiness, the GT rates lowly. It’s a show car if ever there was one, the red front wheels (reminiscent of the 1920s Open Motoclub 500 motorbike, weirdly) and roof stripe, and panoramic glasshouse being giveaways.
There are also large electric doors with integrated side windows that show a “seamless transition from glass to painted surfaces”. They open via a touchpad integrated in the red signature line of the roof. Hmmm.
These doors also open into the front arches, using a space-saving and patented mounting that allows a large opening angle for tight parking spaces in urban areas.
Two cameras mounted behind the wheel arches offer enhanced visibility, especially in city driving. They transmit their images to two monitors on the left- and right-hand side of the cabin, rendering external mirrors “obsolete”.
Another unique feature of the GT Concept is its integrated headlight/indicator units. The lights have a three-dimensional beam which allows “glare-free high-beam driving”.
Excitingly, Holden has previously said one-third of its future models will be rebadged Opels/Vauxhalls. If this concept signals a production Opel GT, which is in all probability does, the odds of it coming to our shores seem high. Holden would love such a car.
We will find out more during the lead up to the Geneva motor show.
The last production car to wear the Opel GT badge was the short-lived convertible version that lasted from 2007 to 2010, which was based on the Pontiac Solstice.
See a gallery of pictures below of the Open GT concept and a few classic Opel show cars/bikes of bygone years: