Saturn's romance with Europe's Opel brand continues with the introduction of the Flextreme concept. The American division's diesel/electric plug-in hybrid show car is a rebadged Opel Flextreme, a concept introduced at the Frankfurt show this past September.
The Flextreme shares its E-Flex technology with the much-hyped Chevy Volt but exchanges the gasoline engine for a 1.3-liter turbo-diesel. Saturn claims a range of 34 miles on electricity alone and a total of 444 miles when the diesel engine is chugging along working as an electric generator.
In back, there are two modified Segway personal transporters that store below the cargo area and charge off the Flextreme's electrical system. Product boss Bob Lutz is so impressed with what GM calls the "FlexDoor" (basically a clamshell door layout similar to that of the Rolls Royce Phantom) that he says the automaker is moving ahead with the door system on another production car.
But what about a production version of the Flextreme? As with the Chevy Volt, the potential hang-up is the battery system as there needs to be continued advancement in lithium-ion technology.
See the link below for our coverage of the Opel Flextreme.