GM’s European subsidiary, Opel, has unveiled its GT Concept ahead of its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
The GT Concept is being described as “purebred, pared down, yet unashamedly avant-garde”, the turbocharged, front mid-engined, rear-wheel drive sports concept is even devoid of door handles and door mirrors.
Its name mirrors that of the 1964 GT Concept (above) produced by GM’s British arm, Vauxhall.
‘We created the GT Concept to capture the bold, emotional spirit of both the Vauxhall and Opel brands,’ said Mark Adams, Vice President, Design Europe.
‘It is dramatic, sculptural and full of innovations, which is our great tradition that we intend to continue. In the mid-Sixties, Vauxhall and Opel created their own interpretations of a light-weight sports car – the XVR and the Experimental GT – both of which were thoroughly modern with dynamic sculptural forms. It’s certainly difficult to reinvent iconic concepts like these, but just as each was avant-garde back then, so too is this GT Concept today – absolutely pure, minimalistic, yet bold and uncompromising. This coupe impressively demonstrates the continuous development of our design philosophy.’
A key innovation of the GT Concept is its large doors with integrated side windows that show a seamless transition from glass to painted surfaces. Both driver and front passenger gain access to the spacious interior after pressing a touchpad for the electric doors that is integrated in the red signature line of the roof. The doors cleverly 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. The windscreen flows into a glass panorama roof, affording occupants a similar experience to that of a targa-topped car.
The GT Concept’s front-mid engine configuration keeps the car’s centre of gravity low and central for excellent dynamics. Beneath its stretched bonnet is a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged engine, based on the all-aluminium unit used in the ADAM, Corsa and Astra. Developing 107kW (145PS) and maximum torque of 205Nm, the engine delivers drive to the rear wheels, via a six-speed sequential transmission operated by steering-wheel mounted paddle shift. Weighing under 1,000kg, the GT Concept is claimed to accelerate from 0-62mph (0-100km/h) in less than eight seconds and on to a maximum speed of 134mph (216km/h).
Another unique feature of the GT Concept is its integrated headlamp/indicator units. Using ultra-modern projection technology, the lights have a three-dimensional beam which allows glare-free high-beam driving. Based on Vauxhall/Opel’s award-winning IntelliLux LED matrix lighting, first seen in the recently launched Astra, the GT Concept sees the intelligent lighting system’s next stage of development. The design of the lights is completed by the three-dimensional design of the tail lamps.